Have you been noticing that one room of your house is hotter than the other? Is the airflow weak or just not at all? Is the air blowing out warm when it should be cool? Is there an annoying whistle and drafty areas?
If so, you are probably experiencing an airflow problem with your HVAC system. These problems are relatively common between homeowners, but if they are not taken care of, they can result in your HVAC system performing inefficiently. This leads to an uncomfortable home with poor air quality that could eventually take a toll on your health.
Below are eight of the most common explanations for why you are experiencing these issues and how to prevent or fix them.
1. Faulty Thermostat
There may be no issue with your actual HVAC system or unit, but just with the thermostat. The thermostat may be set to the desired temperature, but if it is malfunctioning, the system won’t register any adjustments made. Even a low battery could cause airflow problems. Before you assume that there is a bigger issue afoot, check out your thermostat. Make sure it has good batteries, is on the desired temperature, and is set to “auto” as opposed to “on.” You may also want to look at your thermostats troubleshooting guide to see if there are any other steps you can take before you call in the professionals to check out the matter.
2. Clogged Air Filters
You absolutely need to change your air filters regularly. It is suggested to replace the filters every 90 days. If you fail to do this, that could be why you are experiencing hot and cold patches or stuffy air in your home. The filter’s job is to remove dust and other debris from the air, keeping it out of your equipment. Dirty air filters not only cause problems with airflow and can cause worse air quality, but the unit has to work that much harder resulting in higher utility bills. This is such an easy fix that anybody can do. Air filters are not expensive and if you are unfamiliar with how to change them properly, check out YouTube for a quick tutorial
3. Ductwork Issues
If your ductwork is leaky or clogged, air could be escaping or accumulating in the ductwork. This is one reason why it is a good idea to schedule regular HVAC maintenance. Professionals will be able to identify your problems and provide solutions.
4. Closed Dampers
A damper is a mechanism inside the ductwork that closes off a given duct. Dampers are located close to the central unit which means it closes down the duct closer to the source of the hot or cold air. This helps redirect the forced air somewhere else in your home more efficiently. However, closed dampers in the registers could prevent air from flowing through properly, causing unbalanced airflow and your HVAC system to perform inefficiently. To prevent this, locate your dampers, if you can, and open them. If you have a premium system, the dampers are probably electronic and automatically controlled, so this is most likely not your issue.
5. Oversized AC Unit
This problem is seen more in older units because in the past, people believed everything that was bigger was better. When it comes to your AC Unit, that is not always true. If your AC unit is too large for the space that it is supposed to cool, it will not run efficiently. They will cycle on and off frequently so if you notice your AC turn on, run for a couple seconds and then turn right back off, this could be your issue. If this is happening, the unit will never run long enough to remove the humidity from the home in turn making your home stuffy and uncomfortable.
6. Low Refrigerant Levels
Low refrigerant levels could occur because of a leak and are usually seen in older systems that have not been well maintained. When this occurs, the airflow will gradually reduce and the little bit of air that is making it out will not be as cool as it is supposed to be. Refrigerant can be dangerous if exposed to it without protection. If you suspect this is occurring in your system, Call your HVAC service provider. They can test for leaks and repair them if needed.
7. Dirty Condenser Coils
The job of condenser coils is to release the heat that is removed from your space. The coils are part of your outdoor unit and thus exposed to dirt, dust, debris,etc. If your coils become dirty, your unit will work harder to try to cool your space to no avail. To prevent this from happening, it is suggested that you get your coils cleaned regularly, once or twice a year.
8. Blocked Vents
Sometimes it might seem necessary to place rugs, furniture, etc. over vents for the sake of feng shui. However, these obstructions could prevent vents from distributing or taking in proper amounts of air. You don’t have to worry about calling upon your HVAC technician to solve this problem, just rearrange the room, making sure vents are open and uncovered.
These problems may seem like nothing, but when they are occurring, they are impossible to ignore. If you have some of the symptoms of HVAC airflow problems, it would be smart to get your system inspected now before anything could worsen. Being proactive is always better than being reactive, especially when it comes to your HVAC system.