If you discover pockets of warm and cold air in your home or you’re wondering why your house is cold even with the heat on, then your furnace isn’t operating efficiently. You’ll need to know how to improve furnace airflow before winter strikes. Poor furnace airflow requires more energy to heat the home, which costs more money.
Don’t resign to just bundling up and accepting the status quo of poor circulation! There are many causes of low airflow in a home and there are measures you can take to improve airflow without calling in a professional, such as installing a booster fan. After diagnosing the source of your heating circulation woes, you can takes steps to efficiently heat your home this winter and determine what heating system is best for your home.
Causes of Low Airflow in a Home
In order to understand how to improve furnace airflow, it’s imperative to understand the main causes of low airflow in a home.
1.) Clogged furnace filters. The thickness of the furnace filter should be considered in the design of the ductwork. If the filter becomes dirty and clogged, the thickness of the filter will increase and alter the pressure of the moving air, restricting it and causing uneven or inadequate air distribution. This also might be the reason your furnace is not blowing hot air.
Furnace filters are graded by MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It rates the overall effectiveness of the filter on a scale between 1 and 20. A higher MERV rating means finer filtration, so fewer dust particles and other airborne contaminants like pollen, dust mites, fibers, mold spores, pet dander and bacteria can pass through.
Some of the common particles that filters are tested for include:
- Dust mites
- Textile and carpet fibers
- Mold spores
- Pet dander
- Tobacco smoke
2.) Excessively efficient furnace filters. Make sure you choose the right HVAC air filter for your furnace. The higher the furnace filter MERV rating, the smaller the pores are for air to flow through your furnace filter. Smaller holes can create bottlenecking as there is more resistance in airflow. The constriction in airflow can result in poor indoor air quality and put a strain the fan of your HVAC system.
Check to ensure your furnace motor is rated to handle high MERV filters. Change the furnace filter regularly because as it becomes dirty with particles, there is less space that allows airflow. Maximize the lifespan of your HVAC system with regular maintenance.
3.) Crushed, blocked, poorly installed, or disconnected ductwork. Ductwork is similar to the circulatory system in our bodies. Oxygen travels through our veins to every part of our body just like heated air travels through ductwork to every room in a home. Each duct is installed to deliver a certain amount of air to a certain space. Any alteration of the ductwork changes your HVAC system’s ability to deliver the correct amount of air to rooms in your home.
The farther air has to travel, the higher the possibility heated air will get lost along the way to its intended destination. Any crushed or partially crushed, bent, or kinked piece of ductwork could cause leaks in your ductwork, which translates to an inefficient HVAC system. Checking for damaged or faulty ductwork is an important step to solve room temperature problems.
Improve Airflow with a Booster Fan
If you feel like your furnace is struggling to heat your home, especially in rooms located far from the unit, there’s an inexpensive way to give it a boost of extra power. Installing a booster fan in your HVAC system ductwork will increase airflow to rooms that are struggling to get warm air.
A booster fan is a DIY trick that homeowners can use if they don’t want a complete overhaul of their ductwork. This device will increase airflow through your ducts and help balance the amount of warm air flowing into all of your rooms. The further away from the main fan a room is, the longer the air has to travel, and the increased likelihood that some warm air be lost.
Regular HVAC Maintenance Is the Best Way to Improve Furnace Airflow
It’s important to note that a booster fan is a short-term solution to poor airflow, but the need for this device is a sign you need to replace your ductwork. An HVAC pro should examine your entire furnace and ductwork system to find the deficiency. A furnace inspection cost is a small investment to maximize the lifespan of your HVAC system.
If the airflow problems start at the furnace fan, then quick fixes won't help your heating efficiency in the long run. Read over the HVAC maintenance pre-service checklist and then call the HVAC professionals at John C. Flood at (703) 783-0247 or schedule service online.