When your air conditioner stops working during a hot July weekend, you can tell almost immediately. But there are 11 other months in the year, when the outdoor temperatures aren’t so severe. Losing a few degrees here or there might not be as noticeable. And what if your units appear to be running properly, but you start to notice other signs of a potential problem? It could be that you’re having an airflow problem.
Not catching an airflow concern immediately can lead to a host of potential HVAC issues. By the time you reach this awareness point, you’re ready to call in a professional, even on a Sunday, just to get relief. The truth is airflow problems are pretty common and can be avoidable in some instances. Recognizing these five signs early on can help ensure you catch the airflow problem before it turns into a costly service call later.
1. Airflow Problems Can Result from Normal Wear & Tear
Recommendation: Schedule that seasonal maintenance visit for a proper unit cleaning.
There’s no avoiding some HVAC problems, including the occasional airflow failures that result from normal wear and tear. So, just knowing how old your unit is or recognizing how many years your ductwork has gone uncleaned can be reason enough to call in a professional for an inspection. All units, new or old, benefit from routine seasonal maintenance, which is your first line of defense against poor airflow and other mechanical failures.
2. Hot and Cold Spots Throughout Your Home
Recommendation: Change your filters.
Airflow problems can most commonly be the result of a clogged filter. This breakdown in how well the air moves through your unit can result in hot and cold spots around your house. If you experience fluctuating temperatures in various rooms of your home, it could be the filter is prohibiting your unit’s proper operation. It’s easy to forget about changing those filters on time, but it’s an oversight that can lead to these significant airflow and temperature fluctuations. If it’s been a while since you’ve changed your filter, take care of that now. If a fresh filter doesn’t resolve your airflow concerns, you can then explore other culprits.
3. Ductwork Blockages
Recommendation: Schedule a thorough cleaning of your home’s entire ductwork system.
You would be surprised at just how much dust, debris, and contagions get caught up permanently within your ductwork. Older homes might present with layers of old debris along the ductwork walls that essentially takes up space and can hinder how well air flows through to various areas of your home. And there is always the other possibility of a rodent or critter taking up residence in your ductwork somewhere, blocking airflow with a nest. You often hear about how clean ductwork is essential for indoor air quality, which is absolutely true. But blockages or airflow hindrances in your ductwork can lead to an airflow problem, as well.
4. Blocked Vents & Registers
Recommendation: Check every register and vent in your home to remove any blockages.
If you’re experiencing temperature fluctuations, room to room, you can always check your home’s vents and registers. When your house was built, the ductwork was designed based on the layout to promptly deliver air into each of the rooms in a strategic way. Blocking a register with a piece of furniture or clogging a vent with a child’s toy inadvertently can lead to disruptions in your airflow altogether. Even cold air return vents need to be free from coverage.
5. Pressure Imbalances within the Home
Recommendation: This usually warrants a call to a professional for an inspection.
If you notice that your interior or exterior doors slam closed on their own, you might assume it’s because there’s wind presence. But when you realize there is no direct wind source, it could be a sign of pressure imbalances resulting from poor airflow. Check to see if you’re experiencing little to no air from your vents, and then call a professional. You might only need to have your coils cleaned, or the squirrel cage within your unit cleaned. But not addressing the pressure issues when they arise can lead to more significant potential unit damage later.
Airflow problems can be common. To stay on top of potential problems, you can be mindful of these five signs of airflow issues. And if you can’t get to the bottom of it, let the professionals at Briggs HVAC help. Call and schedule your maintenance today, too. Preventing the airflow issues before they arise can help prolong the life of your unit and keep your home comfortable year-round.