Recognizing Airflow Problems With Your Heating System

Forced air heating systems provide a cozy, comfortable environment throughout the winter, but (as the name implies!) they rely on proper airflow. Disruptions to the airflow in your home's heating system can lead to a variety of problems, some of which may not immediately seem related to your ductworks or vents. In fact, many common airflow problems are initially misdiagnosed as issues with thermostats or other components within the system. Although you should always rely on trained technicians to fully diagnose problems with your residential heating system, there are some signs you can watch out for to determine if your home has an airflow problem.

Inconsistent Heating

The ductwork in your home is responsible for providing warm air to every room in your house. When your heating system was first installed, the duct system was designed and sized to accommodate your home's particular layout and size. Ducting systems which are not sized properly or which are suffering from leaks can lead to inconsistent heating or hot and cold spots. If you notice that rooms which are particularly distant from the furnace seem to be much colder, then it is possible that something is restricting your airflow.

Weak Airflow

For most HVAC systems, the blower only operates at a single speed. This means that airflow should remain relatively consistent, although it may vary a bit from room to room depending on distance from the blower. If you notice that airflow from your vents is weak or that it varies randomly, there may be an issue with the blower itself. Weak airflow can also be caused by leaks in your ductwork or even a clogged filter at your furnace. Whatever the case, never ignore a sudden or pronounced drop in the air output from your vents.

Changes in Your Energy Bill

Have your monthly heating bills suddenly started to increase? While there may be many possible heating problems that can result in your system running inefficiently and costing you more at the end of the month, these issues can often be traced back to problems with your system's airflow. When your heating system cannot provide the proper amount of airflow necessary to heat your entire home, it will run for longer than necessary and ultimately work harder to provide the same amount of heating.

A Reduction in Air Quality

Your home's HVAC system is also a filter for your home's air. When your heater is running, air is pulled in through your return vents and passed through a filter at your furnace. If a leak or restriction is causing a reduction in airflow, then you may notice that your home's air quality is worse than usual. This occurs because air is no longer being filtered and circulated through your home, which can cause a noticeable drop in your home's air quality over time.