Few home repairs are more stressful and immediate than a broken air conditioning unit. If the oven breaks, you can order a pizza, but if your HVAC system unit breaks, your family is miserable. Unfortunately, your HVAC unit might be malfunctioning. Have you noticed less air blowing into the home or air that’s not as cool as it used to be? If so, check out the following three common reasons your HVAC system isn’t performing as well as it should be, along with advice on how to fix the problem.
The Air Filter Is Old and Clogged With Debris
Your HVAC system’s air filter plays a crucial role in maintaining air quality in your home. This filter traps dirt, dust, and allergens from the air and prevents them from circulating throughout the rooms of your home. However, these filters quickly fill up with debris, especially during the spring and summer. Dirty air filters can restrict air flow and limit the amount of cool air that can travel from room to room.
Even if you want a stronger air filter to reduce allergens, talk to your HVAC system maintenance specialist about the right thickness for flow and air quality. Filters that are too thick can make the system work harder to push out air. Replace air filters at least every other month, preferably every month.
Your HVAC System’s Fan Is Broken or Malfunctioning
Image via Flickr by Mr. Jonny Pantz
If your system’s air filter is clear, the problem could be the HVAC system’s blower itself. The fan works to cool and circulate air that gets pushed throughout the home. If something has happened to the fan, then the unit itself can slow and reduce performance.
An HVAC specialist will check to see if dirt or items such as twigs and leaves have clogged the fan. If not, your technician will check for loose belts and wheels to make sure they turn correctly. Finally, your HVAC service specialist will inspect the motor. If these parts are running correctly, then circulation isn’t the problem.
Your Home’s Duct System Is Old and Leaky
If the unit itself is functioning correctly, then the problem might be in your duct system. Energy Star estimates that 20 to 30 percent of all air is lost in leaky duct systems. Your system may work great, but the transportation system from unit to room may be losing the cool air to the outdoors.
Look for certain signs when searching for weaknesses in your ducts: Are some rooms harder to cool than others? Are your ducts in hot spaces like the attic or garage? Do some vents allow air to blow through better than others? If the answer is yes, then your air is either getting stopped along they way or exiting into the wrong place.
Identifying the main problem is the first step when fixing poor air movement within your home, but many experts suggest running a full diagnostic inspection to identify potential smaller problems contributing to the main issue. With this inspection, your HVAC unit will be in top shape, and you won’t have to call the technicians multiple times each year.