Why Is HVAC Airflow So Important For My Home?

Man Looking in an HVAC Air Vent

For a forced-air HVAC system to operate well, both in heating and cooling, it requires proper airflow. In a typical home, conditioned air circulates at around 1,000 cubic feet each minute. As it does so it goes through filters, ducts, and vents. When things are working well, high energy efficiency can be expected, the operating costs will be low, components will have a good lifespan, and temperatures in the home will be well balanced. That being said, in many properties, HVAC airflow problems exist which can make things more than a little uncomfortable. One example is a home where temperatures are not even throughout the rooms, one room may feel cold while another feels warm.

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Why HVAC Airflow Is Important

Some reason why a home may have airflow issues are noted below:

HVAC Filters That Are Restrictive

image of a dirty furnace filter

Air filters are a necessity as they improve indoor air quality inside the home and also work to prevent damage to the system. Pollen, dust, tobacco smoke, bacteria, mold, and, dander are all things that filters can catch. Hence the health and wellbeing of the family are protected. However, usability does have its limits. When a build-up of dirt and indoor air pollutants makes them overly thick, the airflow is restricted into the system. A good practice is to carry out a monthly check and replace the HVAC filters when needed.

Make sure that you choose a filter that the system is capable of. Some homeowners may choose a filter that has a high MERV rating in the hope of improving the air quality in the home further. It is true that these are more efficient at catching airborne particles but they also restrict airflow more. There may be a need to adjust the speed of the fan to cope with this. Some of these high-efficiency fans will also need to be replaced on a more regular basis.

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HVAC Ducts That Are Leaking

Over the course of a few years, holes and cracks can develop in the HVAC air ducts. Poor quality material or issues at installation, as well as a pest infestation or excessive air pressure, can also be contributing factors. Studies show that somewhere between one-third and one-half of the air within the ducts ends up leaking into the home. This is especially an issue for rooms that are located furthest away from the unit.

For example, in the winter months, the hot air from the furnace may not reach these rooms. This means that even when the settings are put as high as possible in these rooms, they will still feel cold. This is a task for a professional HVAC contractor who will be able to locate the leaks and repair them. Give HVAC experts a call and they will be able to have any leaking HVAC air ducts sealed straight away.

HVAC Vents That Are Blocked

image of an hvac air vent that is closed

If a room in the house always seems to misbehave when it comes to the HVAC system, no matter what setting is used, the vents that lead to the space may need to be checked. Something may be causing a blockage. For instance, a piece of furniture could be in front of the vent. It may be fabric, such as an extra-long curtain that is causing the issue. The grates may have been closed accidentally. Once the obstruction has been taken away, you can check to see if it solves the problem. If there still is an issue, other things need to be considered.

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Closed Damper Valve

In each HVAC system, there is a way of regulating airflow. Damper valves are often what is relied on to either increase or decrease the airflow to specific areas. As well as this, they are able to stop airflow to rooms that do not require it. Manual control is possible with some of these while others work on an automatic thermostat program. If you are able to find the manual dampers you can check if the positioning is correct. You can use the lever to change them if required. If an automatic damper is not working correctly you will likely need to ask an HVAC contractor to look at the electrical system.

Ductwork That Is Not The Right Size

image of hvac ductwork

There are many parts that make up an HVAC system. All of these parts need to work as one to be efficient in their purpose. If some of the parts are not compatible, a problem will develop. One example would be ducts that are too big. This means that air pressure will be too low to be able to travel to the farthest parts of the property. You could compare it to trying to use a large hose when you just have a small faucet. On the other hand, if the ducts are too small you still will encounter significant issues as they will restrict the airflow. This means that an experienced HVAC contractor should be the one to design the ductwork by basing it on a scientific analysis of the home and its needs.

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A Flex Duct That Is Crushed

Air ducts make use of various materials. Thick metal is one popular choice since is it durable. Flexible plastic also is a common option, especially where bends are present. Whilst the latter has benefits, it can get damaged over the course of time. When a person steps on a flex duct by accident, the weight of the person can cause it to become crushed. Since it will now take on a flattened shape, the airflow will be more difficult. If you are able to access these duts you may be able to get them back to the original shape. However, if holes or cracks are present you will need an HVAC contractor to replace them as quickly as possible.

Return Air Vents That Are Not Adequate

When air goes to the furnace or to the air conditioner, it also must return. The system is a closed-loop one and the cycle needs to work as intended. If the air that returns is not sufficient, it can cause certain areas to have an increase in the air pressure. It can also cause a reduction in airflow. If this issue exists with the system, a heating and cooling contractor will be needed to assess the problem and rectify it. In the case where sufficient return vents exist but they are not operating well, the issue needs immediate professional attention.

 

Conclusion

HVAC systems need an adequate amount of airflow. Poor airflow shows itself in unstable temperatures and discomfort. An HVAC contractor will be able to identify the cause of the problem and ensure smoother airflow. This will result in much better temperatures and lower energy bills.

Call Tower Energy For All Of Your HVAC Needs

Tower Energy LogoTower Energy provides superior services, both for heating and cooling in Hartford County, Connecticut. Our technicians are certified, professionals and can provide high-quality HVAC repairs, installations, and replacements. All of our techs come with the right skill-set to service your HVAC the best way possible.

Tower Energy will provide the best service costs in your area, guaranteed. Your levels of comfort, as well as how energy efficient your system is, can be improved. If you need an HVAC replacement or repair we can advise you on the best one for your home and budget. We guarantee satisfaction for all of our clients. To book in for a service appointment, call Tower Energy today. We offer free, in-home estimates.

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