When temperatures rise many customers say they find a noticeable difference in the airflow they are getting from their registers. Is this a coincidence? Maybe, but the root of the problem may be more than just “it’s hot outside”
If you suspect you have airflow problems, you’re probably experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
Some registers don’t seem to be blowing any air. This is often one of the first signs of HVAC airflow issues.
Do you have doors slamming closed or strange whistling noises and drafty areas? These are symptoms of air pressure problems caused by poor HVAC airflow.
Your AC system blows, but it blows warm air. Now you know you better call a HVAC specialist.
Ignoring the issue will put a strain on your system, which can lead to your compressor failing. Think of the compressor as the heart of your air conditioner, and when it goes, it is very costly to replace. The good news is many of the causes behind HVAC airflow issues are relatively inexpensive to fix.
Common causes of poor airflow can be the following:
An obstruction in the condenser unit-
The condenser is your outside unit that houses the compressor, a fan and other electrical components. Outdoor units especially can become obstructed due to leaves and debris that have accumulated around the unit. Your system can overheat when there’s not enough access to air. Your first step to improve HVAC airflow should be to clear any bushes, shrubs or debris from around the unit.
The condenser is also made up of coils. The job of the coils is to release the heat from the home. Coils can become impacted with debris from normal use causing the unit to work harder and much hotter to cool your living space. Chemically cleaning your coils, once or twice a year is a good habit to get into.
One of the first things we check upon arrival to a home is the air filter. 80% of the time we find the filter plugged solid. The filter’s job is to remove the debris from the air and keep it out of the equipment and ducting. If your filter is plugged, the system cannot create proper air flow which will create hot and cold spots. Running the HVAC equipment dust and debris is detrimental to the equipment. Your air filter should be the pleated type and should be changed a minimum of every three months (more often if you have pets or live in an area with lots of smoke or pollution)
Blocked or closed registers
Walk around your home and make sure that you don’t have any closed registers or registers that you have put furniture up against, blocking the airflow. I know your couch looks really good up against that wall, but comprising the airflow creates undue hardship on your HVAC unit.
Slow or sluggish fan
Your HVAC system has blower fans that move the air through your ducts and out through your registers. If a blower motor is sluggish, that can hinder the ability to push that air through the ducting and out the registers.
In some cases (especially in restaurants) the fan itself can become coated with grime which slows the operation and reduces airflow. Cleaning the fan blades of dirt and debris is an easy fix.
Leaking duct work
Remember that plugged air filter that you forgot to change? Where do you think that dirt and debris ends up? It winds up accumulating in the ductwork.
A buildup of dust and debris in your already narrow ducting and become clogged easily restrict airflow.
The walls of the ductwork can also develop cracks or tears where air can leak out. If you live in an area where rodents can get into your attic or under your house, the ductwork is the first place they like to build their homes. All of these ductwork issues lead to reduced airflow for your HVAC unit.
Your HVAC unit is one of the most expensive items in your home to replace, why not give it the life it deserves and get in the habit of general maintenance on your system. We are happy to check over your unit and offer recommendations if you are finding yourself with any of the concerns above. Give Performance Heating and Air Conditioning a call today! We look forward to hearing from you (916) 933-2683