If someone tells you to, “Go with the flow,” they’re suggesting that you stay relaxed and not cause a commotion. Similarly, when the airflow is disrupted in your home’s heating and cooling system, it can make your life more difficult and cause a wide range of issues.
Whether it’s a furnace or central air conditioning, the unit’s job is to move air from one place to another. So if there’s anything that is preventing or redirecting the airflow, the system won’t be able to do its job correctly. This can lead to a host of problems, including poor performance, high energy bills, and even system breakdowns.
8 common airflow issues:
- Faulty thermostat – If your system isn’t running when it should, the first thing to check is the thermostat. Make sure it’s set properly and the batteries are fresh. As the brains of the system, if the thermostat has a problem, it can cause plenty of airflow issues.
- Clogged air filter – Many homeowners forget to replace the air filter of their HVAC system, especially between cooling and heating seasons. An old filter is likely clogged with dust, dirt, and other particles that can disrupt the airflow and make your system work harder. Luckily, swapping out the filter is a simple DIY job.
- Blocked vents and registers – It’s possible that everything with your system is working properly – except there’s furniture or other personal items blocking the vents. Be sure to keep your return air supply vents open as well, as this is important for the air circulation of your furnace or air conditioner.
- Damaged or leaky ductwork – If there’s debris build-up or holes in the ducts, conditioned air can escape into walls, while dusty air can sneak into the ducts and get distributed around the home.
- Dirty air conditioning coil – The coils of the outdoor air conditioning unit are exposed to all sorts of environmental elements. When dirt collects on the coils, it makes it harder for the unit to release the heat that is pulled from inside the home.
- Underperforming blower fan – The fan is needed to push air from the AC or furnace through the ducts and into the desired rooms. Over time, the fan can get dirty or some of the small parts can wear down. If the fan can’t blow the air with enough force, you will notice a decrease of conditioned air coming out of your vents.
- Oversized system – Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to HVAC equipment. If your system is improperly sized, it won’t cycle (turn on and off) properly, which can make the indoor space uncomfortable and cause you more money on energy bills.
- Obstructed condenser – If the condenser unit of an air conditioner or heat pump is obstructed by debris or items, it will have to work harder to expel its hot air and can overheat.
How to prevent HVAC airflow issues
As you can see, there are many areas throughout your heating and cooling system that can be affected by airflow problems. The best way to catch these issues before they cause significant and costly damage to your equipment is to schedule regular maintenance with an HVAC professional.