Air Flow Restrictions

Mar 30, 2020

Breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health.  And with more of us at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, including more of us working from home, having good air quality is more important than ever. However, a poorly functioning air conditioning unit can not only disrupt your comfort level, but it can also negatively impact the quality of air in your home. That is where proper maintenance of our HVAC system comes in. 

Having optimal airflow in your HVAC system is very important for many reasons. The amount of airflow distributed unimpeded can make the difference between a properly heated or air-conditioned home and hot and cold spots disrupting your comfort level in your living spaces. 

Airflow amounts can affect your home in the following ways:

  • Ability to cool or heat every room in the home uniformly without significant drafts or hot or cold spots.
  • Ability to maintain the desired temperature over long periods of time, such as during the night.
  • Home odors, especially musty and stale smells caused by still, stagnant air.
  • HVAC costs, usually resulting in increased power bills caused by the high amounts of energy required to force air past airflow obstructions and into the home.
  • Indoor air quality, especially the concentration of contaminant particles and microbes.
  • Indoor humidity levels, especially in wet or humid climates.
  • Length of time necessary to reach the desired temperature in the home. 

Why Air Flow is Restricted

When you do not have proper airflow with your HVAC system, there is likely going to be more than one culprit.  Potentially, there are many reasons for the airflow in your home to be obstructed. 

Here are some of those reasons: 

Blocked or Leaky Ducts

What happens to all the dust that gets past your clogged filters? It accumulates in the ductwork. A buildup of dust can be made worse by ductwork that is too small for the capacity of your heater or air conditioner. Ducts that are already too narrow can become easily clogged. 

It can be quite common for rodents, birds or insects to build nests in the HVAC ducts, especially if you’re in an older home or building. 

What’s more, the walls of the ductwork can develop holes or cracks where air escapes.  All of these ductwork issues cause reduced airflow for heating and air conditioning. 

Blocked Vents and Registers

If you want to increase airflow through vents it is important to make sure all vents and registers are open and not blocked by furniture. A vent that is blocked or closed is one of the most common causes for a room not responding to your heating/cooling system.

The first task should be to check the vents in the room for any kind of obstruction.  This can involve furniture, bedding, or even the damper itself being closed. If you find closed or blocked vents, clear them away and feel for airflow. If the air begins flowing, you are all set! 

This issue is quite common in an office building, especially when people don’t agree on the thermostat setting. Perhaps someone moves a filing cabinet in front of the AC register. Then you have compromised HVAC airflow. 

Clogged or Dirty Filters

The filter for your HVAC system has an important job:  to remove dust and debris from the air and keep it out of your equipment and your ducts.  If your filter gets overloaded and clogged, it obstructs your HVAC airflow. This brings about those annoying hot and cold spots and stuffy air. Debris in the equipment can damage parts, as well. 

Filters need to be changed often, depending on your unit’s instructions or the usage. This could mean swapping out your filter monthly or quarterly. 

Obstructed Condenser Unit

This is a common HVAC airflow problem and one that you can likely fix yourself. 

Air-cooled air conditioning systems have what is called a condensing unit, typically located outside or in a mechanical room.  Outdoor units especially can become impeded due to leaves and debris that have accumulated around the unit. Even systems in mechanical rooms can be obstructed by other equipment or storage items. What’s more, your system can also overheat when there is insufficient airflow to the air conditioning unit. 

Dirty Coils 

The AC unit has condenser coils that are responsible for releasing the heat that is removed from the rooms in your home.  The coils are in the condenser unit. Units that are located outside means these coils are exposed to the elements and can get dirty enough that they do not release heat. This results in your AC unit working harder, and hotter, trying to cool your living space. 

Your coils can be cleaned when you reach out to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning, the best HVAC company in the Tri-Cities. 

Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning — Your Exclusive Source for HVAC Servicing

With hot, sunny days just around the corner, this is the time to get your HVAC system in optimal condition.  Make sure your AC unit is ready to keep your living space cool and comfortable by letting our expert field technicians thoroughly inspect your equipment! 

Contact your premier source for heating and air conditioning in the Tri-Cities, Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning, at (509) 396-COLD (2653)