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What are the Best Ways to Improve HVAC Air Flow?

By Keith Koons
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of ways to increase the overall heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) air flow within structures, and many of them can be implemented without a major expense to the consumer. Ensuring that air ducts are clear of debris and that the vents are properly functioning is normally the first place to check, followed by ensuring that the compressor is generating enough pressure. Another common problem dealing with HVAC air flow is leaks or tears within the air ducts, and a quick repair will normally solve this problem. If none of these issues seem to be the case, it may be possible that the compressor or the actual cooling unit is too small for the dwelling they are installed on, so replacement may be the best option.

It is common for a number of issues to appear within HVAC ducts over a long period of time, and since it is near impossible to prevent, regular maintenance checks are necessary. One of the leading problems that consumers face with HVAC air flow is tears within the ductwork itself, which could be caused by anything from a protruding nail to a small animal that gained access to the crawlspace. If the damage is minor, duct tape can be applied over the torn areas to create a new seal, allowing the pressure to return to normal. Larger repair projects can sometimes be fixed by implementing a patch, while complex rips could require replacing the ductwork itself.

Poor ventilation can also adversely affect HVAC air flow, and if the ductwork is sound, then the problem may lie within the vents themselves. A common tactic is to close off any unused air vents to determine if the pressure increases within other areas of the structure, and if it does not, then there is likely a type of clog in the vent itself or directly beneath it. The easiest way to rectify this problem is to physically remove each of the vent covers and vacuum out any debris or dust contained beneath them, although more serious issues may require professional repair.

If the issue is a clogged compressor, there can be many causes. A clogged filter or damaged intake valve can reduce the amount of air pulled into the unit, and these areas should be inspected frequently for cleaning and maintenance. Eventually, the lack of air will cause the compressor to ice over so that no air can enter the device at all, and extended use within this state can permanently damage the motor within it. If the compressor is receiving a proper intake of air and the HVAC air flow is still minimal, then it is possible that the air handler is simply too small to cool the entire structure.

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