HVAC Efficiency

How Airflow Affects an HVAC System’s Efficiency

What do you think the most overlooked component of a good HVAC system is – choosing an adequate location or picking the right thermostat? In many cases, it’s airflow. Without the ability to move air efficiently, your setup will be overworked and underutilized.

Resistance on Your HVAC System

When choosing a new unit, most people select one based on SEER rating. What they might not know is that these numbers do not factor in resistance from ductwork and registers. Even with a highly efficient unit, you might be losing a lot of potential from air restriction.

Recognizing Problems

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you have an airflow problem, particularly if you live in an older house. Three main symptoms signify an issue, and they’re easy to spot.

Cold or Hot Spots

Inconsistent airflow will cause certain areas of your house to be a different temperature than others. This is often more evident in homes with multiple stories.

Imbalances in Pressure

Have you ever had a door close or open when your HVAC kicked on? Door movement, whistling sounds, and drafty areas are all signs that your pressure is off due to poor airflow.

Reduced Air at the Registers

If it feels as if your system is just barely blowing, it’s a sign that something is not right. Air should flow freely from each of the openings in your home.

The Costs of Reduced Airflow

The biggest potential problem associated with poor airflow is cost, both short and long-term. When your system has to work harder, it’ll be wasting more energy every day. Let’s say that your average monthly power bill is $200. If your unit is losing 10% efficiency due to air restrictions, you’re wasting $240 per year.

It Can Harm the Unit

Perhaps the biggest cost of poor airflow is the damage it does to your unit. Under extra strain, the compressor and other components in your HVAC are much more likely to fail. If this happens, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in repair or replacement costs – long before it should be time to swap your unit.

Poor Airflow Is Less Comfortable

If your system can’t properly circulate air, you’re going to have inconsistent temperatures. Some rooms can be several degrees warmer or cooler than others are. In some cases, the flow is so poor that you must take additional measures; many people will resort to window unit air conditioners or floor heaters to make up the difference. This wastes even more energy by adding another component into the mix and still overworking the HVAC.

There Is Only One Solution

Unfortunately, the only solution for many homeowners is to replace the ductwork that is responsible for the problems. This switch is a big task, but it’s often well worth it. New ductwork will help increase the longevity of your equipment and help it perform the way the manufacturer intended.

If you need to replace your ductwork, it’s time to call in the experts at Cal Air Cooling and Heating. We’re ready to help you improve HVAC efficiency and costs.


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