Renovating your home is a stressful and rewarding process. There are sure to be many renovation projects on your wishlist, but you may not have thought about your HVAC while you’re working on making the home of your dreams.
Upgrade your HVAC
Image via Flickr by Brock Builders
This is an excellent time to consider upgrading the size and efficiency of your HVAC unit. Older units may not be as energy-efficient and may be worn out from years, maybe even decades, of use. Renovations that include extensions to your house might mean that your current HVAC isn’t big enough to properly heat or cool the whole space. When upgrading an HVAC there are many possibilities, including ENERGY STAR certified models, which consume 8% less energy, and smart thermostats which help lower monthly costs even further.
Revamp Your Ductwork
While your home is being renovated, you may also consider redoing the ductwork. If your ductwork has leaks, it can cause the air to be lost in the crawlspaces, attic, or in between the walls. This makes your HVAC work harder to try and heat and cool your home, which can increase your electricity bills. If you are going to upgrade your unit it may be beneficial to increase the size of your ducts. Older homes may need completely new ductwork due to age and buildup. Consider also upgrading your bathroom ventilation fan to a heftier model and upgrading or adding the ductwork that exhausts the damp bathroom air outside of the house.
Add Air Returns and Supply Vents
If some rooms in your home get hotter or cooler than others, adding air supply vents can provide additional circulation. This will help larger rooms stay more comfortable. If you are upgrading to a larger HVAC unit, it may also be beneficial to add another air return to further circulate the air in your home. This will also pull additional contaminants from the air like allergens, mold, dust, dander, and other particulates.
Consider Extra Features
Even if your HVAC system is up-to-date and functioning well, renovation can still be a great time to add any bells or whistles. There are many specialized, extra features that you can add to your HVAC system. For example, UV lights can be installed inside your HVAC system to kill bacteria and mold. This prevents the bacteria and spores from being distributed throughout the home. If you would like to filter out even more particulate from the air, you can consider a high-MERV filter. These are 3-4 inches thick and require a high-volume HVAC to accommodate them. You may also choose a washable electrostatic filter. These are filters that are sandwiched in between a wire mesh that has a small current, causing air particulates to stick to it.
Not only will these features improve the quality of your indoor air but make the most of the perfect opportunity presented to you during renovations. Ask your HVAC professional what would benefit your home and family, and have a conversation about any low airflow zones or air quality concerns.