Solving Air Flow Problems in Your Home

Basic things that the homeowner can check to help air flow:

First and foremost, check your furnace filter to see if it is dirty and if so, remove the dirty filter and install a new furnace filter. Plugged furnace filters restrict air flow by creating a pressure drop. Next, walk around your house to see if any cold air returns have anything such as couches, rugs or cabinets obstruction the vent. If anything is obstructing the vent, then remove these obstructions so that the cold air return, which is an air intake, can draw in enough air. Last, but not least, walk around your home to check to see if all supply registers (heat vents that blows out air) are open. All supply registers should be open.

A popular homeowner misnomer, is that by shutting off certain vents through the house will cause other vents to blow harder. This simply is not true, because CFM (a measure of air flow, cubic feet per minute) is determined by the tubes diameter and only so much CFM can ever blow out due to the size of the round, regardless if other registrants are shut off Or not. Shutting down too many supply registers usually causes more harm than good by creating pressurization problems with the overall duct system, that in an extreme case can actually cause your furnace to short cycle on a high limit and hence increases the cost on your utility bill, while Working key HVAC components and parts to reduce their life expectancy. Never buy and install heat vent filters either, because these filters really cause pressurization problems too. If there is too much dust blowing out of the vents, then the best thing that you may consider is to have the HVAC system cleaned out thoroughly with the power vacuum / air sweep method in air duct cleaning by an ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America ) Member company. An average price for a 1 furnace home would cost between $ 400.00- $ 700.00 to do the job correctly, depending on where you live in the country and depending on the service providers cost to operate. Dirt causes 1/3 of our repair calls in reducing the lifespan of parts and an HVAC system is a circulatory system. So keeping the HVAC system clean will increase the life expectancy of parts, can improve air flow if all of the beer cans and construction debris that obstructs rounds are remove, reduce unsuitable odors that develops in the ducts if present and can improve energy efficiency of the The HVAC system in whole.

Some solutions that an HVAC company or contractor may suggest:

Very often in older homes, air ducts are sized incorrectly due to building departments in the past not emphasizing the importance of properly sized air duct construction and also by the fact that some builders wanted to save a buck to construct his own ductwork, rather than paying A heating and cooling professional to install the ductwork properly. In recent years, many building departments throughout the United States really have zeroed in on enforcing proper duct design, so in most newer homes indoor thermal comfort has improved drastically. Some of the things that your licensed HVAC company or contractor may suggest to you should you live in an older home that has air flow problems to drastically help improve air flow in your home maybe as follows:

– Let me tear out all of your ducts and start over! (That would be sweet, however in many instances that is just not practical due to cost, time and a big mess!)

– I can band aide your homes HVAC system by replacing your old inefficient furnace with an 80% AFUE 2 stage variable speed furnace equipped with the GE ECM motor. The GE ECM motor operates 30-40% more efficiently than a standard conventional multi-speed motor and sustains constant CFM even if your ductwork is undersized and restrictive. What this means is that vents that seem to never blow air with your inefficient old furnace will all of a sudden blow air after the new Rheem furnace equipped with the GE ECM motor is installed. The ECM motor also allows homeowners to qualify for a $ 50.00 EPACT tax credit that you can receive when you do your taxes, so even the federal government wants you to go for it!

– For some reason your home does not have enough return air openings to even allow enough air to enter the duct system at all! We need to build additional return air openings into your ductwork so that we can get additional CFM into the HVAC system so that your AC indoor evaporator coil can stop freezing. Good golly, you're paying more money on cooling not to mention the fact that your AC does not even keep your house cold enough! Let's fix that and add some new return air openings so that you can save some money on your utility bill and actually cool down this summer too!

– Let's go ahead and rip out the 4 "diameter supply runs and install 6" diameter runs so that we can circulate more air into that sun room!

– You know, your ducts amazingly enough are sized correctly, but all of the air is escaping into unfinished portions of the house, because the construction of the ductwork is very loose. Let's go ahead and seal up every trunk line connection, brace, seam and end cap with mastic duct sealant. By sealing up every duct connection on the entire system we'll see if we can blow those curtains side ways after all! No, just kidding, but the air will come out a touch harder, though as a result in sealing up the ductwork better and you will see a significant reduction in your utility bill because the system will only cycle half as often now.

– You know, for some reason all of your ductwork is sized correctly, but the return leg that is attached to your furnace is strictly undersized and is acting like a choke point. Lets rip this leg out and install a larger one with a greater dimension to let that air through!

– You know, your home builder really got cheap and should have installed 2 separate systems considering that your home is 3600 Sq / ft. Two smaller systems will actually cost you less on the utility bill to operate and will provide greater comfort. Save up some money and lets build that second system in the attic!

– You know, the most cost effective thing that I can think of that will improve your indoor comfort tremendously is to simply just zone your current system so that 3 different thermostats will control 3 different temperatures in your home. Depending on the brand that you select we usually can get this system installed from $ 3800.00- $ 6,000.00 depending on how fancy a system you want to have installed!

– You know that evaporator coil is completely plugged effectively restricting allot of air. The dirt builds up on the inside of the coil where you can not see it too well. Lets go ahead and have a power vacuum / air washing performed on this coil to truly and effectively clean it. Stay away from those $ 99.00 air duct cleaners that want to try and shop vac the coil, because that is just not effective in cleaning a coil correctly at all. We need to air wash all the way through the coil and not just on the surface to effectively restore and clean the coil properly. A power vacuum air duct cleaner will be needed to do the job correctly!

You see some of these band aide jobs will cost just a few hundred hundred dollars, while some solutions may cost several thousands of dollars, but in the end after the corrections are made, your utility bill will probably reduce a bunch and you'll finally have True indoor comfort that you did not have before. Many HVAC companies and or contractors will give you more than one option to consider as well, so that no matter what you decide to do, some sort of indoor air comfort solution can be achieved to at least improve your comfort situation. The best thing that you can do as a homeowner is to select an ACCA member heating and air conditioning company or contractor to ensure that your comfort specialist has all of the latest and greatest training, tools and professional assistance to best serve you as a customer. In the long term you will not regret it, because you will save some money on the utility bill and you will be much more comfortable in your home as a result.

Source by Mike Meincke

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