Forced air HVAC systems make use of a fan and blower system to move heated or chilled air throughout your home. Damage to or obstructions within the system can reduce airflow and cause all sorts of complications for your HVAC systems, negatively affecting their performance and reducing your home's comfort levels. Understanding some of the most common reasons for poor airflow can help you determine how to best fix them.
Replace the Air Filter
The most common reason why your HVAC system may be suffering from poor airflow is if you have not replaced the air filter in a long time. Dust and other airborne particles can quickly fill up the air filter, preventing air from actually passing through your central air conditioner or furnace. Replacing the filter will only take a few minutes and should get things flowing again: if you don't have a replacement filter on hand, head to a hardware store with the old dirty filter to match the size to a replacement.
Another one of the most common reasons why your airflow is so poor is because of blockages of your vents. Rearranging your furniture or laying down new carpets can cover your vents and block air from moving out of your ductwork. Altering your interior design to ensure that your vents are not physically blocked, and that there is a clear pathway for air moving out of them to circulate, can help improve the comfort levels within your home.
Another common reason for reduced airflow for your air conditioner specifically is if the outdoor condenser unit has debris blocking it. Fallen branches, leaves and other pieces of organic debris can clog the unit, reducing how well it can pull air into your home. Removing the grill cover and physically blowing or picking out all leaves and branches inside should improve overall airflow: a professional cleaning may be necessary to remove dirt and other caked on substances.
Finally, the last and most serious reason why your forced air heating and cooling systems may be suffering from poor airflow is because of mechanical damage to the fan and blower system. This can happen over time with age, or if your unit is not cleaned properly over time. Repairing the fan or replacing the motor is a job for an HVAC service professional, and in some cases depending on the extent of the damage it may make more economic sense to replace the unit entirely.