Before you remodel a house, consider the effects the project may have on your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. When you understand the effects, you can prepare to mitigate them and maintain an efficient system. Here are some of the reasons your HVAC unit may lose its efficiency when you remodel your house.
A typical renovation project kicks up considerable dust. Some of the dust may settle on various parts of your HVAC system and affect its operations. Some of the HVAC parts that the dust may affect include:
- The air filters – The debris may clog the HVAC filters, restrict airflow, and force the HVAC to work harder than usual.
- The coils – Clogged condenser or evaporator coils lose their heat-transfer efficiency, which causes your HVAC to work overtime and affect your heating and cooling.
- The vents and registers – Clogged vents and registers restricts the flow of air in and out of rooms; reduced HVAC efficiency soon follows.
In short, debris on your HVAC will reduce airflow, and the reduced airflow will trigger a chain of events that may result in a breakdown of your HVAC.
Increased or Decreased Footage
Any renovation that increases the square footage of your house affects your HVAC's ability to heat and cool the house. The technician who designed and installed your system factored in your house's square footage to determine the capacity of the unit to install. You interfere with this calculation if you increase the square footage and retain the same HVAC system.
With increased square footage, you have an undersized unit that cannot heat or cool your house adequately. As a result, the system will run all the time in an attempt to maintain its usual efficiency. Although an undersized HVAC may give you the right temperatures, it is likely to suffer frequent breakdowns.
You also create a problem for your HVAC when you renovate your home and decrease the square footage. In this case, your HVAC will short-cycle because it is too big for your house and easily heats or cools the house after a short period.
Your renovation project may also interfere with the placement of the thermostat. Here are some of the features of a good thermostat location:
- The location should not be heated by sunlight
- The location should not get heat from other sources such as electronics
- The location should not be near any drafts
- The location should have the ambient temperature of the house
A renovation project can affect all of the above factors. For example, you may allow direct sunlight to heat the thermostat if you install a skylight directly above the thermostat location.
Vents and Registers Placement
Lastly, the renovation may also affect the placement and effectiveness of the vents and registers and interfere. Not every place in a room is an ideal place for a register. Here are some of the typical guidelines for vents and registers:
- The return and supply registers should not be close together so that fresh air can circulate through a room before it goes back into the return register.
- A register's size should be based on the size of the room that carries the register.
- Nothing should obstruct the registers because obstructions interfere with airflow.
Again, a renovation project can interfere with the above guidelines. For example, you can block movement of air into or from a register if you install an additional wall without consideration to airflow.
A renovation project has multiple effects on an HVAC system. Consult A & A Service Company before you begin your renovation project so that we can advise you on what you should do to minimize the effects of the renovation on the HVAC system. We will also advise you on whether the current HVAC will be adequate after the renovation or will need an upgrade.