man testing airflow out of air vent

4 Reasons Why Your HVAC System Is Having Airflow Issues

Has the airflow from your central heating and cooling system’s vents felt weaker than usual? Are you not feeling any airflow at all? These issues are quite common, and you may be able to figure out what’s causing the problem on your own. It requires a process of elimination to diagnose.

Follow these steps:

1. Are your vents open?

It always pays to check your air vents and make sure they’re fully open. Even if you think they are, someone in your household may have closed a vent without your knowledge. If you’ve recently moved into your home, it’s also possible that the previous homeowner or home inspector left some vents closed.

It’s also important to check your return vent. That’s the vent through which your system pulls air to heat or cool. Make sure nothing is blocking that vent that might block airflow into your system.

Once you know all of your vents are open and unblocked, proceed to Step 2.

2. Do you feel zero airflow from your system?

In other words, can you hear your system running but feel no air coming out of the vents? If so, then there’s most likely a problem with your system’s blower. If you feel some air blowing out of your vents, proceed to Step 3.

So what is the blower? The blower is responsible for drawing air from your home into your system and sending the newly heated or cooled air back out through your ductwork. This part can suffer from malfunctions or wear and tear, resulting in no airflow. You’ll need a technician to help you repair or replace the blower.

3. Does your system need a new air filter?

If you’re experiencing weak airflow, your system’s air filter may need to be cleaned or replaced (if it’s disposable). Remember that the more you use your system, the faster the filter will get dirty. Even if it’s only been 30 days since you cleaned or replaced the filter, if you’ve been running your system for several hours daily, it could already be clogged with dust. If there’s a thick coat of dust on the filter, your system will have a hard time pulling air through it.

Still having airflow problems? If you’re trying to run your air conditioner or heat pump, proceed to Step 4.

4. Does your outdoor unit have room to breathe?

The outdoor unit of your air conditioner or heat pump releases a lot of heat and needs room for ventilation. Ideally, the unit should have several feet of vertical clearance. You should also make sure that it’s not being crowded by weeds or bushes. If you want to build a barrier to hide the unit, try to use something that breathes, like a lattice, and provide at least 2 feet of horizontal clearance on all sides and an easy way for a technician to access the unit.

I’m Still Having Weak Airflow Issues. What Now?

If you’re still experiencing weak airflow from your HVAC system, then you’re most likely dealing with one or both of the following problems:

  • Your system is getting older and struggling. Once HVAC systems near the end of their lifespans, their performance gets worse. This can result in reduced efficiency, less heating and cooling power, and weaker airflow.
  • Your ductwork needs repairs or needs to be replaced. If your ductwork has never been sealed, you could be losing a significant amount of air inside your walls and attic through leaks. Alternatively, if your home’s ductwork is extremely old, it might have rips or pest damage that’s allowing air to escape.

HVAC Repairs in Arlington, TX

At Tom's Mechanical, Inc., our hardworking technicians are dedicated to helping restore comfort to your home. If you’re experiencing any heating or cooling problems in your Arlington, Texas, home, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at (972) 388-3669.

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