Home improvements are an exciting process for any homeowner looking to refresh their space with minor remodels or even significant upgrades. While you’re crunching the numbers on your new backsplash tiles or bathroom expansion, you’ll want to avoid adding furnace repair costs to that list. While an emergency furnace repair can result in a severe spend, there are plenty of preventative measures you can put in place during a home renovation to avoid those costs.
Before you start knocking down walls or considering a major change, the last thing you want in the middle of your renovation is a furnace not turning on when you need it to. If you plan to move things around and require extra ductwork or even consider changing the layout to the point you’ll require new furnace installations, you should contact a local HVAC professional to run your plan by them. You want to ensure that your newly renovated home has an HVAC system that has the capacity to heat it properly!
Importance of Furnace Filters
During the renovation process, it’s only natural to have an excessive amount of dust and debris compared to your daily living. Your furnace filter is what protects your heating system from mechanical breakdowns or expensive bills once you figure out the furnace stopped working. One preventative measure you can take is the purchase of an efficient furnace filter. Even when you’re using the best of the best, you’ll want to clean or change it regularly to ensure it doesn’t get plugged. With the increased levels of dirt, dust, and debris, your filter can get clogged faster, leading to much bigger issues with your furnace repair costs.
Cover the Vents
The best way to protect your furnace during renovations is to ensure the vents are kept clear of extra dirt, dust and debris. You have a couple of options but keep in mind that completely covering your vents will damage your furnace if it’s left running. If at all possible, turn off your HVAC system if no air will be blowing through the vents as air will still need to cycle through for the furnace to work. If the cold winter months make that unrealistic, here are some options you can try.
Add a Filtration Device
Before starting the home renovation, your goal is to avoid extra furnace repair costs by reducing the amount of debris that will be entering your ducts. You can put a filtration device over your cold air returns or even cut up a small furnace filter to tape over the returns in the construction zone. That way, any large pieces will be stopped, and air can still flow through the vents if you need your furnace to continue pumping hot/cool air during your remodel.
Place Mesh Over Vents
Just like the protection for your cold air returns, you can push a mesh cover on the heating vents to stop debris from falling through the vent cover. You can use any mesh material you have around or something similar to chicken wire. Remember, the air still needs to cycle through these vents for the furnace to work efficiently.
Turn Your Furnace Off
Many furnace repair problems can be traced back to avoidable dirt and dust build-up within your system.
When you’re sanding, making cuts or creating an excessive amount of dust, you should have your HVAC system turned off and vents completely closed. Covering the vents fully can strain your system if turned on, which could cause a panic if the furnace stops working.
Before turning it back on, use an air purifier to eliminate any particles of dust to avoid your furnace working overtime.
Keep it Clean
The least glamorous part of your renovation is the most important for avoiding furnace repair costs – keeping it clean. You can start by blocking off the construction area with plastic sheets or tarps to reduce dust and debris from travelling. You’ll want to dust and vacuum the site every two days. As monotonous as it may seem, this is the best method for avoiding a damaged furnace.
If you’re not doing your renovation under 3 feet of snow, consider moving the messy work outside. If it’s possible to do your sanding, sawing, cutting, etc., elsewhere or even in your garage, do it. That way, you can avoid all that dust making its way through your vent system.
Post Renovation Care
Once you’ve completed your renovation, you may be a few weeks away from total furnace repair freedom. Prepare for it to take 1-3 weeks for all the dust to settle that was kicked up during your home renovation. Depending on your last duct cleaning, furnace maintenance call and how often your furnace was running during the renovation, it may be worth booking a professional cleaning service for your furnace and vents.
With Calgary’s extreme weather changes, you need access to a trained technician 24/7 to repair and service all furnace makes and models. Plumbing and Heating Paramedics offers furnace repair, replacement, and regular maintenance services, allowing you to trust that your heating system will pull through even on the coldest days after an entire home renovation. If you need an expert to ensure your furnace is in tip-top shape once your home construction project is completed, call us at (403) 879-7213 or email us to book an appointment.
Have you been through the renovation process and have some extra tips our readers should know about? Questions before you start your next remodel? Add your comments below to help other homeowners before they embark on their home renovation!