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Avoiding HVAC Airflow ProblemsAirflow problems can affect nearly all aspects of heating and cooling performance, efficiency and reliability. Your furnace, air conditioner, blower and ductwork are all sized and designed to work in concert with a precise airflow specification. In a typical home, at least 1,000 cubic feet of air per minute circulates through the system. Anything that diminishes that volume directly impacts monthly operating costs as well as household comfort.

Avoiding airflow problems and keeping system performance optimum involves attention to these issues:

Changing the filter.

A dirty, clogged air filter is the most frequent cause of low airflow—as well as the simplest to remedy. If you don’t know how, ask your HVAC contractor to demonstrate the process of replacing the filter. From that point on, replace it at least every other month with a quality pleated filter to support adequate system airflow.

Checking the vents.

Supply vents may be closed by someone desiring to reduce heat or cooling into a particular room. Return vents can’t be closed, however, they can be obstructed by drapes or furniture that block full return airflow. For balanced system air circulation, all vents in the house should be open at all times. Check vents occasionally to verify adequate airflow.

Inspecting ductwork.

Leakage in residential ductwork can increase to the point that many houses are losing well over 25% of heated and cooled airflow. Because most spans of household ductwork aren’t readily accessible, inspection by a qualified HVAC professional including a duct pressure test is required to determine the extent of air loss and pinpoint location of leaks. The contractor can then offer sealing options to return the system to optimum airflow.

Adjusting dampers.

Air dampers installed inside ductwork balance airflow into individual rooms. If a specific room lacks sufficient airflow and other possible causes are eliminated, an internal air damper may have loosened and gradually closed over time, shutting off the flow of air. This requires services of an HVAC service tech to locate and re-secure the damper.

For professional service to resolve airflow problems and restore system efficiency and performance, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).