Dealing With Central A/C Air Flow Issues

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Dealing With Central A/C Air Flow Issues

Dealing With Central A/C Air Flow Issues

30 October 2015
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Good air flow lies at the cornerstone of your central air conditioning system's operation. Without it, the conditioned air your central A/C produces wouldn't be able to circulate throughout your home. Poor air flow issues can be caused by a variety of common problems. In fact, the following shows how you can resolve your A/C system's air flow problems by fixing these common issues:

Check Your Vent Registers

In homes without zoned climate control systems, closing vent registers is often the go-to method for moderating temperatures on a room-by-room basis. However, it's all too easy to forget that you've closed one or more of these vents. So when you suddenly realize there's little to no cool air coming through these vents, it's easy to assume that another problem somewhere is causing this issue.

So before you do anything else, it's a good idea to make sure your vent registers are in the fully open position. With all of the vent registers open, you can determine whether there are problems elsewhere within the central A/C system.

Replace That Clogged Air Filter

Your central A/C system's air filter serves as the primary line of defense against dust, pet dander, stray fibers and other airborne debris. As air flows through the return air vent, it also passes through the air filter, where various particles and pollutants become trapped within the filtration media. Over time, the air filter slowly but surely fills up with debris until, one day, it becomes completely clogged.

A clogged air filter can put a serious crimp in your A/C system's air flow, making it harder for the blower fan to draw air into and push air out of the A/C system. Solving this problem is as simple as throwing the old filter away and replacing it with a brand-new filter of the same or better filtration capability.

If your A/C system happens to be one of the few that relies on reusable air filters, simply wash the filter with some mild detergent and let it dry before putting it back into the air filter housing.

Check Your Blower Fan

Keep in mind that weak air flow issues could also be the blower fan's fault. It's not out of the ordinary for the blower fan's motor to overheat or even burn out because of various stresses placed on the equipment, including the strained air flow issues caused by a blocked air filter. The fan blades may also be damaged by stress and fatigue or simply be dirty because a relative lack of care.

As you inspect the blower fan, there are a few things you'll want to mark on your checklist:

  • Check the fan blades for chips, cracks and other signs of severe wear and tear
  • Remove any and all dust and debris from the fan blades and assess the blades for chips and cracks
  • Make sure there's no looseness or play within the blower motor's driveshaft
  • Check all blower fan belts for signs of aging and wear, including glazing and cracking along the belt ribs
  • Make sure the blower fan motor is well-lubricated and free of any grinding noises

A Frozen or Blocked Evaporator Coil Can Also Cause Problems

When the evaporator coil freezes, the resulting ice formation blocks air flow through the evaporator coil fins. This can cause the A/C system to put out warmer air or prevent any air from getting through, at all. In the vast majority of cases, the cause is usually linked back to low refrigerant levels.

It's usually a good idea to let the evaporator coil unthaw for a couple of hours. Then you can have your HVAC technician take a look at the coil and check other components for refrigerant leaks. Afterwards, your technician will check and recharge the refrigerant to its proper levels.

Mold and mildew can also proliferate along the surface of the evaporator coil, causing the same problems as if the coil was frozen. In most cases, you can use a foaming no-rinse cleaner to help dissolve and remove most forms of mold and mildew. For more information, contact a business such as Bel Air Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning.

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What can your HVAC technician do for you? Some HVAC contractors perform tasks beyond the heating and cooling system work that they do for you. In fact, my HVAC technician does plumbing and even some electrical work in my home. I had no idea that the company offered this type of service until he made a few suggestions about improving the plumbing system in my home as he inspected my HVAC system to get it ready for winter. Find out what your HVAC contractor can do for your home here on my blog. When you've reached the end, you will know very well what you can ask of your technician and avoid contacting a second contractor.

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