An improper airflow can put you and your home in a complete discomfort. Interestingly, many homeowners face this problem but they never recognise it and even when they do, they don't have the necessary knowledge on how to fix the airflow problems. The reasons for improper air flow could be:

- Improper installation of HVAC appliances
- Blocked vents
- Clogged filters
Airflow problem, be it little or severe, can affect the comfort level and when fixed, you can enjoy a reduction in energy bills, increase in indoor comfort level and safety from any potential accidents.


Signs to detect poor airflow
So how, you, as a common homeowner, can detect poor airflow? There are some signs that can help detect that;
- Hot and cold spots in the home
- Draughty areas in the home
- Pressure problems
- Over time required in reaching the desired temperature
- Unusual sounds from the ductwork (usually of whistling)
 
Now let us discuss in detail the causes of poor airflow in detail.

Possible causes of poor air flow

Faulty Installation
We always recommend homeowners to go for professional installation particularly when it is about the costly HVAC appliances like Furnace, Air Conditioners etc. Energy Star claims that around half of the new HVAC units are installed by unprofessional people either homeowners themselves or uncertified techs. The wrong installation means high energy bills, compromised comfort, HVAC noises and what we are currently discussing; improper airflow. If you're about to install a system, choose professionals. If you're already done with the mistake of choosing the unprofessionals, don't repeat or drag the mistake further and call a certified HVAC tech to fix the loopholes in the installation.

Air Duct Leaks
Many homeowners never figure out that they are using a leaking air duct. The big leaks are though observable and suspectable, it is often times hard to find the minute leaks. The smaller the leak, the higher the velocity of the leaking air would be. And did you know that you could be losing 20% of the heat because of leaks and cracks in the ductwork? In order to check the leaks, take a toilet tissue, a piece of paper or a lit candle and move around the portions of ductwork where you suspect a leak. If the candle flickers or the paper/tissue suddenly start moving, there's a leak.

Know that you can always fix the small leaks using duct tape, or any other good adhesive tape. But for the big leaks, you may end up damaging the ductwork when doing a DIY. So better go for professional duct repair when it's a bigger damage.

Blocked Vents/Registers
Remember that an air duct is not just a pipe that brings you conditioned air. There are a lot of things that matter to make sure you reach a good comfort level. Every home has special needs and the ductwork is installed accordingly. The size of duct matters, the registers and vent style matters, the size of vents matter etc. So as the vents and registers get blocked for whatever reason, the entire system gets affected and thus the airflow is affected too. Be sure to not do any messing with the vents and registers like many people shut off the supply vents in unused rooms but this very practice itself adversely affects the system. Consult your HVAC tech before making any changes in the current duct and supply design.
Here's what can be done regarding blocked vents/registers:
- If your supply or return vents are hidden behind furniture, carpet or any other such thing, clear them of these hindrances

- Clean the registers and vents thoroughly using a soft brush to remove dirt and clogs

- When you're using a central heating/cooling system, it is always suggested to keep the interior door open to make a smooth airflow possible 

Dirty Filters
And this one goes without saying. Dirty Filters are the most common reason for the improper air flow. The dirt clogs the way and lets only partial air go through the filter. Clean your filters regularly to avoid the discomfort of improper air flow.

Dirty/inefficient/old HVAC components
While most of the times, the reason of improper air flow is one of those mentioned above, sometimes, it could be the dirty, inefficient or ageing component of the HVAC system that is the cause. You'd need to call an HVAC professional for diagnosis.

Let us remind you once again that improper airflow is a common problem that homeowners face. And it has the potential to bring discomfort to you if not fixed in time. You could be giving high energy bills, enjoying less comfort and decreasing your HVAC system lifespan if you're living with compromised airflow. So, fix it!



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