Common Airflow Problems with HVAC Systems

Airflow issues is one of the most commonly faced HVAC problems. It could be hot and cold spots throughout your space, pressure imbalance, no or low airflow from vents, or AC system blowing warm air.  You need to address the issue immediately without ignoring it.

Reasons for airflow problems:

Obstruction in condenser unit

Air-cooled air conditioning systems have a condensing unit, typically located outside or in a mechanical room. Outdoor units especially can become obstructed due to leaves and debris that have accumulated around the unit. Even systems in mechanical rooms can be obstructed by other equipment or storage items. Your system can overheat if there isn’t enough airflow to the air conditioning unit.

Vents and registers being blocked

Make sure all vents and registers are open and not blocked by furniture. This issue is quite common in an office setting, especially when people don’t agree on the thermostat setting! A filing cabinet might get moved in front of the AC register because someone is too cold. The next thing you know, your HVAC airflow has been compromised.

Ducts leaking or getting blocked

The dust getting past clogged AC filters winds up accumulating in the ductwork. A buildup of dust can be compounded by ductwork that is too small for the capacity of your air conditioner. Ducts that are already overly narrow can become easily clogged. The walls of the ductwork can also develop holes or cracks where air leaks out. All of these ductwork issues lead to reduced airflow for heating and air conditioning.

Filters getting clogged

That filter has an important job: to remove dust and debris from the air and keep it out of your equipment and your ducts. If the filter gets overloaded and clogged, it impedes your HVAC airflow, leading to those hot & cold spots and stuffy air. Debris in the equipment can damage parts as well. Be sure to change your AC filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions and your system usage.

Problems with thermostat

Something as simple as a faulty thermostat or even a low battery can be the cause of HVAC airflow problems!

Sluggish fan

Your HVAC system has blower fans that move the air through your ducts and throughout your space. If a blower motor is sluggish, that can impede HVAC airflow and cause the symptoms mentioned earlier.In some cases, the fan itself can become coated with grime which slows the operation and reduces airflow.

Dirty coils

The condenser coil releases heat that is removed from your space. Since it is part of the outdoor unit and exposed to the elements, the coil can get so dirty that it can’t release heat. Then your unit has to work harder trying to cool your space that results in airflow problems.

Refrigerant levels are low

If your air conditioner is leaking refrigerant, you are bound to notice airflow issues as well as reduced cooling. Typically slow leaks causes a gradual decline in system performance.

Notice anything irregular with HVAC airflow? You need to call an HVAC technician ASAP!

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