When your air conditioner is working correctly, it provides consistent and cost-effective comfort. However, your AC can also be adversely affected by numerous problems, several of which have to do with poor circulation in the system. Circulation is integral to both the health of the system and the comfort of those who occupy the space it is supposed to cool. Maintaining strong AC airflow, therefore, keeps everyone happy, and allows your system to operate with less risk of an incident.
If you want to ensure that your AC will always experience healthy air flow, it is essential to learn how to identify the various issues that can threaten it. By keeping an eye out for the problems that reduce, impede, or otherwise negatively affect the air flow in a system, you can learn to avoid them and keep the system functioning at its best.
Below are five of the most familiar challenges that AC owners regularly experience with the airflow, along with an explanation of the factors that cause them. Keep this guide handy while using your system, and you should be able to ensure that caring for and maintaining it is truly an easy, breezy experience.
The Five Problems Most Likely to Cause AC Air Flow Trouble:
- Dirty Air Filters
Your air filters are responsible for keeping dust and debris from entering the system through the outdoor unit. As such, they tend to collect a lot of this unwanted material over time. If enough dirt or dust accumulates on your filters, they will stop letting in the air at all. As a result, your system will suffer from poor circulation. You should change or clean the filters (depending on whether you use reusable ones) at least once each month during periods of use. Changing out filters will help you maintain a steady flow of air through the system.
- Badly Installed Ducts
If ducts have not been put in correctly, they may prevent air from flowing freely through them. Improper installation can result in ducts becoming kinked, crushed, or even disconnected at specific points, all of which will prevent them from being able to circulate air through your home efficiently. The best way to solve this problem is never to have it in the first place. Ensure that your ducts are installed by licensed professionals who will take the time to install them correctly and if you own a house that already had ducts when you bought it then make sure you have them checked.
Leaks often arise because of shoddy installation procedures, but even ducts that have been correctly installed may be prone to the occasional leak. When a leak occurs, the air that should be flowing throughout your home will flow out of the hole(s) instead. As a result, the system will not be able to circulate air throughout your home the way it should, and the compressor may fail as a result. Have the ducts inspected each year as part of your technician’s regular service calls, and make sure you have any leaks they find fixed.
- Too Few Return Vents
Return vents are relatively self-explanatory: they exist to help the air in your home re-enter the circuit of your HVAC system once it has been pumped into each room. However, if your home does not have an adequate number of return vents, the air your HVAC pumps into it may never make it back. Instead, it will be lost through open doors, windows, cracks in walls, or other areas where your home is less than air-tight. Your HVAC contractor should be able to tell you whether your home has the proper number of return vents or not.
- Improperly Sized Vents or Ductwork
Finally, the size of your vents and ducts will have an impact on your system’s ability to circulate air efficiently. Sizing should be one of your HVAC technician’s primary responsibilities during the installation process, so it is imperative to choose a contractor who will pay close attention to this phase of their work. Always be sure to verify that your contractor is licensed to perform large-scale HVAC work such as installations by confirming that they have their C-20 license.
Keep Your AC Air Flow at Satisfactory Levels
Maintaining the correct amount of AC airflow throughout the system will help you avoid efficiency problems and premature wear and tear to important components such as the compressor. Be sure to review this guide often and ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to keep air flowing throughout your home as needed. Doing so will help you save more money on repairs and enjoy more predictable levels of comfort whenever you use your air conditioner.