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7 Causes of Low Airflow From a Furnace & How to Fix

7 Causes of Low Airflow From a Furnace & How to Fix

Airflow is what keeps moisture from clinging to one area, or allows cool air or heat to get around your entire house so you don’t have to experience an uncomfortable temperature imbalance. There are a variety of problems that may be the source of the frigid or hot air in your home. To help you determine the cause of the temperature fluctuations, we have created a list of 7 types of problems that may be responsible for the weak air flow from your vents.

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Sources of Weak Airflow in Homes

Limited Number of Return Air Vents

Typical households hold a closed-loop HVAC system. When air is cooled or heated to blow into the house, the same amount should circulate back through the return vents so the cycle can continue until your desired air temperature is reached. If certain rooms have too few return vents to remove air, then the room will pressurize. This limits the amount of incoming air conditioner or furnace airflow. You can consult the knowledge technical staff at Snell to find out where you could use more return vents to improve the feel of your home.

Dirty Air Filters

Air filters are rated on a MERV scale from 1 to 16, where higher ratings indicate fewer contaminants can get through. The filtered-out pollutants include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Textile and carpet fibers
  • Mold spores
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Bacteria
  • Tobacco smoke

Most residential filters can handle a filter with a MERV rating of 7 to 12. Unfortunately, when your system isn’t designed to handle these kinds of filters, the filters block air from coming into your system because of its tiny openings. This will cause you to experience weak airflow from vents that can overwork your HVAC system and jeopardize your indoor air quality, so discuss your best fit with one of our Snell professionals.

Low AirflowAir Duct Leaks

Air duct leakage can often go unnoticed because it’s often located in the far extremities of the house. If there is little to no air coming out of your vents, this is a sign of cracks or holes in your air ducts behind your walls and ceiling. Once a hole forms in your air ducts, the incoming air will start to escape prior to reaching the final destination in your house.

Closed Dampers in Air Ducts

Dampers regulate and direct airflow by blocking and opening duct pathways. They can be manually controlled by each damper’s lever or automatically controlled by your thermostat. It’s relatively easy to adjust manual dampers yourself once you find their levers on your duct system. With automatic ones, call a Snell electrician to determine if it’s an electrical error or if the dampers just got stuck.

Damaged Flexible Air Ducts

Not all ducts are made the same: rather than hard metal, some are flexible plastic insulation over wire ribbing. While more pliable, they are also more vulnerable to damage. Call Snell for quick, affordable replacement services when new parts are needed.

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Clogged Air Ducts

Air filters are very reliable—but aren’t perfect. Some contaminants will get through and collect on the inside of the ducts with moisture and pressure. This buildup will limit airflow and worsen your indoor air quality. Snell Heating & Air Conditioning can improve air conditioner and furnace airflow with our cleaning and maintenance services.

Poor AirflowBroken Air Handler

Your air handler’s blower and motors direct furnace airflow for heat exchange and ventilation. If their inner parts become bent, cracked, worn, faulty, etc. then the air handler cannot operate at its full potential. Reach out to Snell so we can transparently and efficiently inspect, repair, or replace our air handler.

Eliminate Weak Airflow With a Variable Speed or Two-Stage Furnace

If it seems you’re always dealing with furnace issues, consider replacing and upgrading your furnace with one of the options below to improve furnace airflow.

The Ways a Variable Speed Furnace Can Enhance Airflow & Comfort

A variable speed blower motor monitors and automatically changes its operational pace to better control/balance your home’s temperature and humidity. It will switch up the air circulation speed based on blocked vents, dirty air filters, or other common furnace problems.

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How a Two-Stage Furnace Can Enhance Airflow & Temperature

In a two-stage furnace: the first stage runs uses only around 60% of the furnace’s energy capacity in most weather. When outside temperatures drop dramatically, the second stage will switch on to heat your home sufficiently by evening out warm air distribution. Since this furnace usually runs on the low stage setting, it is energy efficient while making your home comfier.

Furnace Repair Services in VirginiaFurnace Repair & Installation Services Offered By Snell Heating & Air Conditioning

If you’re struggling to fix the weak airflow in your house, give our team of technicians a call by phone at (703) 543-9649 to create an appointment. We offer trustworthy plumbing and HVAC repair services for inefficient furnaces, malfunctioning water heaters, and broken air conditioners. Our team of technicians offers reliable furnace and air conditioning repair services in Arlington, VA and other areas such as Reston and Alexandria. Whether you have an electric or gas furnace, our skilled heating specialists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our heating and air conditioning services are backed by in-writing guarantees. Our staff offers reliable warranties and intuitive prices to resolve your problems.