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Cleaning After a Renovation

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I am Project Envolve Ambassador with PPL Electric Utilities. I receive product and/or compensation, however I love saving money on my monthly electric bills as much as the next person and all opinions are 100% my own!

Normally this is the time of year when I’m grumbling and griping about having to clean windows, dust off cobwebs and do a thorough Spring Cleaning after a winter of being cooped up.

This year, I’d give anything if that’s all I had to do. Instead, my house looks like this:

cutting the laminate countertop

which is actually a step up from a couple weeks ago when it looked like this:

living room into kitchen

Yep. The previous owners had a bathroom (and pantry and coat closet) right smack dab in between the kitchen and living room.

So, we’ve been tearing down and creating new walls. All of that amounts to lots and lots and LOTS of dirt and drywall dust.  My Spring Cleaning is pretty hardcore this year.

There are piles of dust everywhere you look.

dust and debris

Even our dustpan is dusty at this point. And the walls and the floors and the cabinets.

kitchen island dusty

Nobody ask me how many times I’ve had to thoroughly clean all these cabinets. Seriously, if you ask me then you are 100% responsible for me ending up on the floor in the fetal position sobbing like a baby.

Let’s just say, I’ve been cleaning a lot. I’ve put  my normal Spring Cleaning routine to shame this year. And while it’s no fun living in a construction zone for a month+, there are a few things we’ve done to make it more “pleasant”.

We had fans and air purifiers going practically non-stop at stages.

air purifier

We also took it a giant step further and had all of our ductwork vacuumed and cleaned by professionals. We waited until all the drywall was done being mudded and sanded before we called them in. Honestly, though, we would have had this done whether we did the renovations or not.

The house is almost 30 years, and the ductwork had never been cleaned. To say it was filthy is an understatement. When you took the covers off and looked into the runs, it was 30 years of dust, hair, debris, pollen and other pollutants.

cleaning vents

(Let’s ignore the random food items in the picture above. We’re using my office as our kitchen/living room for now!)

While studies have shown that duct cleaning doesn’t necessarily prevent illnesses (since air filters catch most of the debris), if you have a sensitivity to pet dander or dust, you might want to see when the last time your duct work was cleaned. Humans spend the majority of their time indoors, and studies have shown that the average 6-room house collects 40 lbs. of dust a year!! That’s what you’re breathing, folks.

I asked them to send me pictures of inside the duct work! Isn’t this crazy that this is what is blowing around our houses??

inside duct work

What studies have also shown, is that having your ducts cleaned helps your entire system run more efficiently! Think about how many times a day your heat or air conditioning kicks on every day. If it’s trying to push air through that buildup of debris every single time, you’re system is working as efficiently as it could be!

The process was pretty cool to watch too. I’m not going to get into all the specifics, but they brought a big compressor outside that they ran with a hose through the front window.

air compressor

They had a giant vacuum fan in the basement that collected everything they blew through the duct work. The company we used, uses all air to blow the debris out. No nylon brushes since that strips fiberglass. They blocked off the various returns and vents depending on which part of the process they were in.

closed off vents

The whole process took about 5 hours and cost us around $600.  But we got rid of all the drywall dust from the remodeling project, got rid of 30 years worth of build-up, found our dog’s baseball fabric that he had lost, and improved the efficiency of our HVAC system!

That will prolong it’s life (and we know how expensive they are to replace), and help us in the immediate future with better electric bills! If your HVAC system is clean and efficient, it will have a longer life span, is less likely to break down and need costly repairs and operate more effectively! They recommend that you have this service done once every 3-5 years depending on whether or not you have pets and/or anyone in the house with allergies.

And ALWAYS keep up with changing out your air filter! That’s an easy and affordable way to lower your cooling system’s energy use by up to 15%. Maintaining your HVAC system truly does pay for itself in the long run with lower monthly electric bills!

Be sure to follow along with the PPL Electric Utilities Pinterest boards for more tips on spring cleaning and running your house more efficiently!



Wednesday 6th of April 2016

we should really have this done! It's one of those things that crosses my mind but then I forget about it!