A renovation project presents an opportunity to improve your living space and a problem with your HVAC systems. If you plan a makeover or renovation, you might have yet to think about your home's ductwork. The effectiveness of your HVAC system can be significantly affected by changes to your layout or increased room area, even if your system is relatively recent and efficient.
Before, homes did not place significant care on duct design and construction. Instead, it was seen as an opportunity to reduce expenses. The lifespan of many residential duct systems was not even considered when built. When remodeling a property, you can integrate a more effective design into new ducts, and old ducting may also be improved. A renovation is a beautiful time to assess your present HVAC system and ductwork to ensure everything is in working order, that the system is big enough, and that the ductwork works correctly.
If you plan on renovating your home, here are some tips to consider when doing remodels and some recommendations for your ductwork during renovations.
Inspect Affected Areas
If you or your contractors have worked close to the HVAC ductwork in your house, you should consider doing a comprehensive examination when the project is over. If you are working in an attic or basement near ductwork, checking your ducts might be especially important since you might need to be aware of accidental damage brought on by tool slips or other incidents.
Early detection of ducting issues might allow you to avoid more expensive problems. It can be particularly problematic if you are in a humid environment since it occasionally allows moisture to enter faulty ducts. Once unconditioned, damp air gets inside the system, and a severe mold issue can rapidly arise.
Fortunately, any disturbed or broken ductwork should be easily identifiable by experts with training in duct care and repair. Before you finish the project and restore the drywall, test your ducts to see if you exposed ductwork by removing walls or ceilings. A reasonably inexpensive examination might prevent you from having to pay for expensive future repairs and potentially disastrous problems.
Reconstruct Your Ductwork
Depending on when you built your home and when your air conditioner got installed, your ductwork may need to be planned more efficiently. While you plan your home remodeling, have an HVAC expert look into rerouting your ducts. A few changes might result in a considerable increase in efficiency, guarantee optimum ventilation, and reduce your energy costs.
There are almost as many different ducting designs as there are houses. You could have ductwork going through your attic, basement, walls, or all of the above, depending on the particulars of your property! In older homes with retrofitted forced air systems, ductwork routing may become more challenging since plumbers sometimes have to insert pipes wherever they can.
Remodeling projects may have unforeseen effects on ducts since there are many potential places for ducting. Always locate the vents in your home before you start any remodeling work, whether you're doing it yourself or hiring a contractor. You should also know whether your property has stiff metal ducting or flexible ducts.
Choosing The Right HVAC system
Your home renovations likely have goals beyond improving the aesthetics of your area. Most likely, you anticipate seeing growth in your company. The occupancy of your space will increase if, for instance, you renovate a restaurant dining room to accommodate more patrons. A place warms up more quickly as more people inhabit it, and your dining room will thus require less heating in the winter and more cooling in the summer. Make sure your new HVAC system can accommodate these adjustments.
Split systems, hybrid systems, ductless systems, and packaged heating and air systems are the four primary categories of HVAC systems. It helps you decide what is best for your house and your budget.
- Split system: This is the most commonly used HVAC system. It is "split" between two units or systems (one for cooling and one for heating).
- Hybrid system: It is an upgraded split system with a hybrid electric heating system for better energy efficiency.
- Ductless system: It is appropriate for residences without access to traditional ductwork and comprises an outside air conditioner and a heat pump for cooling and heating.
- Packaged systems: These provide superior heating and cooling in a single unit, are typically installed outdoors and are used in homes without basements.
Inspecting Ductwork for Leaks
Ensure your ductwork is free of leaks and holes if your HVAC system is more dated. Up to 30% of your air may escape through worn-out sections or shoddy duct connections, according to Energy Star.
Even if you decide against remodeling your ductwork, simply patching holes and leaks while looking for loose connections can significantly improve the effectiveness of your system. Here are some signs that you have leaks in your ductwork:
- Increased utility costs: Higher utility expenses are one of the most evident indicators of an air duct leak. When there is a leak in your air ducts, part of the air escapes before it can reach the places where it is most needed. Your air conditioner has to work more to chill your home. This additional work puts the appliance under more stress, increasing the energy it requires to function and raising energy costs.
- More dust on your furniture: When you run your finger over the furniture and notice a significant amount of dust, your air ducts are to blame. Dust accumulated in your attic and basement can spread throughout your house via leaking ductwork. Dust by itself may not be hazardous, but over time it can have a detrimental effect on the air quality and be harmful to people with allergies or respiratory problems.
- Hot and cold spots: Hot and cold patches in your home are another obvious indication of an air duct leak. Because the leaky air collects in one place and prevents other areas from receiving conditioned air, there is uneven cooling. This may make your house seem quite unpleasant and stress your HVAC system. This might shorten the longevity of your unit if ignored.
Keeping Dust Out During Renovations
Sealing off your vents and registers throughout the construction is crucial since dirt and dust might harm your HVAC system. This will help you avoid future costly repairs by preventing dust from getting sucked up into your system.
Additionally, it's a good idea to turn off your system entirely when performing any particularly "dusty job," if feasible. Here are a few ways to minimize dust during renovations:
- Install dust barriers: At least place plastic sheets over the many return and supply vents in the room getting renovated. These will assist in containing dust and debris inside the area being worked on, keeping it from spreading throughout the home.
- Use sticky mats: Use sticky mats placed directly outside the construction area. People entering and leaving the construction area won't bring dust and debris into your home. If the room being worked on is in the center of the house, use floor paper to line the exit.
- Use dust extractors: Use dust extractors since power tools may be messy during renovations. Many manufacturers of power tools have started including dust extractors in their products to capture dust immediately. This implies that a power saw equipped with a dust extractor will gather sawdust as it cuts, helping to keep a large amount of it from entering your air.
A crucial component of any HVAC system is ductwork. It enables air to flow into various areas of your house, eliminates surplus moisture, and guards against mold issues. With this in mind, try to avoid ducting design mistakes when renovating your property.
Use high-quality materials wherever possible since they will last longer than cheaper alternatives. If you want your ductwork installed by a qualified contractor, you can also consider doing so. By doing this, you can be sure that it will be installed correctly and won't malfunction immediately.
When should I get my HVAC system serviced?
Keeping your HVAC system in good shape is essential, and it can help you save money on your utility bills and make your home more comfortable. If you last cleaned your air ducts a few years ago, it's time to start looking for a professional who can provide this service. At Home Alliance, we offer air duct cleaning for residential and commercial properties throughout the area.
Who should I call for air duct replacement?
The best way to know who to call and what is the best option for your needs is to call an air duct replacement company. Hiring Home Alliance gives you a trustworthy professional who will guide you through choosing how you want to upgrade your HVAC system. You can improve your home's heating, cooling, and indoor air quality with the help of this HVAC service. You can be sure you are getting the correct information with the support from Home Alliance!
If you need air duct replacement or any air duct work, we can help. We only use top-quality materials and skilled, certified technicians to handle all your HVAC maintenance needs. We also provide estimates so you can get a better idea of how much it will cost before agreeing to any work. Book a schedule with us today!