Why Is HVAC Airflow So Important For My Home?

image of homeowner placing hands in front of vent due to hvac airflow issues

HVAC systems require proper airflow for the best heating and cooling performance. Conditioned air will move at approximately one thousand cubic feet each minute in the average house. It will have to travel through filters as well as ducts, and vents. Only if things are working as they should, can homeowners see higher energy efficiency, lower operating costs, long-standing components, and steady temperatures. Many homes have HVAC airflow issues and these often lead to discomfort for the resident. A home may have irregular temperatures with one room being warm while another room is always cold. In this article, we discuss some of the common culprits for HVAC airflow issues.

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What Causes Problems With HVAC Airflow?

Here are some reasons why you could have issues in your own home with airflow.

HVAC Filter Restriction

dirty hvac air filter

HVAC air filters are required to improve inside air quality as well as prevent systemic damage. These filters catch dust and pollen, pet dander and mites, carpet fiber, and tobacco smoke. They filter out bacteria as well as mold spores. HVAC filters can help protect the family from ill health. However, their usability is limited. If they get too thick with dirt, they can restrict airflow in the HVAC system. Filters need to be replaced every couple of months to avoid problems. Certain homes require an HVAC air filter replacement to be done more frequently. It is recommended that you check monthly and replace a filter when it becomes necessary.

Be certain that you use a filter your system can easily handle. Some people switch to filters that have a high MERV rating so they can improve their indoor air quality. While these kinds of filters can be far better at catching airborne particles, unfortunately, they may also be a lot more restrictive to the flow of air. Fan speed could need adjustment to handle the flow. There are some high-efficiency filters that require more frequent replacement. Ask your HVAC contractor for the most suitable HVAC air filter for your heating and cooling system.

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Leaky HVAC Ductwork

image of an hvac ductwork inspection and repair

Ductwork can develop holes or cracks over time because of poor quality material, incorrect installation, too much air pressure, or an infestation of pests. Some studies show that roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the air found in ducts will end up leaking into the home. This is certainly problematic for any rooms that are a long way from the original source. Hot air from a furnace might not reach them in the colder months. Occupants may end up feeling cold no matter how far up you move the setting. Locating HVAC ductwork leaks and sealing them off permanently is a job that needs to be done by a professional. Call on an HVAC expert and have them fix leaking HVAC ducts immediately.

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Blocked HVAC Vents

Do you have a specific room that doesn’t seem comfortable like it should, no matter what system settings you use? You may want to inspect any vents leading to that room. It is possible that something is blocking these off. It could just be a piece of furniture that is placed in front of a vent, or even fabric, like a drape or a curtain. Perhaps the grates are closed off. When you remove the obstruction, see if the situation has immediately improved. If it has not, you’ll want to move on to the other items found here on the list.

Closed Damper Valve

image of hvac air vent dampers

Each HVAC system has its own means of airflow regulation. Some of them rely on damper valves as a way to increase or decrease airflow to other zones. These can even stop the airflow if there aren’t any occupants in that room. Sometimes, these are able to be controlled manually, while others may move automatically because of the thermostat programming. You can find the manual dampers, and then see if they are positioned properly. If you need to make an adjustment, do so using the lever. If it is a case of malfunctioning automatic dampers, it is wise to get assistance from an HVAC contractor who will be able to closely look into your electrical system and determine what needs to be done.

Crushed Flex Duct

Differing materials may be used for some air ducts. A lot of them use thick metal for greater durability. Some may use flexible plastics, particularly for bends. While the latter does have its merits, it tends to be more easily damaged. If someone accidentally steps on a flexible duct, it’s likely to be crushed by the person’s weight. That flattened shape is going to make it difficult for any air to pass on through. If you happen to have access to the ductwork, you can try to mold them carefully back to the original shape. However, if they have holes or cracks, you need to ask an HVAC contractor so they can replace them for you.


The Importance Of HVAC Airflow

Keep reading to explore the significance of HVAC airflow and common issues that homeowners experience.

Wrong-Sized HVAC Ductwork

ductwork hvac installation

HVAC systems have multiple parts. They all have to work together to create the desired result. If there are certain parts that happen to be incompatible, you are going to have a problem. One example is when the ducts are too large, which results in low air pressure that won’t sustain travel to the farthest corners of your home. It’s rather like using a hose that is too big on a really small faucet. The opposite scenario to this can be just as bad. Sometimes, ducts are too small and they drastically restrict the airflow. All ductwork ought to be designed by an HVAC contractor that has a lot of experience, and who can do a scientific analysis of every household’s exact needs.

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Insufficient Return In Your Air Vents

Air that is going to travel from the furnace or from an air conditioner to distinctive parts of a house must eventually return. The HVAC closed-loop system relies on this cycle so that it can work as it is intended. Then the amount of returning air is too low, some areas will probably experience an increase in the air pressure. They are also likely to get reduced airflow. This may be a flaw in the system design, and a contractor should be called in to diagnose the problem and improve the situation. When there are plenty of return vents but maybe some of them aren’t running optimally, once again, this is a problem that needs to be diagnosed by an expert so it can be treated immediately.


Final Thoughts

Airflow is a critical part of any HVAC system. An imbalance in temperature throughout the home or noticeable discomfort in particular areas can be telltale signs of inadequate flow of air in the system. It is recommended that you hire an HVAC contractor with the expertise to find out exactly what and where the trouble is, and create a way to remove any hindrance to the flow of air in your home. With their assistance, you will soon be able to enjoy even temperature around the home, greater energy efficiency, and also, the benefit of lower energy bills every month!

Call R.F. Ohl To Handle Any HVAC Requirements You May Have

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R.F. Ohl offers superior HVAC services in the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Our team is made up of the best-certified technicians who can provide excellent HVAC tune-ups, outstanding repairs, professional installation, quality replacements, and more. All of our technicians possess superior knowledge and experience. Give us a call today and receive excellent service for your HVAC system.

R.F. Ohl can guarantee competitive heating and cooling services costs. Our maintenance services improve comfort and increase efficiency in your home. They also reduce heating and cooling expenses. If you need HVAC repair or a replacement system, our service techs will recommend the best system for your home while working within your budget. We also back our work with a guarantee of satisfaction. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call R.F. Ohl today for a free in-home estimate.

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