The quality of the air that you breathe is important at all times, which is why it is essential to have an HVAC that works as efficiently as possible, especially if you are trying to renovate during periods of heavy temperature inversion or times when there is a lot of smoke outdoors due to forest fires.
The process of renovation itself can be quite toxic as knocking down walls and removing floorboards and tiles can reveal all kinds of health hazards such as microbes from bacteria and pest feces, ammonia from animal urea and spores from mildew and mold.
The materials used to renovate your home also contain air-borne toxins such as xylene, benzene, and formaldehyde and it is important to plan your home remodeling so that you are breathing in as little of this toxic air as possible.
Make Plans for Your Daily Living During the Renovations
The best way to properly plan for how you will continue to live in your home while the renovations are going on is to decide on boundaries within your house that define both the living areas and areas to be renovated.
It is then advisable to cordon off and seal these areas with large thick plastic. If you expect that the renovation could unearth toxic molds, ammonia from pet urea or glass fibers from old fiberglass insulation then it is a good idea to stay out of the area completely and have the windows open to try and direct the flow of air outdoors.
Keep Portable Air Cleaners in Your Living Area
Keeping toxic fumes from paints, carpet and floorboard glues and varnishes can be managed by placing fans in a way that directs airflow from the renovation away from your living quarters.
During periods of substantial renovation, you may want to turn off your HVAC system completely to prevent fumes and odors from circulating through the building. Portable air cleaners are of great assistance during a renovation because they can help filter out dust and minute particles from the air and you can also move them from room to room as needed.
Realize the Importance of Keeping Clean Air Filters
After experiencing the visible effects of smoke from forest fires right in the middle of the city, Vancouver, BC residents are now more than aware of the importance of having clean air filters for their HVAC system.
This includes the furnace and air conditioning systems. During times of heavy outdoor pollution, these filters get very dirty quickly and should be changed at least once a month.
The same is true if you are renovating. The very process riles up dust, dirt, and fumes as you tear down the old to make room for the new. Your HVAC system will be working extra hard to remove all of the chemicals, microbes, and dust in the air and you do not want to be exposed to the chemicals.
Continually replacing the air filters also saves you money. Your HVAC does not have to run all of the time if your filters are clean and you can save up to 15% on your annual bill if you have to run the system less. To summarize, if you are going to do just one thing to improve the air quality while renovating, make sure that you have a supply of air filters on hand and that you or a professional can replace them on a regular basis.