HVAC systems need proper airflow to provide excellent heating and cooling performance. Conditioned air moves at a rate of approximately 1,000 cubic feet per minute in an average home. It goes through filters, ducts, and vents. If everything is working as it should, then homeowners can expect high energy efficiency, low operating costs, long-lasting components, and balanced temperatures. However, a lot of homes have HVAC airflow issues that can lead to discomfort. For example, your home may have uneven temperatures where one room can feel warm while another feels cold.
The Importance Of HVAC Airflow
Below are some of the reasons why you may have airflow issues in your home.
Restrictive HVAC Filters
Air filters are necessary to improve indoor air quality and prevent system damage. They can catch dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, carpet fibers, tobacco smoke, bacteria, and mold spores. Filters protect the health of the family. However, they have limited usability. When they get too thick due to dirt, they will restrict airflow into the system. Filters must be replaced every few months to avoid this. Some homes will require more frequent HVAC filter replacements. It is a good idea to check monthly and replace it when necessary.
Be sure to use a filter that the system can handle. Some homeowners might switch to filters with a high MERV rating to improve indoor air quality. While these are better at catching airborne particles, they are also more restrictive to airflow. The fan speed may need adjustment to cope. Some high-efficiency filters will also require a higher frequency of replacement.
Leaking HVAC Ducts
Ducts may develop holes and cracks over the years. This could be due to poor quality materials, improper installation, excessive air pressure, or even pest infestation. According to studies, roughly one-third to one-half of the air in ducts end up leaking out in most homes. This is particularly problematic for the rooms that are furthest from the source. The hot air from the furnace may not reach them during winter. Their occupants will feel cold no matter how high you crank the settings. Finding these leaks and sealing them permanently is a job for professionals. Call HVAC experts to fix any leaking HVAC air ducts right away.
Blocked HVAC Vents
If there is a specific room that does not seem to behave as it should no matter the system settings, then you may want to check the vents leading to that space. Perhaps something is blocking these all this time. It may be a piece of furniture right in front of a vent. It could be a piece of fabric like an extra-long curtain. Maybe the grates were closed by the previous occupant. Once you have removed the obstruction, check whether the situation improves. If not, then move on to the other items on this list.
Closed Damper Valve
Every HVAC system has a means of regulating airflow. Many rely on damper valves to increase or decrease the flow of air to certain zones. They can also stop the flow if there are no occupants in a room, for example. Some of these can be controlled manually while others move automatically based on the thermostat’s programming. If you can locate the manual dampers, then see whether they are positioned correctly. Use the lever if you need to make adjustments. For malfunctioning automatic dampers, it’s better to get the assistance of an HVAC contractor who can look into the electrical system.
Crushed Flex Duct
Different materials are used for air ducts. Many will use thick metal for durability. Others might use flexible plastic, especially for bends. Although the latter has its merits, it does tend to get damaged more often. If a person accidentally steps on a flex duct, then it may get crushed by the weight. The flattened shape will make it more difficult for air to pass through. If you have access to these ducts, then you can try to revert them back to their original shape. If they have developed holes or cracks, then ask an HVAC contractor to replace them as soon as possible.
Improperly Sized Ductwork
HVAC systems are composed of multiple parts. All of them will have to work together to produce the desired results. If certain parts are incompatible, then you will have a problem. For example, the ducts may be too large. This results in an air pressure that is too low to sustain travel to the farthest corners of the house. It’s like using a big hose for a small faucet. The opposite scenario is just as bad. Often, the ducts are too small such that they restrict airflow. The ductwork should be designed by an experienced HVAC contractor that relies on scientific analysis of the household needs.
Inadequate Return Air Vents
Air that goes from the furnace or air conditioner to different parts of the house must come back. It’s a closed-loop system that relies on this cycle to work as intended. If the amount of air returning is not enough, then some areas may experience an increase in air pressure. They may also get reduced airflow. If this is a flaw in the system design, then a new contractor should come in and improve the situation. If there are enough return vents but some of them are not operating optimally, then the problem should be diagnosed and treated immediately.
Airflow is a crucial part of a high-performance HVAC system. Temperature imbalances across the house and nagging discomfort are telltale signs of poor airflow. Hire an HVAC contractor to find out exactly what’s causing the trouble and devise a way to remove the hindrances to the smooth flow of air. With their help, you will enjoy even temperatures, better energy efficiency, and lower monthly energy bills.
Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
McAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include indoor air quality solutions, HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.
Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with a highly energy-efficient HVAC replacement system that fits your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.