Signs And Causes of Poor HVAC Air Flow

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Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
Signs And Causes of Poor HVAC Air Flow

An HVAC system can ensure proper cooling in your NorCal house as long as it has smooth air flow. But air flow may be hampered if there are issues in the system. So, it is a circle where cause and consequence need to be monitored, for your unit to function well.

If you are able to identify the symptoms, you can tell when your HVAC unit is having air flow issues. It is also advantageous to comprehend what causes air flow issues so that you can either troubleshoot on your own, or call an HVAC technician when required.

Here are some signs that are indicative of poor HVAC air flow.

1. Less or no air from the registers

If your room feels stuffy, or if you put your hand in front of the registers and feel a barely-there trickle of air; it is a sign of air flow issues. Sometimes, the AC is running but there is no air coming from the vents at all.

2. Warm air blowing from the system

Your HVAC system must provide cool air through your air conditioner. If you feel warm air instead of cool air blowing from the registers, you are facing air flow problems.

3. Hot and cold spots around the house

Variation in temperature is an important sign of poor air flow. Although the settings on your thermostat are according to your desire, certain spots in the house feel cold while others are warm. Different temperature in different rooms (not by design) indicates bad air flow in the system.

4. Unequal air pressure

Sometimes, you may experience whistling noises, doors or windows opening and closing by themselves, or random drafts of air. This is caused due to unequal air pressure arising from poor air flow.

5. Compressor failure

Air flow issues that go unchecked and untreated for long, result in compressor failure. This is a majorly expensive repair for your system. You may even have to replace the compressor.

Here is a list of probable reasons that cause poor air flow:

1. Leaky ducts

When there are cracks or holes in your ductwork, all the expensive conditioned air escapes, causing less or no air to reach the registers in your rooms. You will face poor cooling along with hissing noises.

2. Fan issues

Air conditioner fans have a very important function. One fan blows air over the evaporator coil to remove heat from indoors, while another blows air over the condenser coil to expel heat outside the building. Dirt and debris collected on these fans will cause them to slow down. This will make it hard for your system to remove heat and humidity from indoor air.

3. Clogged filters

Clogged filters are one of the most common reasons for poor air flow. All the dust and dirt particles that get trapped in the air filters (in order to protect the equipment), also block the passage of air.

4. Blocked vents

Vents that have furniture blocking them, will have a problem blowing cool air into the room, causing unequal temperature spots.

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