When it comes to heating and air conditioning systems, one of the most prevalent problems homeowners deal with is poor airflow. If you suspect that your HVAC currently has airflow issues, you are probably experiencing some of these symptoms:
- Hot and cold spots throughout your living space.
- Pressure imbalance that causes uncomfortable drafts and whistling noises.
- No air, weak airflow, or warm air coming out of your vents.
If you neglect these problems for too long, the unnecessary strain on your cooling system can result in compressor failure. The compressor is the workhorse of your equipment, so when it starts to malfunction, there is a great chance you will need a brand new system soon. The good thing is that the causes of these airflow issues are pretty simple and inexpensive to fix.
An HVAC repair specialist shares a list of 10 common causes of airflow problems in this post.
1. Faulty Thermostat
Before you assume that there is a bigger problem, check your thermostat. Something as simple as a low battery can create the dilemma you want to avoid. Make sure the device is set to AUTO instead of ON and that the desired temperature is dialed in. Skim through your thermostat troubleshooting guide to see if there are other steps you can take before you bring in a technician.
2. Blocked Air Registers and Vents
Another tip for increasing airflow inside your home is to keep the air registers and vents open and unobstructed. While this particular issue is more common in office settings, it can still happen in residential spaces. Be aware of the placement of your furniture. There should not be any rugs, carpets, cabinets, window coverings, or wall decorations blocking your registers and vents.
3. Clogged Air Filters
When was the last time you replaced the air filter in your air conditioner? An air filter performs a specific function. It traps dust, dirt, and debris; removes them from the indoor air; and keeps them out of the ductwork. If you fail to clean or change your air filter, debris will build up and the filter will become clogged, hampering the airflow from and to your system. As a result, your space will have random hot and cold spots and your indoor air quality will become poor. Experts recommend changing your air filter as frequently as once a month.
4. Blocked or Leaky Ducts
When air filters are clogged, all the dust and dirt wind up accumulating in the ductwork. Even worse, this buildup of debris can be exacerbated if the air ducts are too small for the air conditioner. Especially in an older building, it is not uncommon for insects, rodents and other pests to build nests in HVAC ducts. Holes and cracks can also form in the walls of the ductwork, causing leaks and reduced airflow for heating and cooling. This is why it is important to have your air ducts inspected and cleaned every three to five years.
5. Obstructed Condenser Unit
Also called the condenser, the air conditioner outdoor unit can become obstructed due to fallen leaves, twigs, loose vegetation, and other debris that have accumulated around it. If located in a mechanical room, it can be blocked by storage items and other mechanical equipment. This can reduce the amount of airflow that your condenser receives, potentially causing your system to overheat. Make sure to clear the area around your equipment to maintain a free and continuous flow of air.
6. Sluggish Fans
In an HVAC system, the blower fans are the components responsible for moving air through the ducts and distributing it throughout the home. If the blower motor is slow-moving or inactive, it can impede airflow and cause other problems. In some scenarios, the fan can become caked with grime, which slows down its performance and reduces airflow. Fortunately, it is a simple task to clean the fan. Have an air conditioning service technician inspect and maintain the blower assembly once or twice a year.
7. Dirty Coils
The condenser coil releases the heat that is pulled from the indoor space. Since it is part of the outdoor equipment and therefore exposed to the elements, the coil can accumulate so much dirt and debris that it is not able to release heat. This forces the unit to work harder and longer to achieve the desired comfort level inside your home. A symptom of this issue is weak airflow. Like blower fans, the coils should be thoroughly cleaned once or twice a year.
8. Low Refrigerant
If an air conditioner has refrigerant leaks, reduced cooling and poor airflow will soon follow. All of these things can cause a gradual decline in the performance of the system. If you believe that your unit has a case of low refrigerant levels, let a technician test for leaks to get things back up to speed right away.
9. Oversized Unit
Bigger is not always better when it comes to HVAC systems. For example, if a unit is too large for the space it is supposed to heat or cool, the can cycle turn on and off too frequently This means it never runs long enough to eliminate the excess humidity in the space, making the air feel stuffy and uncomfortable.
10. Outdated Design
If you recently renovated your space but did not update the layout or sizing of your ductwork, your HVAC may no longer be able to accommodate the new and improved space. Consult an HVAC expert as you may find that simple upgrades to the ductwork can remedy airflow issues.
Need Professional HVAC Services? Call Albert Air Inc. Today!
At Albert Air Inc., no job is too big or small. Whether you need to perform routine tune-ups and safety checks on your air conditioner or install a new, energy-efficient replacement unit, you can count on our experienced staff to deliver the results you deserve. We will help you find solutions that fit your space and budget. Call us at (714) 526-6368 or complete our convenient contact form to schedule your air conditioning repair near me.