Steps to maintain airflow in your home can pay off in more consistent indoor comfort, lower operating costs, and reduced wear and tear on HVAC system components. In a typical home HVAC system, over 1,000 cubic feet of airflow passes through the ductwork every minute, entering rooms through supply vents. Simultaneously, air is removed through return vents and returned to the furnace or air conditioner to be reheated or cooled. Along the way, the flow of air passes through the system air filter where particulates like dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens and contaminants are removed.

Here are some of the priorities to properly support and maintain airflow through your HVAC system:

Replace the air filter.

This is the most common cause of impaired system efficiency and declining heating and cooling performance. Filters are increasingly clogged by the accumulation of particulates, gradually reducing airflow and diminishing comfort and air quality in individual rooms. To maintain airflow specifications during heating season, inspect the filter monthly and replace it at least every other month. In cooling season, install a new filter monthly.

Open all vents.

Supply and/or return vents are sometimes closed deliberately in certain rooms or may be accidentally obstructed. In either case, closing vents is a bad idea, as it doesn’t conserve energy or save money, and it may actually disrupt carefully balanced airflow volume into other rooms. Ideally, all supply vents and return vents in the house should be open at all times.

Seal ductwork.

Residential HVAC ductwork is notoriously leaky after years on the job. Leaks in ductwork routed through the attic, crawl space, or inside walls makes it difficult to maintain airflow volume. This typically degrades indoor comfort control and raises operating costs as the HVAC system runs longer cycles to compensate for leakage. If your home is more than 10 years old, maintain airflow volume by scheduling a duct inspection and leakage test with a qualified HVAC contractor.

For more information, as well as professional service to properly maintain airflow in your home, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

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