Poor HVAC airflow impacts nearly all aspects of home cooling and heating. It causes symptoms such as inconsistent temperature control, poor air quality, high operating costs and overall disappointing indoor comfort. Proper airflow is among the most important specifications to diagnose system problems. That’s why, on a typical service call, airflow’s one of the very first things a qualified HVAC technician will check.
Poor HVAC airflow can result from several possible causes. Here’s a rundown of what may be wrong and where:
- Clogged air filter. The most common cause of insufficient airflow. All airflow generated by the blower passes through the system air filter. If the filter’s been installed too long and is dirty and clogged, the flow of air throughout the entire system drops below specs. For optimum performance and efficiency, replace the air filter every month during cooling season and at least every other month in heating season.
- Leaky ducts. Residential ductwork is notoriously leaky, especially in homes more than 10 years old. Conditioned air leaking from ducts is lost into unconditioned zones like the attic or crawl space. Sometimes, ducts may collapse and inhibit proper flow. A professional inspection and duct pressure test can pinpoint leaks and other obstructions to restore proper airflow.
- Closed dampers. Small internal dampers inside ductwork adjust airflow into individual rooms in order to balance the system. Over time, dampers may loosen and close, reducing or completely shutting off airflow to certain rooms.
- Obstructed vents. Make certain all supply and return air vents in every room are open and not obstructed by furniture, curtains or other objects. Closing a supply vent in a certain room is never a good idea. This can unbalance airflow throughout the entire system, making some rooms too hot and others too cool.
- Worn blower. The blower enclosed in the indoor air handler may no longer provide sufficient airflow. Blower output can be tested by a qualified service technician and the motor replaced if necessary.
For options to restore poor HVAC airflow to meet system specifications, contact the professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.