If you’ve ever suffered from a lack of cool airflow in your home when it’s hot outside, you know how uncomfortable it gets. That’s why homeowners should know what factors contribute to optimal airflow and how to fix HVAC airflow problems when they pop up. To ensure proper airflow and home comfort year-round, check out our guide below.
Your Guide to the Top 5 HVAC Airflow Problems & Solutions
If you’re curious about which HVAC airflow problems you should look out for and how to fix them, you’re in the right place. This guide covers the top five most common airflow problems and handy HVAC troubleshooting tips every homeowner should know.
1. Clogged air filter
Air filters remove dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, and other contaminants from the air. Over time, these filters get clogged with dust, debris, and airborne particles that restrict proper airflow and airflow direction through the air vents and cause premature wear and tear on your HVAC system. Clogged filters also reduce the filtration effectiveness and result in higher monthly energy bills.
Clean or replace the air filter three to four times annually for optimal HVAC performance. If you live in a particularly humid or dusty area or have severe allergies, you may want to do so more frequently.
2. Low refrigerant levels
Refrigerant is a liquid located in the coils that absorbs heat from the air and cools it to maintain a comfortable temperature during warmer months. When refrigerant levels dip—often the result of a leak—your HVAC system won’t provide any or enough cool air.
After checking for any refrigerant leaks, contact an HVAC technician to refill the coils with enough refrigerant to provide cool air on-demand.
3. Malfunctioning thermostat
The thermostat is the control center of any HVAC system. This device signals the heater to run heating cycles or the air conditioner to run cooling cycles to reach the set temperature. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause the system to short cycle or stop working altogether.
Here are a few methods to fix a faulty thermostat:
- Make sure the thermostat is on and set to the correct temperature
- Replace any dead batteries if your thermostat is battery-operated
- Open the outer shell to clean any debris on the inside
- Recalibrate the thermostat
If none of these solutions fix the problem, contact an HVAC professional to help.
4. Dirty coils
The coils cool air as it passes over them. Just like with air filters, dirty coils are less effective in providing cool air and put unnecessary strain on the HVAC system. If left unchecked, dirty coils can lead to expensive repairs and installations.
Remove any built-up dust, dirt, and debris from the coils. Since the coils are sensitive, you might want to hire a professional to clean them.
5. Old unit
Sometimes, the only thing wrong with your HVAC system is its old age. Even if your system is well-maintained throughout its life cycle, years of daily use cause inevitable wear and tear. Eventually, the system breaks down and needs to be replaced to restore proper airflow.
All you can do in this case is replace the old unit with a new one.
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