Proper airflow in an HVAC system ensures conditioned air reaches every corner of a home. If airflow is disturbed for some reason, parts or all of a house may become less than comfortable due to a lack of heated or cooled air.

Conditioned air flows through ducts throughout a home. When these ducts become blocked by dust or are improperly installed, it can lead to drastically decreased air flow. This is not the only source of airflow problems, but it is the most important one.

Friction And Turbulence In Ducts

When air flows through ducts, two forces act upon it, which can reduce airflow. These forces are friction and turbulence. Too much of either one can decrease the amount of air that makes it through the duct work to reach the home, especially areas of the structure that are farther from the beginning of the duct system.

The rubbing of air against the sides of the duct causes friction. The most common type of duct used in heating and air conditioning systems is flex duct. This type of duct has many folds to allow it to be stretched and bent into any needed shape. However, if these ducts are not stretched out tightly, they can generate a lot of friction and reduce airflow.

Turbulence is generated when air is forced to turn. Essentially, it pushes against itself, reducing its forward momentum. Turbulence becomes a problem if the corners in a duct system are not properly set up. Too many corners, or corners which use an elbow with a square edge inside the turn instead of a curved edge, generate a lot of turbulence and result in less airflow.

Other Causes Of Weak Air Flow

While too much turbulence or friction within the ductwork of an HVAC system is the primary cause of insufficient airflow, there are other explanations as well. One simple reason for reduced airflow is that air registers, or vents, are closed.

Clean Filters And Fans

Before you worry, check the air vents. One may have inadvertently closed. Another common problem that results in weakened airflow is a clogged air filter. Heating and air conditioning systems incorporate one or more filters to catch particulates as air flows through it, improving air quality in the home. As an air filter traps dust and other small particles, it becomes clogged. Too much dirt buildup on a filter can prevent proper airflow.

If the fans responsible for blowing air through the system are broken, then air will not be passing through the system. Even a dirty fan will reduce efficiency, decreasing airflow.

Maintenance Is Key To Proper Air Flow

Like most mechanisms, efficiency may be decreased by several factors. To keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter, inspect your filters, fans, and vents. Maintaining your HVAC this way can mean a much longer lifespan.

If you need assistance with yearly maintenance, contact the HVAC experts at Emergency Air. Ask us about how you can save money on monthly energy costs with regularly-scheduled maintenance.

Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency that has recently become popular across the country. Many homesteaders grow and preserve their own food and often make a lot of their own materials that they need to use in daily living. Those who choose to live this way of life help make a positive impact on the environment by using less energy and save money by not having to depend on electricity or other energy sources.

Heating & Cooling Options for Homesteaders

Whether you are looking to live a life of self-sufficiency or you are just interested in alternative heating and cooling options, here’s what you need to know about off-grid heating and cooling.

Adequate insulation is vital.

No matter what method you are using to cool or heat your home, it is important to make sure that your house is well-insulated to prevent energy waste. When air can escape through cracks and leaks that have not been sealed, this causes heat and cool air loss which can impact the temperature in your home causing your heating or cooling source to have to work harder in order to keep your home an optimal temperature. Replacing old insulation and sealing any areas where air can escape allows you to heat or cool your home more efficiently, which is vital for those who want to live off-grid.

Many alternative heating and cooling options use solar power.

Many of the alternative heating and cooling options used by homesteaders are powered by solar energy. Passive solar energy requires design changes to your home to make better use of sunlight while active solar energy uses solar collectors, which transfer solar energy to air or water, which is used to heat the home. Solar-powered DC air conditioning units can also be effective, but they may require a significant investment  up-front.

You can implement some of these methods yourself.

Not all alternative heating and cooling methods require major structural changes or installations. There are many DIY options available to those who are interested in energy-efficient heating and cooling. Improving insulation and installing energy efficient appliances are just a couple of simple changes that you can make yourself. If you want to live completely off-grid, many of the DIY options will still require a significant investment of your time and money as well as some lifestyle changes to effectively implement long-term.

Weigh the pros and cons.

Just like any other heating or cooling options, there are pros and cons to each off-grid method. It is important to consider these carefully before you choose which method is best for you. Some things to consider include cost, ease of implementation, and any lifestyle changes you might need to make to incorporate this option. You also need to look at the long-term benefits and weigh these against short-term expenses or inconveniences.

Are you interested in saving energy and lowering your energy bills without having to live off-grid? Contact us today to learn about your energy-efficient heating and cooling options.