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Must Improve Airflow

How to Improve Your Home’s Airflow for Better Efficiency and Comfort

Every HVAC system depends on its ability to circulate air through your Oak Ridge, TN, home. Discover why airflow is so important and the simple things you can do to improve it throughout your home and HVAC system.

Why Airflow is Critical

First, it’s essential to understand why airflow is so critical for your HVAC system to work. The system pushes air from the supply vents, creating high pressure. At the same time, it draws air in from the cool air return, creating low pressure.

This difference in pressure causes the air to circulate throughout your home. This is what makes your system evenly heat and cool your space.

Anything inhibiting that airflow disrupts the circulation. It also inhibits the amount of heated or cooled air your system creates. All of these reduce your system’s efficiency, driving up utility costs and increasing heating and air conditioning repairs.

Install a New Air Filter

Your system’s air filter is the simplest place to start to boost your home’s airflow. First, a dirty filter inhibits air from flowing into your system, reducing what comes out through the vents.

Additionally, you may have a filter that’s inhibiting how much air flows through it. When you use a filter that’s too dense, the system won’t create enough suction to draw it through the filter. Avoid using a high-efficiency filter, like a HEPA filter, as these filters choke most residential HVAC systems.

Check Vent Clearance

Check your vents to ensure air can flow properly from them. First, open each of the supply vents throughout your home. Vents closed in rooms you don’t use often still affect your system’s circulation, so be sure to they’re all open.

Next, make sure that each vent has enough clearance for the air to move into the room. Ideally, each vent needs at least 2 inches above and around the vent to allow for the proper pressure difference.

Fix and Seal Ducts

If you neglect your ducts, air will flow into unconditioned areas. Common problems include damaged, disconnected and leaky ducts.

Over time, vibration may damage your ducts, causing holes where the mounting straps hold it. Additionally, that vibration may cause the connections of old or improperly assembled ducts to loosen or come apart.

If your vents lack adequate airflow, you may want to have them inspected. Regardless of output, consider having your ducts sealed. Professionally sealed ducts ensure there’s no unintentional degradation of pressure in the system before the supply vents.

Use Ceiling Fans

Your home’s ceiling fans not only help make your home more comfortable, but they also help improve the airflow. Over the summer, the fan should create a gentle windchill, making the air feel about two degrees cooler. During the winter, it’ll help bring the warm air back down from the ceiling to where you’ll enjoy it.

For the summer, your fan should spin counterclockwise to push air down. Over the winter, the fan should spin clockwise to gently draw air up. You make this change by turning the fan off, then flipping the switch on the side of the fan housing.

Schedule Professional HVAC Maintenance

One key way to improve your airflow is to get routine professional maintenance. As your system runs, it collects airborne contaminants throughout your system, restricting airflow.

During a maintenance visit, a service technician deep cleans the heat exchanger, evaporator coil and circulating fan. They’ll test your system to ensure your circulating fan is operating properly and check the refrigerant in the system to ensure that it’s not low. This may cause freezes at your coils, further restricting airflow.

Make sure your HVAC system and home have enough airflow to effectively heat and cool your space. Call to schedule your HVAC maintenance with the expert service technicians at Melton Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Image provided by iStock

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