Poor AC Airflow
What causes it and what you can do?
Poor AC airflow issues are among the most common HVAC problems. Airflow issues can result in hot and cold spots, pressure imbalances, ac not cooling, or low airflow from the vents. Ignoring poor ac airflow issues for too long can put unnecessary wear and tear on your system and lead to compressor failure or other AC repairs. The good news is that many causes of poor ac airflow have relatively easy fixes. In this article we will discuss what causes poor AC airflow and what you can do to fix it.
Clogged Air Filters
The air filter removes dust and debris from the air to keep it out of your HVAC equipment and ducts. A clogged, dirty filter will become inefficient and restrict airflow. Be sure to follow manufacturer's instructions to ensure the filter is the proper MERV rating for your equipment. As a general rule of thumb replace at minimum every 3 months but check them monthly and replace as needed during periods of heavy use. The best practice is to keep your system on a routine AC maintenance schedule.
Ducts deliver the conditioned air through the vents/registers. If the vents are blocked, then air will not make it through. To increase airflow through the vents, make sure they are open and there is no large furniture blocking them. It is equally important to make sure nothing is blocking your return vent either, to allow for it to properly pull in the amount of air needed.
If all vents are open and there is still not enough air, there could be an issue with the fans motor. The AC blower is located inside the air handler (inside unit) and can be the reason for poor AC airflow. The fan is responsible for pushing out all the conditioned air through your ducts and into your home. A sluggish fan will not have enough power to push out the air resulting in drastically reduced airflow. A dirty blower fan or a bad blower motor can cause a sluggish fan. It is best to contact a professional for AC repair to determine if it can be cleaned or needs to be replaced.
Blocked Condenser Unit and Dirty Condenser Coils
The condenser is the outdoor component of your HVAC system and is essential in releasing excess heat that is removed from within your space. Since the condenser coils are outside, they are constantly exposed to the elements and can become clogged with foliage and other debris. Dirty coils cannot release heat properly causing the condenser to overheat, so it is important to get them cleaned during routine AC maintenance. If not, then it will result in your HVAC working harder than it should and cause HVAC airflow issues. In between maintenance visits keep the area around your condenser unit clear.
Frozen Evaporator Coil
A frozen AC evaporator coil (located indoors) will block the air passing over your coils resulting in weaker airflow. There are numerous reasons for a frozen evaporator coil including a dirty air filter, blocked return vent, dirty evaporator coil or a refrigerant leak among other reasons. If you see ice then turn your air conditioner off and call for AC repair.
Your ductwork can develop holes or gaps overtime allowing for air to leak out negatively affecting the amount of airflow delivery to your home. It is best to schedule AC repair to have your ducts inspected to address any issues that may be contributing to poor airflow. Keep in mind ductwork issues develop over time, so if you noticed poor AC airflow all of a sudden then duct issues are most likely not the cause.
Low Refrigerant Levels
Low refrigerant issues are especially common with older systems that have not been maintained. Even if your system has a slow leak, it can cause a significant decline in performance and efficiency. Call us for a professional leak repair so we can test and repair the leak to get your system back up and running as soon as possible.
Have you recently remodeled your home without accounting for the HVAC design? If yes, the layout or sizing of the ductwork may no longer be able to cool your space properly. The size of the equipment itself could also be an issue. A good HVAC design requires more than just connecting ducts and installing equipment. Older units may be too large for the space and a larger unit is not the best option. A unit that is too big for the space would cycle on and off too frequently and cause poor airflow as well as leave too much humidity in the air, making it feel stuffy. On the other hand, a unit that is too small will be unable to cool a home properly resulting in higher electric bills. It is best to consult with a professional who can deliver quality installation to improve your indoor comfort.
Contact LA Construction, Heating and Air
One simple way to improve HVAC airflow is to keep your system regularly maintained. If you are noticing any issues with your AC this summer give us a call or contact us online for AC repair services. We also offer preventative maintenance plans and AC replacement. We will get your air conditioning system back up and running in no time.
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