If Your Heater or AC Has Weak Airflow, Here’s Why

White vent on the bottom of the floor near beige carpet and wall

As HVAC repair experts, we frequently get calls about systems with weak or absent airflow. While this problem is more likely to occur in older systems that have some wear and tear, airflow issues can occur at any time.

Below are some of the most common reasons why you may be experiencing weak airflow from your central heating and cooling system.

1. Your vents aren’t open all the way.

One of our customers had recently moved into a new home and noticed that one of the rooms was always much hotter than the others. Upon further inspection, it turns out that the vent in that room had been closed by the previous homeowner.

Even if you think all of your vents are open, it pays to double-check. You can adjust the vent’s grills by moving the lever on the vent cover up and down or side to side.

2. The air filter is clogged with dust.

An overly dirty air filter can suffocate your HVAC system. If your system uses disposable filters, they should be replaced every 30 to 90 days. The more often you use your system, the faster the filter will get dirty, so make sure to check on the filter frequently during summer and winter.

3. The air filter is rated too high for your system.

Some homeowners want a little extra protection against indoor air pollutants, so they’ll buy air filters with high efficiency ratings (or MERV ratings). The higher the rating, the more particles the filter can catch.

The downside is that filters with higher efficiency ratings will restrict airflow through your system more than filters with lower ratings. For this reason, check to see the highest filter rating your system can handle. You can get this information by checking the owner’s manual or contacting the manufacturer.

4. Your outdoor unit is too crowded.

When plants, a wall, or other debris are too close to your air conditioner’s outdoor unit, your AC will struggle to release heat and perform efficiently. This, in turn, can negatively affect the system’s airflow. It’s especially important for the unit to have several feet of overhead clearance, which is why it’s a bad idea to install your AC in the crawl space or below a deck.

5. The blower motor is malfunctioning.

The blower motor is a crucial component in your HVAC system. It sucks in air from your home so that it can be cooled or warmed and then sends that air back out to your home via your ductwork. Typically, when you feel no airflow at all, but other parts of your system still turn on, the problem is the blower motor.

6. Your air ducts need to be repaired or replaced.

When people think about their central heating and cooling systems, they often forget one of the most important parts: the ductwork. Before air comes out of the vents on your walls, floor, or ceiling, it needs to travel through your air ducts. If your air ducts are full of gaps, rips, or holes, a lot of the air you should be getting in your rooms will end up inside your walls instead.

7. Your HVAC system is getting older.

As heating and cooling systems age, their performance gets worse, and their energy usage goes up. Weak airflow can be a sign that your aging system is struggling to heat or cool your home. Once you replace the system, you should experience the stronger airflow that you’re used to—along with lower energy bills.

Santa Clarita HVAC Service

At JC Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, we pride ourselves on providing honest, reliable, and top-quality HVAC services. Whether you need help with your home’s heater, air conditioner, or ductwork, our friendly technicians are ready to assist: (877) 959-4240.