Furnace Air Flow Problems: What Are The Most Common Causes?

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One of the most significant issues with furnace airflow problems is that they can sneak up on you—they don’t always lead to erratic behavior or make odd noises. Most homeowners only notice low airflow issues when they receive an unusually high energy bill.

5 Common Causes of HVAC Airflow Problems

Airflow problems cause your heater to work harder than necessary to reach the temperature on your thermostat. Your heating bill will reflect that extra usage when this happens for a prolonged period. Please consult with a local HVAC service company to identify poor airflow issues and resolve them before more significant problems arise.

1) Dirty or Clogged Filters

Suppose furnace filters are only replaced occasionally. In that case, they can build up dust, pet fur, and other airborne contaminants that lead to clogged air filters, resulting in costly furnace repairs. Check and replace your air filters regularly to maintain optimum performance and keep your furnace in top shape.

Low airflow is only one of the issues a blocked or dirty air filter can cause, so be sure to check this before you call in a furnace repair. Air filter replacement is one of the easiest ways to maintain your furnace and prevent restricted air flow and mechanical failure. Filters trap dirt, dust, and other particles you don’t want reaching your furnace or indoor air.

If you need to know which type of air filter to buy, ask your HVAC technician when it’s time to replace your filter and which MERV rating you should look for.

2) Insufficient Air Vent Returns

Most homes feature a closed-loop heating system that circulates warm air throughout the house, keeping the temperatures balanced. If certain rooms don’t have the proper amount of air returns installed, it can cause them to pressurize, limiting air circulation and leading to imbalanced temperatures.

A properly balanced HVAC system helps reduce energy costs while maintaining a constant temperature in every room, keeping you comfortable through the coldest months.

3) Obstructed or Damaged Air Ducts

Due to several factors, older air ducts can become clogged, damaged, or develop other obstructions. Leaks, water damage, dust buildup, and loose insulation can penetrate ductwork and create a clog that compromises air flow in a furnace.

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Leaks cause hot air to diffuse before it can reach the air registers, resulting in a furnace that has to work overtime. This additional wear and tear leads to higher energy costs and unnecessary damage. A professional furnace inspection can test airflow performance and identify potential obstructions or damage. Regular return duct cleaning can also improve your indoor air quality.

4) Incorrectly Sized Vents

Installing ducts and vents requires proper sizing for the square footage, and if your ductwork is improperly sized, it can lead to unnecessary headaches down the road. If your ducts are too large, this can reduce airflow and prevent your home from heating properly. 

If the furnace is too large for your ducts, it can cause overheating, short cycling, and other issues that increase the need for furnace repair services. Be sure to have a professional HVAC technician inspect your ducts if you believe you’re experiencing restricted airflow or have trouble heating your home evenly.

5) Broken Blower Fan

Understanding the importance of your ducts is only one aspect of your furnace and heating system. The blower fan pushes the heated air through your system but can break down over time. Common furnace problems with older blower motors and fans are caused by overheating due to obstructed airflow. Other issues with blower fans can be caused by mechanical damage when components are bent, cracked, or worn down over time. A basic furnace tune-up can resolve these issues.

Service Patriots: Your Local Air Conditioning Contractor

Service Patriots has been delivering quality work in Southern Washington and Northern Oregon for over 20 years. We’re your trusted HVAC contractor for all your heating or cooling needs, furnace repairs, servicing, and furnace replacement. Reach out today, and one of our HVAC technicians will help you identify and solve any furnace issues or breakdowns you’re experiencing. We can also help you find ways to improve energy efficiency.

Your heating and air conditioning system works hard for you, and we aim to keep it running well so you can stay warm and cozy during the cold winter months.

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