We have all experienced issues with our AC or furnace, when it is uncomfortably hot out and the air blowing from the vents comes out warm, or it is dangerously cold out and there is no air coming from the vents.
If you think you may be experiencing HVAC problems you may have one of the following issues:
-Hot & Cold Spots – Some areas are hot when they should be cool or cool when they should be hot.
-Pressure Imbalances – Doors slam by themselves or feeling a draft in certain areas (this is not a poltergeist, it is probably an airflow issue!)
-Little to No Air Flowing – If you can’t feel air blowing from your registers there is probably an issue.
-Warm Air Blows – If it is summer and you are running your air conditioner, but warm air is blowing through the register, there is a definite problem.
Often these issues are just a simple fix, on other occasions it may require a call to your local HVAC tech.
Here are 9 of the most common HVAC airflow issues and how to handle them.
- BLOCKED VENTS & REGISTERS
The above problems may be as simple as checking to make sure your registers are not covered up with furniture (or laundry or toys!) It may also be as simple as opening the vent, which may have inadvertently been closed.
No need to call in a professional on this one.
- CLOGGED FILTER
When is the last time you changed your furnace filter? Filters should be changed often, depending on your unit’s instructions or the usage. This could mean swapping out your filter monthly or quarterly. Verify how often you should change your filter and make sure you change it as indicated. Filters can become blocked with dust and debris, which can lead to the furnace working harder to do its job and it can damage your unit.
This is an easy do-it-yourself fix, if you catch it before any real damage is done.
- OBSTRUCTED UNIT
A very common AC issue is the condensing unit becoming blocked. The condenser unit is usually located outside, outdoor units can become obstructed by leaves or other debris that 5. have accumulated around the unit. Even indoor units can become blocked by other equipment or storage items. These obstructions can cause the until to overheat when it doesn’t have enough access to air.
If you caught it before any damage to the unit was done, move the items away from the unit or clean out the leaves and debris so the unit has access to air. Another easy do-it-yourself fix.
- BLOCKED OR LEAKING DUCTS
The air flow from the furnace fan goes through the duct system in your home and out through the register vents in each room. The dust the filter does not catch from the furnace winds up in the ducts. This dust can easily accumulate in the ducts and cause a build-up that makes the ducts narrow and can create ductwork that is too small for the capacity of your AC or furnace.
The ductwork itself can also develop cracks or holes that allow air to leak out, which reduces the airflow.
If you suspect a leak or build-up, it would be best to call your local HVAC tech to come out and inspect your system. A good cleaning or repair of the cracks or holes can solve the problem very easily.
- THERMOSTAT TROUBLES
Sometimes, airflow issues can be as simple as the thermostat. The device may be faulty or it may simply just need new batteries.
This is either an easy do-it-yourself fix by replacing the batteries, or for those handy enough to install a new thermostat themselves. Otherwise, if the batteries are fine and you prefer a professional to install a new thermostat a call to your local HVAC tech is in order.
- DIRTY COILS
THE AC unit has condenser coils, these coils release the heat that is removed from the rooms in your home. These coils are in the condenser unit. Units that are located outside means the coils are exposed to the elements and can get dirty enough that they don’t release the heat.
This one requires a call to the local HVAC tech. Having your AC unit cleaned and checked yearly, as recommended, ensures the coils to not get dirty and are cleaned frequently.
- LOW REFRIGERANT
If you have reduced airflow and notice that your home is not getting as cool as it should with the AC running, your unit may be leaking refrigerant. Slow leaks can cause a gradual decline in performance. Another reason to have your unit checked yearly.
Call an HVAC tech to check out your system to make sure the levels are where they should be and if there is a leak it can be repaired.
- AC UNIT IS TOO BIG
A few years back people thought that bigger was better when it came to the AC unit. We now know that a unit that has a capacity that is too large for the space it is cooling will run inefficiently. It will cycle on and off too frequently, which means the humidity is never properly removed from the area and it makes the space stuffy and uncomfortable.
If you think your unit is too big, a quick call to the HVAC tech for a unit check is in order.
- OUTDATED DESIGN
If you have completed home renovations without taking the HVAC system into consideration, you may have several issues including an oversized or undersized unit, improper duct placement, etc. With any major changes to the floorplan you may no longer be properly cooling or heating your home.
If you are going to make major renovations or you have just completed a major renovation check with an HVAC professional to make the necessary adjustments to your unit size and the ductwork.