With most all newly constructed homes comes freshly installed flooring, crisp cabinets and high expectations. But what about the air handling system of the home—the largest source of energy? Despite popular belief, the duct work and HVAC system of a newly constructed house may not be in top-notch condition and immaculate, like the rest of the home.
Since a common misconception among homeowners is that the HVAC system of a new build is clean, the National Air Duct Cleaning Association (NADCA) urges homeowners of new-construction builds to hire a company with a NADCA certified technician on staff to inspect ductwork and the air handling system of the home. HVAC ductwork is sometimes one of the first systems to be installed in a home and construction dust and drywall dust can make its way into a system during the building process.
Homes undergoing renovations can be exposed to similar amounts of dust and debris, which can impact the functionality of the air conveyance system. NADCA urges homeowners who are renovating their living space to consider the following:
- Install high-efficiency disposable filters before beginning the renovation process and change them frequently.
- If you hire a contractor, ask that the return vent, supply registers, and diffusers be sealed and the HVAC system is shut off during renovations that include demo work or other dust-contributing activities.
- Discuss with your contractor ways to minimize the amount of airborne dust within your home.
- Ask that poly-plastic barriers be installed and HEPA-filtered negative air scrubbers be used in the work area to “scrub” clean the air and keep dust from migrating to other areas of the house.
NADCA urges homeowners to refer to the Residential Consumers checklist, available on the NADCA website. The checklist is designed to help homeowners understand NADCA’s recommendations regarding the process of HVAC cleaning.