If you are experiencing an HVAC airflow problem, you’re not alone. Airflow issues are fairly common and hard to miss.
Depending on the nature of the problem, you could be experiencing:
weak, low, or no airflow coming through your vents;
warm air blowing out when it should be cool;
or uneven temperatures around your home.
Determining the cause of the problem is important in order to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency and to prevent a potentially more costly repair down the road.
Ready to get to the bottom of your HVAC’s system’s airflow issue? Here are some of the most common causes that could be behind it.
1. Incorrectly Set Thermostat
If you’re experiencing hot or warm air coming out of your vents when it should be cool air, your thermostat is the first thing you should always check. Sometimes people accidentally set it to “heat,” which easily explains the problem. Also, make sure that your thermostat is set to “auto,” as opposed to “on.” When a thermostat is set to “on,” it tells the fan to keep running whether the AC is cooling the air or not.
2. Clogged Air Filter
This is one of the biggest culprits behind HVAC issues. Air filters that are not changed frequently enough can get clogged with the dust and debris that they filter out of your ducts and HVAC equipment. A clogged air filter will inhibit the airflow through your HVAC system and cause uneven temperatures in your home, worse indoor air quality, and even damage to your HVAC system’s components.
3. Debris Obstructing the Outdoor Unit
If your AC condenser unit is located outside, it can become obstructed by overgrown plants, fallen leaves, twigs, and branches, or other debris that was blown into your yard by the wind. If AC units get too crowded and don’t have enough airflow, they are prone to overheat, which can then lead to airflow problems in homes.
4. Issues In the Ductwork
The ductwork is how your HVAC sends air to each area of your house. If your ductwork is leaky or obstructed, air could be escaping or inhibited on its journey to your rooms.
If your ductwork hasn’t been inspected in a while, it’s possible that it may have developed gaps, loose seams, cracks, or holes through which air is escaping. That would account for a weaker airflow through your vents.
A heavy buildup of dust can also impede airflow in narrower air ducts. Even birds or pest infestations can enter and nest in your air ducts, creating obstacles inside of them.
5. Incorrectly Sized AC Unit
This problem is more common amongst older AC units. That’s because these units were installed back when there was a common misconception going around that the bigger your AC unit was, the better. In actuality, if your AC unit’s capacity is too large for the space that it needs to cool, it will not run efficiently or cool the space effectively. If you’ve noticed that your AC will turn on, run for a few seconds, then turn off again, this could be the issue.
6. Refrigerant Leak
One indicator of a refrigerant leak is not only reduced airflow but air that is not as cold as it should be. In some cases, the air will even feel warm. If your HVAC technician determines that this is the problem, adding more refrigerant will not solve it--the leak must be repaired.
7. Dirty Condenser Coil
While your AC provides cool air for you inside your home, its condenser coil removes heat from the refrigerant, and then that hot air gets blown out of the unit. Problems occur when the condenser coil gets so dirty from dust and other debris outdoors that it’s no longer able to release heat. This, in turn, causes cooling problems with your airflow.
If your HVAC system is broken, running inefficiently, or simply out-of-date, see what ServiceOne Air Conditioning & Plumbing can do for you. We offer high-quality air conditioning services for your home or workplace. Our technicians have the skills, knowledge, and experience to deliver both preventative measures and effective solutions for your heating and air conditioning needs.