HVAC Considerations When Planning a Home Remodel

Remodeling is certainly an exciting undertaking for first-timers and experienced homeowners. Whether you are renovating to add more livable space, updating an old home, or converting unlivable areas, such as the attic and basement, to livable spaces, these projects require extensive planning. Most homeowners focus on key issues, such as hiring renovation experts, gathering materials, and budgeting, often ignoring small but crucial issues, such as HVAC and plumbing needs.

Renovation projects can damage your HVAC unit or necessitate significant changes in your old units’ infrastructure. Below are ways home remodeling affects HVAC and what you should consider for a successful remodeling project.

How a Home Remodel Can Affect Your HVAC System

Your scheduled home remodel project can affect your heating and ventilation systems in the following ways:

1. Adding square footage can strain your HVAC unit

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HVAC professionals often recommend HVAC units based on load capacity. Determining the load capacity helps professionals install appropriately sized HVAC units in a home. Remodeling projects that involve adding square footage to your home can exceed the unit’s load capacity. This strains and overworks your HVAC unit, causing frequent breakdowns, wear and tear, and shortening its lifespan.

You should consult HVAC professionals like Healthy Home Heating & Air to determine the most appropriate solution for your home. Most homeowners often have to install larger units after remodeling projects that increase square footage.

2. Vents configuration may not fit the new renovation

Renovation projects that involve changes to your home’s layout also affect your HVAC unit. Changing the layout of your home might force you to change the location, direction, and placement of HVAC vents. You should also consider installing more vents for the additional rooms.

Whether you decide to change the location and direction of vents or add new vents, don’t attempt these without consulting a professional. HVAC Experts can evaluate and recommend the best option that assures comfort and energy efficiency. Ideally, you should consult a professional before starting your renovation project.

3. Dust can affect your HVAC unit

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You shouldn’t also discount the impact of dust on various HVAC moving parts. Various parts of your HVAC unit can suffer from dust exposure during renovation. Tearing down walls and cutting through wood produces clouds of dust, which can settle in the fan coil, blower, and other moving parts of the air conditioner.

Dust and debris accumulation affects HVACs’ ability to run efficiently and produce conditioned air. It also contributes to wear and tear, necessitating frequent repairs and replacement of parts. Filters and vents are the most affected parts of HVAC units. As such, you should change HVAC unit filters immediately after renovation to ensure that dust and fibers don’t get into the system.

4. Dust can accumulate in the ductwork

Ducts help channel conditioned air into different parts of your home. This long network of tubing provides a perfect surface for dust and debris to settle during renovation, especially if you didn’t switch off the unit or cover its exits during renovation. Accumulating dust in the vents can spread to different rooms served by vents, significantly lowering indoor air quality. Your HVAC unit will also strain to maintain thermostat temperatures.

What to Consider When Remodeling

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You should focus on getting the most from your heating and cooling system after the renovation project. Keep the following considerations in mind when preparing for home remodeling:

  • Consider the load capacity

Maintaining an HVAC unit, especially its energy demands, is not cheap. This can become additionally expensive if the unit is not appropriately sized for your home. As mentioned, some renovation projects increase square footage, affecting your units’ load capacity. A small system will strain excessively to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. It also reduces indoor comfort levels and forces the HVAC unit to run longer.

On the other hand, if your renovation reduces some square footage, your unit will be too large for the space. A large system operating in a small space experiences frequent on/off cycles and triggers spikes in energy consumption. It also wears down the unit, significantly reducing its lifespan and prompting frequent repairs, which can turn costly.

Even if your unit was appropriately sized during installation, you should reevaluate it during remodeling, especially if you want to reconfigure existing rooms, add new rooms, or make modifications that will change the total square footage of your home.

  • Turn off your HVAC during renovation

You should turn off your air conditioner and furnace when the renovation is underway. This prevents the accumulation of dust and debris in the system. Drywall dust is a major cause of HVAC problems, especially if they find its way into the inner parts of the furnace. Dust clogs secondary coils and other moving components of the unit.

  • Clean regularly

Your renovations can last several days, weeks, or months. This means you’ll have to deal with dust and debris for an extended period. Regardless of the length of your renovation project, you should keep your home clean to protect your HVAC unit and avoid various health risks. You should dust and vacuum your home regularly to eliminate excess dust.

You should also clean and replace your furnace filter regularly. Clogged filters affect the functionality of HVAC units. Even when switched off, drywall dust particles in the air will settle in the filter and ducts. You should clean air filters regularly and replace them as per the manufacturer’s directions. Most manufacturers recommend replacements after three months.

  • Schedule professional duct cleaning after renovation

You should also schedule professional duct cleaning after the renovation project before settling into your renovated home. Professionals expertly clean the duct system and the entire unit. Dust can’t be contained, even if you close the ducts and vents, clean the filter, and turn off the system.

Similarly, you should schedule professional furnace and air conditioner maintenance after renovation. While your HVAC unit might be in good shape after renovation, especially if you observed various protective measures during renovation, scheduling professional maintenance is prudent. Manufacturers often recommend conducting maintenance on HVAC units before winter and post-renovation.


Renovation projects are exciting and stressful in equal measure. While you are happy and can’t wait to enjoy your upgraded home, your home is about to become a construction zone. You should take extra measures to protect your HVAC and plumbing systems during renovation. HVAC units are affected by dirt, dust, and other contaminants.

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