Home remodeling projects are an exciting undertaking and usually designed to give us more living and/or playing space, update an older area of a home to make it more modern, or add on a “mother-in-law” suite or similar additional living space.
Many remodels involve adding conditioned space over a garage or turning a previously unconditioned attic into a livable space. Usually plans begin with the dreams of what that finished space will look like, but one of the first steps in your planning process should also be done with your HVAC contractor.
Unfortunately, some families find out too late that they haven’t considered the additional load on their HVAC unit when doing a home renovation.
Air Tech of Central Florida, often receives calls from central Florida residents after the fact, when homeowners realize they need to address air conditioning solutions for their “too hot” newly completed addition.
You can avoid disappointments and additional, unexpected home remodeling costs by addressing HVAC needs for a new home remodel before you lay that first brick or beam.
Things to Consider with Your HVAC Contractor When Remodeling
As the US economy has grown over the past several years, so has the amount of money homeowners are spending on residential improvement projects. Throughout 2018, US homeowners were expected to spend over $330 billion on home remodeling projects.
Florida is #4 in the country when it comes to home improvement spending. (Fixr)
Before you jump in with your saw and nail gun, you want to make sure you’ve planned and budgeted for the heating and cooling needs of that new remodel. Here are five important considerations to discuss with your HVAC contractor.
1. Do You Need to Upgrade to a Larger Unit?
Many home remodeling projects are specifically to add more livable space in a home. They can include enclosing sunrooms or building out an attic into a bedroom. This can mean that your current HVAC unit, which was installed for your “pre-remodeled” space isn’t going to be large enough to handle the extra square footage.
If you’re going to need a new HVAC unit to heat or cool the new addition, it’s best to know up front, so if you’re taking out a home equity loan or other loan to finance the home improvement project that expense could be included, and you won’t have any unexpected costs after the fact.
An HVAC professional, like Air Tech of Central Florida, can help you choose a unit that will account for the added conditioned square footage and can also set you up with an energy efficient HVAC unit that can help lower your energy costs overall.
2. Will Ductwork Need to be Reconfigured?
If your current air conditioning unit can handle the new addition, you may still need to have ductwork reconfigured to pump cool air into a slightly changed home layout.
It’s typically easiest to do this during the remodel, rather than after the fact, because there are often open spaces and drywall is not yet in place. Knowing up front that you’ll need to have ductwork reconfigured can save you considerable time and money rather than doing it later.
3. Should You Consider a Mini-Split System?
If you’re adding a rather large area of conditioned space, especially if it’s away from the center of your home – such as an attic renovation, detached apartment, or room over a garage – a mini-split system could be the best way to go.
A ductless mini-split system is like a smaller version of an HVAC unit and has two main components:
- The condenser unit that’s kept outside
- The air-handing unit inside
They allow you an easy way to bring air-conditioning to a previously non-conditioned space without needing to install ductwork or go to the expense of a buying another full HVAC unit.
4. Will a Zoning System Make Sense for the New Area?
If it’s found that your current HVAC system is too small to handle a newly renovated area, you may still be able to keep it by utilizing a zoning system. This type of setup uses mechanical dampers and divides your home into separate areas that are cooled and heated individually from others.
If your home and renovation are right for a zoning system, it could potentially save you the cost of buying a new HVAC unit plus offer energy savings from more efficient heating and cooling.
5. Protection of Your HVAC System During Renovations
One thing you want to address before your renovation starts is protection of your HVAC system, both outside and inside. Often there is a lot of dust kicked up during renovations from wood being cut, drywall or tile being removed, and that can shorten the life of your system, cause it to stop working, and just be bad overall for your home’s air quality.
Close all the vents to keep dust and debris from collecting inside and ask any contractors to be aware of ducting in walls and to do cutting in an area that won’t cause dust to blow into the HVAC unit. Ensure they’re protecting the exterior condenser as well during any outside work.
Call Air Tech of Central Florida Before Your Next Remodeling Project
If you need an HVAC pro to come and take a look at your home and remodeling plans, Air Tech of Central Florida’s expert technicians are at your service. We’ll let you know the best and most cost-efficient way to handle the heating and cooling needs of a new home improvement addition.
Contact us today for a consultation at 407-696-9876 or reach out online