How Do I Improve Bad A/C Airflow?
What’s Causing the Blockage in Your Airflow?
Issues with airflow in your home are not something you would be unaware of. Chances are, if you’re having problems with airflow, you’re probably experiencing some or all of the following:
- Hot spots
- Stale air in certain rooms
- Your house isn’t cooling to the set temperature
The issue could potentially be in your ductwork and, unfortunately, if it isn’t addressed, it can lead to early failures, high energy bills, and even mold or mildew forming due to sweating duct systems. To help you improve your airflow and potentially avoid future damage to your heating and cooling system, here are 5 things you can check yourself.
#1: Dirty Air Filters
You’re probably well aware that you should be regularly changing your filter, but the percentage of people that are actually remembering to do it at least every 3 months is much lower than we would like. So think of it this way: a dirty filter is like a clogged artery; air cannot pass through a filter that is clogged so in order for your system to operate properly, it’s critical that you remember to change your filter. This is an inexpensive, DIYable fix that can really make such a difference for your HVAC system.
#2: Blocked Condenser Unit Coil
This is a common problem in a dysfunctioning air conditioner. Simply put, this means your air conditioning unit outside has too much foliage or debris surrounding it, preventing air from passing over your coils to remove heat from your home. Things you normally wouldn’t consider an issue – bushes, storage, dog hair, grass clippings, and dirt present on or near the coil – can block the unit’s ventilation, causing your home to overheat.
Make sure there are at least 2 feet of clearance around all sides of your outdoor air conditioning unit. The more room you give it to “breathe” and do its job, the better it can cool your home.
#3: Blocked Air Vents and Shut Doors
In spaces with multiple occupants who probably all have different temperature preferences, people attempt to adjust the temperature in their designated space by closing air vents and doors. While this may help each individual reach his/her preferred temperature, it also has an effect on the entire house and puts pressure on the HVAC system as a whole. Your central heating and cooling system is designed to circulate air throughout the house; it’s not just pumping it into each room.
Closing vents and doors affects the airflow to the rest of the house. As your system is trying harder to get air to those areas blocked by the closed vents, it can, in turn, raise your energy bills.
#4: Refrigerant Levels Are Too Low
Freon in your cooling system is in a sealed system of its own, so the only time you should really be adding refrigerant is if there is a leak or you are replacing a part in that loop. If your refrigerant levels get too low from leaking, your air conditioner will have circulation issues, causing the system to freeze up, ultimately blow warmer air, and increase your energy costs. Scheduling semi-annual tune-ups pays for itself in terms of lowering your costs and increasing your comfort.
You should regularly have your HVAC expert test and clean or service your system.
#5: Your System Needs to be Updated
This might be the last thing you want to hear, which is completely understandable considering the high cost of a brand new HVAC system, but if you are consistently disappointed with the performance of your current unit, you might want to consider this option. Over time, your system will naturally lose its efficiency in both cost and performance and will eventually need to be replaced.
If you’re unsure if your system needs an update, give us a call to see if your system could use some fresh legs. We will do everything we can to help you avoid a full replacement but if that is a necessity and we find that constantly repairing your unit will cost you more in the long run, then well will find you the best-priced system for your home. We will always do what’s in your best interest.