What is the most common cause of poor air flow in a duct system?

Some particles will continue to pass through and adhere to the ducts due to moisture or static pressure. Over time, these small particles will build up and cause problems with air flow and quality. To avoid these problems, be sure to have your ducts cleaned by a professional. One of the most common causes of poor airflow is blocked ventilation.

To properly heat or cool your home, the air must not be obstructed. To see if there are any obstructed vents, look in the baseboards or ceiling. Furniture, bedding, and the ventilation damper could be potential obstacles to ventilation. If you find any vents closed or obstructed, you can clear the obstruction and feel if there is airflow, but if the vents are open and they still don't blow enough air, there could be a problem with the fan motor.

The Department of Energy informs us that the typical pipeline system has between 35 and 50% of leaks. This means that between 35 and 50% of the air destined to travel from the air controller to a certain area of the house does not reach its intended location. The air conditioning filter is responsible for removing particles such as dust and other allergens from the air, but over time it can become clogged. A clogged filter can reduce indoor airflow if not changed regularly.

If the air filter is relatively new and still clean, make sure you are using an air filter with the correct Minimum Efficiency Information Value (MERV) rating for your unit. Most leaks occur where the two ducts meet; you can place your hand near those joints to feel the air. Air balancing is a method for testing the HVAC unit to determine what is causing uneven airflow or negative air pressure. Once all the air the air controller is trying to produce has been accounted for, it's important to balance the duct system to ensure that each room gets the desired amount of air.

Each area that receives a measured amount of air should also be able to return the same amount of air to the system. You may need to schedule air conditioning repair services to remove obstructions and resolve any other problems that may be contributing to poor airflow. When your air conditioning unit distributes cold air to your home, the same amount of air must be reconditioned and redistributed. From dirty air filters to leaking ducts, there are many reasons why your air conditioner's airflow is weak.

As Dave Richardson of the National Comfort Institute explains in his blog article “The Building Side of the Duct System,” air leaks and levels of insulation in the home can contribute to poor airflow as important as the ducts themselves. As air circulates through the HVAC system, moisture and static pressure can cause airborne particles to adhere to the duct. When there are holes, gaps in connections, and other leaks, air escapes instead of flowing to its destination, causing a decrease in pressure and airflow. In a perfect world, it produces a certain amount of air, and that air is distributed throughout the house, so that the same amount of air returns from the house, is conditioned and then redistributed.

If your home's return vents aren't enough, the air conditioning process won't work efficiently.

Ervín Ferencz
Ervín Ferencz

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