What You Need to Know About HVAC Systems Before You Start Your Home Remodel

There are many variables to consider when you’re remodeling your home. Costs, scope of project, goals, and materials are all common considerations that homeowners must keep in mind when they start reaching out to contractors about their upcoming home improvement project. 

What many don’t realize is that some home remodels require an HVAC upgrade. Your home’s HVAC system was configured for your house as it is now. If your remodel changes the configuration or size of your house, your HVAC system likely needs an upgrade. As you plan your remodel it’s important to know the impact on your HVAC system. 

What Exactly are HVAC Systems?

HVAC systems can include a variety of home appliances. Typical HVAC systems include one cooling appliance and one heating appliance. Some homeowners have a furnace and air conditioner, others simply have a single heat pump that performs all heating and cooling functions. HVAC systems typically include vents and a blower, though modern mini-split heat pumps do not require vents.

What's the Difference Between HVAC and AC?

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. An HVAC system includes any and all components of the climate control system in your home, including ducts, vents, the blower, your air conditioner, and the furnace. AC stands for air conditioner and typically includes the air conditioner only – without the ducts and other components that help circulate air around the house.

What's the Life Expectancy of HVAC Systems?

Different components of your HVAC system will age on different timelines. Air conditioners, for example, generally last about 12 to 17 years when they’re well maintained.

A typical furnace, on the other hand, may last between 20 and 30 years. Ducts last a few decades before they deteriorate and need replacing. Older ducts can sometimes contain asbestos that requires professional abatement during HVAC updates.

How does a home remodel affect HVAC Systems?

Your HVAC system is sized for your home.  For example, the furnace must be powerful enough to produce enough warm air that it can heat your home. And, your air conditioner will struggle to meet demand if it’s not properly sized for the space. 

If an upcoming home remodel increases the size of your home, your home’s HVAC system may need replacing. Increased square footage pushes capacity. In addition, your architect may need to plan a new vent configuration and zone controls, to ensure even heating and cooling throughout your home.

Often, a partial or full HVAC replacement can lead to increased HVAC efficiency in the home. Newer HVAC systems are far more energy-efficient than older systems. In addition, dust and debris can clog moving parts, while leaks in vents can lead to hot spots and cold spots indoors. Installing a new HVAC system can eliminate these troubles and ensure comfort in your home during times of extreme heat and cold. 

Consider replacing or upgrading your HVAC Systems

Replacing your home’s HVAC system can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000, depending on the HVAC updates being made.  Your exact needs, of course, determine your exact costs. Your architect can include your HVAC updates as part of your architectural plans. By doing these updates integrated into your renovation plan, you’ll prevent any need to compromise.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, replacing or upgrading your home’s HVAC system is a crucial part of your home remodels. This is one of the reasons it’s so important to work with experienced professionals that know how everything in a home works together.

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