Published: January 24, 2018


Low airflow is a bit like having a cold; you experience difficulty breathing in enough air to fill your lungs. Similarly, an HVAC system with poor airflow experiences difficulty sending enough fresh air throughout your home. This makes it difficult to heat or cool your home to the desired temperatures, creating discomfort for you and your family.

Often, you’re able to solve airflow problems on your own, while some issues may require an HVAC professional. Proper airflow is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality, energy efficiency and overall comfort so make it a priority Here are some of the most common airflow problems and solutions you can try on your own:

Leaky air ducts

Leaky air ducts are the most common cause of poor airflow. Air ducts are meant to be sealed airtight to allow air to flow throughout your home. However, when your air ducts are loose, air escapes more easily and your HVAC unit loses efficiency. You can seal air ducts using approved mastic or sealant, which will result in a noticeable improvement in airflow throughout your home.

Clogged air conditioner coil

There is an evaporative coil made of tiny fins that absorb heat and cool the air in your home. Dust can build-up on this coil over time, which will reduce the amount of airflow your furnace distributes. Cleaning this coil on an annual basis will inevitably improve airflow.  

Dirty fan blower

The fan blower distributes air throughout your home and over time, dust can build up on the blades. This reduces the efficiency of the blower and prevents it from distributing air properly. Clean your fan blower on an annual basis and improve your home’s airflow.

Broken air ducts

Bad airflow may be due to disconnected or crushed air ducts. Typically occurring during installation, it can be solved by removing your air vent register and inspecting the ventilation line with a flashlight. If the line is disconnected and you can reach it, try refastening it with screws and sealing the joint. If the ductwork is crushed, you will need to remove the crushed piece and replace it. If you can’t see the point where the duct is disconnected, you may need to call an HVAC professional for help.

Incorrectly sized heating and cooling system

If your HVAC system is undersized or oversized, you may experience airflow issues. The size of your HVAC system should have been determined prior to installation and is calculated to figure out the correct amount of BTUs required for the size of your home. If you think this may be the problem, have an HVAC professional provide an HVAC load calculation to make sure you have the right-sized HVAC unit, or recommend a replacement.

Airflow issues could be a result of one of more malfunctions at the same time. Run through this list to find the source of the problem, then try solving it on your own first. If you’re still experiencing problems, schedule an appointment today. One of our trusted HVAC professionals will be able to identify the issue, perform the proper tests and provide you with solutions to provide the most comfort in your home.