- On June 5, 2019
Top 5 Causes of HVAC Airflow Problems
As the weather warms up, finding A/C maintenance in the Phoenix area and ensuring that your HVAC system remains functional becomes more important, as is knowing what problems look like. Most homeowners think HVAC problems begin and end with the central cooling (or heating) and its components. However, even if the A/C unit is operating, it can’t properly cool your home if the airflow is cut off in some way. Uneven temperatures through the house are a giveaway, and if unattended, the result could be higher energy bills or your system failing from excess strain. Understanding the common causes of HVAC airflow problems can help you keep your home cool this summer.
Clogged or Damaged Ducts
A frequent cause of airflow loss is obstructions within the ductwork running through the building. Dust builds up over time if unchecked, gradually forming blockages. Narrow ducts are especially prone to this since there is already less space for air to flow through. Ducts can also be blocked by birds, insects, or rodents building nests within them—this is especially common in older buildings. A related issue is cracks or leaks forming in ducts and diverting airflow. Either problem can be detected by a professional inspection of the ductwork.
Your A/C’s filters exist to keep dust and debris out of ducts and HVAC equipment and prevent clogging. However, the filters themselves can become overloaded and impede airflow as well, making the air inside your home feel stuffy. Regularly change filters, according to the manufacturer’s guide, to prevent clogging. Usually, filters should be changed every one to three months. Additionally, make sure the filter is not too dense for your system; this could also impede airflow.
Obstructed Vents and Dampers
Vents and registers throughout the housing output the cooled air circulated by the A/C unit, and a misplaced chair, shelf, curtain, or rug can block the opening. Additionally, for HVAC systems that are divided into multiple ‘zones’ for the building, dampers are installed to control which zones get airflow and which don’t. The dampers can sometimes get stuck in a closed position, keeping airflow out of the room; alternatively, dampers in unused rooms may be left open, diverting cool air away from where it’s needed. If you notice one part of the building is much warmer or cooler than others, check the vents and dampers for obstructions.
Incompatible HVAC and Ductwork
If you’ve recently renovated or had new ductwork installed, you may notice decreased airflow indoors. This can happen if you neglect to update your A/C unit in turn. The unit is designed and set with a given static pressure in mind. If the ductwork is too large, the A/C can struggle to maintain the necessary pressure; conversely, if it’s too small, airflow will be restricted. Consult a Phoenix home cooling company to have your equipment inspected in order to determine if this is the cause of your weak airflow.
Dirty Condenser Coils
Another way that the central A/C unit could be the culprit is if its components aren’t maintained properly, namely the condenser coils. These disperse heat taken from circulating air, typically into the outdoor environment. Because of how they work, the coils are exposed to open air and thus can accumulate dirt and debris. In urban areas, air pollution from automobiles contributes to this especially. As the coils are coated, more power is needed to properly vent heat, hampering airflow inside. Have the coils cleaned regularly to prevent this buildup—once or twice a year will do, though depending on where you live, more cleaning may be required.
Though there are many possible causes for HVAC airflow to get cut off, managing them is easy if you know what to look for and respond sooner rather than later. Don’t hesitate and let things get worse—contact Howard Air today for professional Phoenix air conditioner repair and maintenance.