The heating/cooling, plumbing and electrical setups are the “vital organs” of your home and failures in any of these key areas can spell serious problems.
Yet Calgary homes often lack many of the basic requirements for an effective mechanical room, where all the key equipment is kept, and the key functions are controlled.
From our visits to countless Calgary homes, we have seen that mechanical rooms often become little more than afterthoughts or wasted spaces — when they could be doing a lot more for homes.
Let us look at why you should consider an upgrade to your mechanical room if you are renovating your home — along with some tips on how to relocate/renovate your mechanical room so that it is better suited for its key role in your home.
Most Calgary homes use furnaces for heating and air conditioning for cooling. Whatever your current setup, if you are renovating your home, it is the ideal time to upgrade your HVAC system to make it more energy-efficient and lower your monthly bills.
Ten years is a long time with heating and cooling systems. Most systems installed even a decade ago are less efficient than those available today.
If you upgrade your HVAC system while performing major renovations on your home, it will likely be more cost-effective as the interior of the home can be accessed easily for ductwork and other key HVAC components between floors and walls. You can also ensure that the new system you install is optimized for your home’s energy needs and comfort levels.
During major home renovations, it is a good idea to order an inspection of the room and seek professional advice on whether your essential plumbing equipment could do with a service, repairs or upgrade. Again, newer, more energy-efficient water heaters and pumps can save on monthly bills and prevent problems that need costly repairs in the future.
A timely professional inspection of your entire plumbing system could also prevent major plumbing problems in the years ahead.
An electrical system that has not been reviewed or upgraded for many years is asking for trouble. Most family’s electrical needs have changed in recent years and a home renovation is the ideal time for a full review.
Does your electrical system have enough capacity for your new setup? Can your old electrical panels handle the higher demands of modern households?
Like with the heating, cooling and plumbing systems, accessing the key electrical components to inspect, repair or replace parts is easier when the home has been opened up during a renovation.
Similarly, if you have decided on some environmental choices, such as installing solar panels or an EV charging station (as many Calgary homes are), that is best achieved during major renovations.
Tips to consider for a mechanical room renovation
So, you are renovating your home and have decided to give your HVAC, plumbing and electrical system a major overhaul.
When you renovate your mechanical room, you have limited space to work with, but a few tips can help you design and use the space wisely. If you are completely redesigning and relocating a mechanical room, you will also need a few tips on where to position it in your home.
These nine tips should get your mechanical room in a suitable state for playing its key role in your home effectively…
- Carefully consider your home’s energy requirements first: a professional inspection will be needed to assess your home’s energy needs before the mechanical room can be built/renovated. For instance, some larger homes may need two furnaces, which will require extra space in the mechanical room.
- Situate a new mechanical room on the garage side of the house: the rooms over the garage have the longest heat runs, so placing them as close to the furnace as possible is more efficient.
- Situate your mechanical room close to the exterior side yard: this can prevent the need to upgrade your furnace or hot water tank due to extra-long venting requirements (if the equipment is housed in the middle of your home, for instance).
- Place the furnace along the beam: doing this allows the duct lines to be bulk headed in with the beam down the road.
- Place the sump pump under the electrical panel or under the stairs if possible: these are low-traffic areas that work best for a sump pump.
- Check that all ductwork is correct: ductwork should run in the opposite direction of the floor joists and also check that it is sized correctly.
- Check for proper mechanical wall direction/sizing.
- Check local building codes: if you’re renovating your mechanical room and making it larger, for instance, make sure that the building professionals you work with are aware of (and will comply with) any local building codes for Calgary.
If you are considering renovating your home and need advice or an inspection of your HVAC, plumbing or electrical systems, speak to a professional from Alpha Plumbing. All of our services are covered by our one-year guarantee for parts and labour.
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Some homeowners choose DIY installations, repairs & servicing that could lead to even more costly repairs after a botched job.
DIY is not advisable unless you have considerable experience in managing your own plumbing projects as there are many important safety concerns to bear in mind before tearing your plumbing system apart yourself. Call us today to get the help you need.