8 ways to protect your HVAC system during remodeling

Changing or cleaning your filters during a remodel can help with your home's airflow.

Changing or cleaning your filters during a remodel can help with your home's airflow.

Dirt is very damaging to HVAC equipment. Many repair issues can be traced back to dirt and dust buildup inside the system. Anyone who has lived through a home remodeling project knows how dusty it can be. You can make sure you don’t end up with a costly repair when the project is completed by taking precautions ahead of time.

1. Review your plans with your existing HVAC contractor before you commit to a project. After the job is done is a horrible time to discover that things ought to have been done differently.

2. Try not to run your furnace or air conditioner when dusty work is being done.

3. Close off registers in the area where work is being done and cover them to prevent the dust from being pulled back into your system. If you are running your heating or cooling equipment, be careful not to close off too many registers at one time. If you aren’t sure whether you're cutting down the airflow in your system, have your heating contractor come in and check it.

4. Do as much cutting and sanding outside or in a garage to keep the mess out of your home.

5. Use plastic tarps to isolate the construction area from the rest of the house. Make sure that your contractor uses proper dust control for your remodeling project. The remodeled area ought to be maintained at a negative pressure to the rest of the house while dust is being generated.

6. Be sure the work area is cleaned frequently throughout the project to keep dust from being tracked around. Far too often, the openings for heating/cooling systems are used as convenient repositories for swept-up debris. This is another good reason to make sure they are sealed thoroughly during the entire course of the remodeling process.

7. Change/clean your filter regularly during the project and especially when it is completed. Even a filter that does not look particularly dirty can have tiny particles blocking the airflow of the filter. This can put a strain on your heating or cooling system.

8. Consider having your blower, ductwork and indoor coil inspected when the project is completed to make sure dust and debris did not build up in your furnace or air handler. You may also want to consider duct cleaning to make sure dust is not continuing to be drawn through your heating and cooling equipment.

A little advance planning can help protect your HVAC equipment from the dust of a home remodeling project.

Paul Wadsworth is the president and owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Wadsworth has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 76 years. The company understands the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Wadsworth has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been president of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Wadsworth was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland with his wife and two sons.

As of Feb. 3, 2012, this service provider was highly rated on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.

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