Reduced or imbalanced airflow in your HVAC system results in hot and cold spots throughout your home in Venice, FL. You can tell your HVAC system has airflow problems if you have doors slamming when there are no windows open. In this article, we look more at the causes of airflow problems and how to rectify them.

Friction and Turbulence in Airflow

Friction and turbulence are the two main causes of airflow problems. It occurs when air rubs against the inner surfaces of the ducts. When that happens, the air loses its energy and flows slowly.

The friction in the ducts is dependent on their material, the speed of the air, the nature of installation and the level of dirt in them. For the air to move without so much friction, a smoother surface comes in handy.

Turbulence refers to the type of friction where air molecules rub against each other. Turbulence is more common in ducts and vents with 90-degree elbows. When vents and ducts have a curved edge, there are fewer chances of air molecules turning, rubbing against each other.

Dirty or Improperly Sized Filters

The thickness of a filter determines how effective it is in trapping dirt and letting air through. If the filter becomes thicker due to buildup of dirt, it slows the air that passes through it, causing inadequate airflow in some rooms.

Filters come with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. When choosing a filter, our HVAC expert checks the system’s motor to see the MERV rating it can handle. For home and businesses, you need a MERV rating of between 7 and 12.

If you pick a filter with a high MERV rating (which means it can trap even the smallest particles), your system motor may not handle it, and this leads to reduced airflow. When the filter gets dirty, it blocks airflow.

Blocked or Incorrectly Installed Ducts

During an HVAC installation, we configure a duct to deliver enough air for a specific room. If anything interferes with the configuration, it affects the ability of the duct to deliver the required amount of air. If the contractor who originally installed the ducts didn’t size them right, or the ducts block, crush or disconnect, they won’t deliver air as needed.

In the case of a blocked or crushed duct, there will be more friction and reduced air pressure. If the ducts disconnect, air will escape. When this happens, you will need our duct cleaning and duct inspection services.

Duct Leakage

Duct leakage doesn’t cause friction, it causes air loss. The small holes and cracks on ducts can reduce the flow of air in some rooms and reduce the level of comfort significantly. Energy Star estimates that about 20% of the air that flows in homes escapes through leaks and poor duct connections.

Your HVAC system loses its efficiency when air leaks in the attic or crawlspaces when you don’t need it. You need to seal your ducts to ensure there’s no loss of cool air in the conditioned areas and that hot air doesn’t escape from the attic and back into the conditioned space.

Insufficient Return Vents

The HVAC system’s configuration allows it to condition and distribute a certain amount of air to specific rooms. This same amount of air should return to the home for conditioning and redistribution to the rooms. If a room isn’t able to return the same amount of air it receives, the room might become pressurized and the amount of airflow received will be less.

To solve this issue, we can check the return vents to ensure they are enough. If the vents aren’t enough for the air a room needs, a contractor adds more.

Call Custom Air & Plumbing to request a free quote for any of our plumbing, indoor air quality, heating and air conditioning services, which includes installation, repair and routine maintenance. We’ll be happy to help.

Image provided by iStock

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