Many homeowners don't fully appreciate the importance of airflow when it comes to the performance of their HVAC system and ultimately, the comfort of each room in your home. The fact is, if you have one room or many rooms that are less comfortable than others, it is quite possible it is an issue with airflow. Free airflow is disturbed by two basic forces friction and turbulence. What are some of the causes of poor or restrictive airflow in a home and how can it be improved? What is the #1 way to improve airflow in your home?
To find out the #1 way to improve to improve airflow, we will first discuss 5 causes of poor airflow. At Althoff, our goal is always to get to the root of the problem first then provide solutions to improve comfort, function and performance of your equipment.
5 Causes of Poor Airflow
5. Duct Work That is Improperly Installed or Blocked
This happens more frequently than you may think. Improperly installed ductwork may not be sized properly or may even not be connected correctly. We have seen ductwork runs that seem to simply and mysteriously end! More common is ductwork that becomes blocked through the years by layers of dirt and dust or even foreign objects like clothing and toys. These improperly installed or blocked ducts create frictions that restrict proper airflow and will negatively affect the comfort of a room.
4. Lengthy Duct Runs and Those That Contain Too Many Turns
Some installers just expect too much from their HVAC, installing lengthy duct runs or duct runs that have too many turns. These turns create turbulence that doesn't allow them to efficiently reach their desired destinations.
3. Too Few or too Small Return Air Vents
An efficiently installed and operating HVAC system with good airflow will both push air into a room and pull it out at the same rate. If too much air is being pushed into a room, it becomes slightly pressurized and uncomfortable. A frequent problem with rooms with poor air flow is that of having too few or too small return air vents.
2. Ducts That “Leak” Air
Over the course of the life of a structure, duct work can easily get holes or cracks from a combination of age, settling, and alterations to the structure. Duct work is often inadvertently punctured through nails. Like holes in a water hose, this leaking air can make the duct work and thus the furnace, much less effective in delivering treated air and in returning fresh air. It is estimated that nine out of ten homes have duct work that is leaking on some level. Depending on the number, size, and location of these holes, airflow can be dramatically negatively affected.
1. Dirty Air Filter
While the above issues negatively affecting air flow in your home may take the assistance of a professional to properly correct, the simple, most effective way to improve air flow is to keep your air filter clean by performing regular air filter maintenance. Air filters are inexpensive and easy to change on your own. Ideally, they should be changed bi-monthly. If you have gone to a more restrictive air filter to get cleaner air in your home, it may be too restrictive for your HVAC system. If you have found some rooms becoming more uncomfortable, you may want to select a less restrictive filter. We've put together a brief video that helps explain why this is such an effective and simple idea to improve airflow in your home.
Althoff Can Service Your AirFlow Issue
If you have areas of your home that never quite seem to get warm enough during our Chicago winters, airflow just may be the problem. Our technicians at Althoff Industries can check your furnace, airflow, and duct work to ensure they are working in harmony. If not, we will come up with a solution to resolve your airflow problem. Don't just keep turning your furnace higher and higher. Solve your comfort issues at it core cause with an HVAC airflow check and a call to Althoff Industries.