A toasty warm house in winters and a perfectly cool home in summers – who doesn’t want that? We all do, and there’s nothing wrong with it. A house is a place where you want to live as you desire. You want it to be nice and comfortable so that you can unwind at leisure, so be it. Regrettably, your HVAC system will sometimes throw a wrench in your best-laid plans. Have you ever felt that the airflow is not as good as it used to be, or there are hot and cold areas in your home? Well, these are an indication that something is wrong with the airflow. We at Aztil AC often receive complaints about weak airflow from vents in the house. So today we concentrate our efforts on understanding the 5 leading causes of weak airflow from vents in the house.
5 Main Causes Of Weak Airflow
There are many reasons which could lead to weak airflow from vents in the house. However, only 5 of them occur often enough to be of real importance.
1. Dirty Air Filters – The top spot is taken by dirty air filters. We are so busy enjoying the warmth and coolness of the home that we conveniently forget to take care of small things that really matter. All the concentration is drawn by the HVAC unit, and we fail to pay attention to the air filters that cover the vents. The return air vents have air filters to trap dust, dirt, and allergens inside the house. These filters are rated according to their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The higher the MERV rating, the finer the air filter. When these filters get clogged due to dust and grime, sufficient air does not pass through them. In the absence of adequate air supply, the HVAC unit struggles to send out hot or cold air in a steady flow.
How To Solve The Issue – The solution is very obvious. Use air filters that are not very fine and clean them at regular intervals without fail. You can also replace them frequently if cleaning is not your cup of tea.
2. Blocked Ducts – No matter how good an air filter you use in the return air vents, some unwanted particles still enter the ductwork. These particles then stick together due to dampness or static charge and turn into big accumulations. Combined with how small animals or critters enjoy the ducts enough to make homes, you have a perfect scenario for causing blockages. These blockages don’t allow enough air to pass through, resulting in sluggish airflow from the vents.
How To Solve The Issue – The only solution is to clean the ducts so as to get rid of any and all blockages. Duct cleaning is a job best suited for professionals as they will ensure that no accumulations remain anywhere inside your ductwork. Getting the ducts cleaned once a year is adequate.
3. Blocked Vents – Another common cause of weak airflow in the house is blocked or closed vents. Maintaining a pleasing temperature inside your home is possible only when it is able to enter and scatter or disperse with ease. In your house, you will notice vents in the ceiling or baseboards. These vents are used for pumping air throughout the room. Sometimes, unknowingly, we block them with furniture, a mistake that hampers airflow.
How To Solve The Issue – If the vent has been blocked by something like a piece of furniture or some appliance, move the said obstruction to another suitable location.
4. Closed Damper – Vents have a damper to block or direct the flow of air to certain parts of the home. If you need more or less air in any portion of the home, you can open or close the dampers accordingly. When they are closed, the airflow will be weak. In automatic HVAC systems, the damper is controlled via the thermostat. However, in manual systems, the dampers are adjusted manually to appropriate positions.
How To Resolve The Issue – In case of thermostat automatically controlling the opening and closing the dampers, you have no choice but to call your local HVAC company to send somebody who can solve the issue. In the case of manually adjusted dampers, if you know where to find them in the ductwork, you can take care of things yourself by repositioning them correctly. However, if you don’t know, call the experts.
5. Leakage In Ducts – Ideally, your HVAC system should be a completely sealed entity, having entrances and exits in the form of just returns and vents. When the vents get damaged holes and gaps appear. Air leaks through these cracks and loses pressure. When the pressure of air drops, it becomes difficult for air to circulate through the system. As a result, weak airflow from vents in the house.
How To Fix The Issue – If the opening is small, you can tape it. For best measure, call the experts so that they can do a thorough job of patching up all the leaks in the most professional manner.
Heating and cooling systems are built in such a manner that any change in the flow of air entering the system will manifest itself in the form of restricted airflow from the other end. Therefore, to address any issue related to weak airflow from vents in the house first check whether there is any problem in the places where the air is entering the system. Most often than not, you will find the problem. Nonetheless, remember there could be other reasons for weak airflow like misshapen flex duct, blower motor problems, undersized vents, etc. No matter what your diagnosis of the problem, call the professionals to rule out any other probable cause. Regular maintenance of your HVAC system, proper inspections, and diagnostic tests go a long way in ensuring the best performance of your HVAC unit. So never miss out on these critical aspects as they may prove to be a costly mistake at a later date. It’s better to be safe than sorry.