Home renovation projects can significantly impair indoor air quality far beyond the construction dust that gets stirred up during renovations. In fact, you might be surprised by how many different contaminants can get released into your air by renovations. The Boston College Office of Environmental Health and Safety names dozens of such pollutants in its “Maintaining Indoor Air Quality During Construction” briefing document.
While airborne sawdust is an obvious renovation contaminant, construction activities can release other particulates, and many construction materials emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Demolition activities can stir up fungi, dust mites, insect parts, and microorganisms. Some construction equipment can introduce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, and other gases into the enclosed spaces of your home.
Naturally, you don’t want to be breathing indoor air that’s been compromised by renovations, but the Tallahassee-area HVAC experts at Air Control Heating and Cooling have some suggestions to help you improve your home’s air quality during and after the project.
One of the easiest ways to protect indoor air from renovation-induced impairment is to restrict airflow from the area. Close off any rooms that are not part of the renovations by shutting doors and, if possible, contain the worksite by enclosing it with plastic barriers. You can use tarps or plastic sheeting, but many hardware stores carry specialized plastic construction barriers with zippered openings for easy access.
Along with containing your construction area, ventilate it by keeping windows and doors open to let clean outdoor air in and push the bad air out. If you use fans, make sure they push as much air out as is drawn in. Ventilation is essential when working with materials that emit VOCs.
If you’re facing extensive, long-running renovations, we recommend that you consider renting a commercial-grade air scrubber to filter the air of airborne construction particles. These high-powered filters can remove up to 99% of airborne contaminants, and many also capture VOCs and odors. Along with keeping one running in the contained construction area, you should consider placing at least one other renovation-free area of the home to optimize air quality.
When construction activity ends each day, you should make it a habit to thoroughly clean the house, especially if family members are living there during the renovations. Daily vacuuming and surface area cleaning help prevent the build-up of construction contaminants that could become airborne. For the best in vacuuming, you should use a HEPA-equipped vacuum to capture as much dust as possible.
Once your renovations are complete, you will want to take some other actions to ensure that any lingering contaminants do not pollute your indoor air. Along with a thorough home cleaning, you should have your HVAC system’s ducts professionally cleaned to clear them of any contaminants that may have entered the system during renovations. Post-construction is also the perfect time to replace your HVAC system’s air filter.
It’s also a perfect time to install an air purifier in your HVAC system. Air Control Heating and Cooling has several models to choose from, as well as comprehensive Air Control Club maintenance plans that provide regularly scheduled HVAC service and other benefits to ensure optimal delivery of your home’s clean, climate-controlled air.
Air Control Heating and Cooling prides itself on offering exceptional HVAC service to north-central Florida homeowners for over five decades. For all your HVAC needs in the Tallahassee, Havana, Quincy, Monticello, and Crawfordville areas, contact us today at (850) 562-1234.
3520 N MONROE ST, TALLAHASSEE, FL 32303
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