How to Prevent Damage to Your HVAC During a Renovation

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Getting your abode renovated is incredibly exciting – you’re taking steps toward your dream home! When reaching for your dreams, it’s often a good idea to blend caution with ambition – in this case, by taking steps to preserve your HVAC. HVAC stands for heating, cooling, and air conditioning. Your HVAC is basically the respiratory system of your home, ensuring that stale air gets let out and fresh air is let in. It’s also your home’s climate control unit. HVAC systems are susceptible to damage during renovations because they snake throughout most of, if not all of, your home. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent damage to your vents, furnace, and air conditioning:

Talk to Your Contractors

The contractors who are doing your renovations should be well aware of potential damages to HVAC systems, in the same way that they’ll be mindful of electrical safety and plumbing hazards. Talk to them about the steps they’ll take to protect your HVAC if you’re concerned. Before any renovations are started, you should get a complete consultation, so you’ll know what rooms the contractors will be working in and what types of work will be done.

In the same vein, it’s a good idea to talk to your HVAC contractor to see if they have any special tips or pointers on keeping your HVAC safe. They might know about certain safety features your furnace has that you should be aware of, or of vents that might be hidden away. By talking with both your renovation contractor and your HVAC contractor, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page, and reduce your risk.

Switch Off Your HVAC System While Work is Being Done

You don’t want to switch your furnace off in the winter – that’s one of the reasons a lot of reno and remodeling work is done in the summer. Switching off your furnace or AC can reduce the amount of dust and debris that enters into the system. That doesn’t just reduce the likeliness of damage occurring – it helps preserve your filters and reduces build-up in your vents.

Close Registers and Grilles

Dust and debris can accumulate in your vents pretty rapidly. While that might not cause damage to them (unless the debris is fairly large/heavy/pointy), it can impact the quality of the air you breathe. Dust and debris in the ducts can also find its way into your furnace or air conditioner, even if it was off while the renovations were being done. By simply closing off vents and opening a window, you can keep your HVAC working the way it should, and prevent potential damage.

Clean Your Space

Your renovation contractor will do their utmost to ensure you’ve got a clean space. You’ll probably find there are a lot of plastic tarps in your home, and a lot of vacuuming when the day is done. Nevertheless, it’s important to do your own inspection of each area at the end of each day to see if any dust or debris was missed. If you spot anything, make sure to clean it right away to prevent it from making its way into your ducts. 

Check Your Filter

Generally, furnace filters need to be changed about every 90 days. When there are serious renovations happening around your home, however, you’re probably going to need to change that filter a bit more frequently.

Clogged filters are a hazard in a number of ways. They can seriously hamper the efficiency of your furnace or air conditioner, which leads to pretty high energy bills. They can also reduce the quality of air in your home. What’s more, a clogged filter forces the blower motor of your unit to work much harder, which can lead to voltage surges tripping your breaker. That breaker will keep tripping until the filter is replaced, and the strain can lead to wear on the blower, reducing the lifespan of your unit.

Get HVAC Maintenance Once Renovations are Done

Once the renovations are complete, call your HVAC contractor to do an inspection and tune-up of your system. You might benefit from a duct cleaning to get at any dust and debris that managed to get into the vents despite your best efforts. 

You may also benefit from an air conditioning and/or furnace cleaning. Dust and debris can make its way into the units (again, despite your best efforts). That particulate is inaccessible without the knowledge of how to safely take parts out of the units – the technician will need to vacuum inside the unit. 


When you take all of these steps, you should have no problems with your HVAC after renovations. In fact, you might find your units work more efficiently and that your air quality has improved, especially if you get maintenance done. Enjoy your new space! 

About The Author: Kiara is a writer based in Canada. She writes articles with a focus on marketing and home improvement for a variety of businesses. Some of her favorite pieces can be found on the MQ Appliance Repair’s website.
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

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