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The Top 5 Common Causes for Airflow Problems


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Is there too little air blowing from your AC vents? Are one or more vents not blowing air at all? These are the most common symptoms of poor HVAC airflow. Airflow problems not only compromise your home’s comfort, they can also lead to increased energy bills.

Here are five of the most common causes of HVAC airflow problems and what you can do about them.

Top Causes of HVAC Airflow Problems

Some issues, like a faulty thermostat, you can handle yourself, others will likely require a professional’s help.

1) Blocked Vents & Registers

Often the simplest explanation is the right one. Registers and vents should be clear of any obstructions including furniture, toys, and other household items. At the risk of prompting a “duh,” check to make sure the vent hasn’t inadvertently been closed! This is a problem you can definitely solve without the help of a pro.

2) Dirty or Clogged Filters

Surprisingly, you might also have an excessively efficient filter. Filters with high MERV (minimum efficiency report value) ratings are great for keeping out small particles, but they can also block airflow. Make sure the filter you’re using is the right one for your HVAC system’s motor. If you prefer the higher rating, simply replace the filter more frequently.

3) Blocked Condenser Unit

This is a standard problem you can usually fix yourself as well. Check your outside condenser for accumulated leaves and other debris and clear it all away. The system can overheat if there isn’t enough airflow to the unit itself.

4) Blocked and Leaky Ducts

Dust that gets past your clogged filters over time builds up in the ductwork, especially ducts that are too narrow. You might even have a bird, insect, or rodent nest tucked in there! The ductwork might also develop cracks or holes where air can leak out. Now’s the time to call in a professional to see if a good cleaning is in order or if you need new ductwork.

5) Low Refrigerant Levels

One of the most common problems we encounter, especially in older units, a low refrigerant level is usually caused by a leak. Slow leaks cause an incremental decline in system performance so you might not notice it until cooling is reduced. Call in a qualified HVAC technician to test for leaks, repair them, and get your unit back to optimal performance.

Bring in the Professionals

There are other reasons for airflow problems including an oversized unit or an outdated HVAC design, a common issue if you’ve recently renovated and/or added on to your home.

One of the best ways to mitigate HVAC airflow problems is to schedule regular preventative maintenance that:

  • Measures and tests airflow
  • Cleans or replaces air filters, fan blades, and coils
  • Inspects and adjusts motors, ductwork, and system design

To learn more about HVAC airflow problems and how to keep your system running at maximum efficiency in your Jacksonville home, get in touch with David Gray Heating & Air today.