You can easily tell when a home in Cocoa, FL, has an airflow problem. The air is often sticky, feels uncomfortable, and may even smell musty. Beyond your comfort, why is it important to ensure air can flow effectively throughout your home and HVAC system?

Airflow Through Your HVAC System

To properly cool your home, your system must be able to circulate air. It draws it through the filter, conditions it, and then pushes it back out into your home.

Any number of common restrictions prevent enough air from flowing through your system. These include dirty:

  • Air filters
  • Evaporator coils
  • Heat exchangers
  • Circulating fans

When any of these continue collecting contaminants, your system will have longer run cycles to achieve your desired temperature. These increase your utility bills and cause preventable strain-related furnace and AC repairs.

Circulation Around Your House

Beyond forcing air through the HVAC system, it must move throughout your home as well. The conditioned air must come up to have any effect on the comfort of your home. It must also pull unconditioned air toward the intake vents.

A change in air pressure creates the circulating movement in your air. The intake vents create a low pressure, while the output vents create high pressure. The pressure difference causes the air to move, keeping your home from stagnating.

However, any restrictions around those vents will throw the entire system off. Here are some of the best ways you can improve the circulation around your home and in your HVAC system.

Open Your Vents

Many people view their floor registers as a way to control the air flowing more tightly into a single room. While this may have some desired effect, it also throws the entire system off.

Closing a vent prevents the high pressure in that area, restricting the circulating effect around your home. Adjust your floor registers if you find the air is too cold or warm but be cautious closing them entirely.

In addition to opening your vents, be sure there’s ample room for air to flow into the room. Remember, the air must flow up from the vent, then out into your room. A register that’s tucked under furniture with no clear path for air movement prevents that air from circulating.

Use Ceiling Fans

Improve your airflow by running ceiling fans. These have a cooling effect over the summer, but they also help keep your air moving. While these will certainly help, they won’t make much difference if you have blocked registers.

Be sure your fan is turning in the proper direction for the season. The fan should turn counterclockwise over the summer. This helps push air down, providing the cooling windchill effect.

During the winter, flip the switch on the side of the fan to make it spin clockwise. This draws air up, helping move your heated air throughout your space.

Replace Your Filter Regularly

Your filters are one of the most important maintenance tasks for your HVAC system. Not only does a clogged filter degrade performance, but it also strains your system.

Plan to check your filter monthly so that you get a sense of how quickly it collects contaminants in your home. Ninety days is about the right interval to change filters, though air quality and filter type may change that timeframe.

Seal Your Ducts

Increased pressure in your ductwork is another consequence of shutting registers. Along with movement from loose ducts, the increased pressure may cause leaks in your system. Have a professional inspect and seal your ducts to ensure air is moving where intended.

Invest in Professional HVAC Maintenance

In addition to regularly changing your filter, routine maintenance is the best way to keep your system circulating enough air. Technicians clean the evaporator coil and circulating fan during an AC maintenance visit. They also inspect your air filter to see if it’s time for a replacement.

Don’t wait until your system costs more to run or needs preventable repairs. Call to schedule your HVAC maintenance with the professionals at Extreme Air & Electric, Inc.

Image provided by iStock

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