The FAQs on HVACs: Renovations are a good time to check systems

By Michelle Boaen Jameson
Your heating and air are many of the most vital parts of your home that keep you comfortable all year long. But when you remodel, there are lots of things to consider. Debbie Lawson Davis, owner and CFO of Lawson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, Inc. in Gainesville, tells us what you should know about your HVAC system and renovations.
What are some things homeowners should consider when they remodel their house, like tearing down walls and coming across duct work?
Homeowners will need to consider a new location to relocate ducts that may be in walls that are being removed or re-routed for the remodel.

If you need a new unit, is it better to get one during renovation or wait until all is complete?
Yes, it is better to go ahead and replace a unit during renovation, so any new or re-routed ducts can be taken care of during the rough-in stage.
 Should you clean your ducts after a renovation to remove debris and dust for all of the construction?
I would wait until after all the work is complete, but at the very least … be sure to change all HVAC filters after any construction project, remodel, carpet or flooring replacement.  You should also vacuum out floor registers after a remodel to remove construction debris, or sheetrock dust that might have fallen into the grilles.
When might a person consider moving a return or adding a vent?

When the duct will be in the way of the renovation or if the homeowner is adding onto existing home, new supply and returns will need to be added. Also, a new load on the home will now to be done to determine if a larger system is needed.
Remodel and renovations is a great time to consider upgrading your HVAC controls to a new Wi-Fi thermostat, many of which are compatible with  voice command units like “Alexa.”
Don’t overlook your water heaters during renovation, especially with a kitchen or bath project.
Adding more water consuming devices may present a need for more hot water.  Considerations may be given to changing out a traditional water heater to a new technology tankless unit.
These are also available with a circulating pump when you install a loop water line system allowing for immediate, and endless, hot water regardless of demand.  These units are very energy efficient, only heating water when demanded.
And whether you are renovating or not, Davis says to get your ducts cleaned regularly for smooth performance year round.

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