I am a homeowner and we're just finishing up a pretty extensive home
remodel project, including hardwood floor refinishing and painting
throughout the house, plus a brand new forced air system which replaced
the original gravity system from 1916.
Now, as things are winding down, the general contractor wants to run
our new heating system at night to help dry the paint and floor
sealants. The heating contractor (whom we selected ourselves, apart
from the General) is telling us NO -- don't use the new forced air
system for that, it's not good for the system, compounds and dust will
get into the new furnace and it'll screw it up and void the warranty...
The General is saying it's no big deal, we do this all the time,
standard procedure, won't harm a thing, etc.
Whom should we believe? We're not very experienced at this stuff
(that's why we hire pros to do it) but now we have the two sides
telling us essentially opposite things.
Any help would be appreciated.
I'd listen to the heating contractor. The general is not the one who will
be servicing it in the future. If he wants to heat the place for drying he
can rent space heaters. I've noticed that after a construction job is
finished, there is always microfine particles still floating around and air
handler filters get clogged up quickly. You don't want to do anything that
will void your warranty. The general probably does do it all of the time,
but he also does not see the long term affect it has on the equipment like
the heating contractor would.
Sounds easy to me: you'll void your warranty per the heating
guy. Unless/until you know different, let the general get his
own heaters to run/dry things. I don't think he's right, but
he's the one in control of his area until he's done work.
Now, it seems stupid to me that it would void the warranty and I
think he's lying or there's something about the furnace he's not
telling you. Ymmv, but I think I'd have to have him show me in
writing where it would void the warranty and warn him that, if in
a couple years you want to do some floor work and it's going to
void the warranty, he'd better start ripping it out, at his own
expense, right now because that's not the kind of system I
Just depends on him and you, mostly.
The straight advice is, the general also should NOT be trying to
use ANY of YOUR equipment to do anything! Does the contract say
YOU will provide that to him? If no: He took the job, he's got
to do what's got to be done, with his own tools and equipment.
Maybe that's where the heating guy's coming from, but he's got a
lousy approach to it.
:I am a homeowner and we're just finishing up a pretty extensive
: remodel project, including hardwood floor refinishing and
: throughout the house, plus a brand new forced air system which
: the original gravity system from 1916.
: Now, as things are winding down, the general contractor wants
: our new heating system at night to help dry the paint and floor
: sealants. The heating contractor (whom we selected ourselves,
: from the General) is telling us NO -- don't use the new forced
: system for that, it's not good for the system, compounds and
: get into the new furnace and it'll screw it up and void the
: The General is saying it's no big deal, we do this all the
: standard procedure, won't harm a thing, etc.
: Whom should we believe? We're not very experienced at this
: (that's why we hire pros to do it) but now we have the two
: telling us essentially opposite things.
: Any help would be appreciated.
Everybody -- thank you very much for your helpful replies.
I got some additional feedback from a client of mine who is also an
experienced contractor, and he verified that this is a rather standard
practice among contractors here (San Francisco) to use a home's heating
system to help dry paint and joint compound or what-have-you.
A little more explanation: in San Francisco, our average temperature is
pretty mild year-round. It gets to be about 65-70 degrees during the
day and 52-55 degrees at night.
Plus, our marine air here is pretty moist (fog and so forth). So it
can be difficult to keep a house DRY inside when the heat isn't being
So, it IS pretty common that contractors here in San Francisco will run
heat (and/or lights) at night to keep the temp up and help things dry.
That said, my client/friend said that he understood my concerns
regarding the new furnace. He suggested that the General needed to be
real careful with all the airborne dust and so forth that could
possibly get into the system.
So I did as had been suggested to me, I got the General to accept
responsibility for the well-being of our new furnace and also to
install an extra "pre-filter" over/before the cold air return so that
particles don't even make it into our new system.
So, that's solved, the contractor is taking these steps and we've
authorized him to run the heater at night to keep the temp up and let
the inside of our house dry out.
Thanks again for the input.
Neither, if it was me, I'd not want to blow around dust particles until the
floors are cured. Probably not a big deal, but why take a chance on
spreading dirt from a new heating system right now. No telling what may
have loosed up in the ducts during installation.
As for "compounds" voiding the warranty, I'm very skeptical. If your
climate is typical of mine right now, it won't make much difference anyway.
Temperatures above 70, fairly dry, just about optimal for curing paint.
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