Top 6 Reasons for Airflow Problems and How to Fix Them

Top 6 Reasons for Airflow Problems and How to Fix Them

Posted by
Ed Miller on Mon, Apr 29, 2019

Your home’s HVAC system relies on proper airflow to work at its optimal efficiency. When there is a problem with the airflow, your system will usually give you some noticeable warnings. You might find that you have hot and cold spots throughout your home. The vents in your home might provide very little or no airflow at all. The imbalance from an airflow problem may cause strange noises or stale air.

If this is unsettling, you will be happy to hear that most airflow problems can easily be fixed. However, if you let the problem linger too long, it can cause extra wear and tear on your system. And this could lead to component failures, including the breakdown of your air conditioner’s compressors. Here are six reasons why airflow problems occur and how you can resolve them.

#1. Your HVAC Filter is Clogged

If you have not checked your HVAC system’s air filter recently, this is the first thing you should check. A clogged filter can prevent air from flowing as it should and could cause the air in your home to become stale. When the dust and other debris stuck in the filter gets into your system, it can cause damage. It is important to check your filter at least once a month and replace when it’s dirty.

#2. Airflow is Blocked to the AC’s Condenser Unit

Your central air’s condenser unit is located outside of your home. If vegetation, leaves or other debris accumulates around the unit, airflow can be blocked. This can cause the condenser to overheat and possibly be damaged to the point of needing to be replaced. You can avoid this problem by keeping the area around the condenser clear and removing any debris that may accumulate within the unit. Just make sure that the system and power to the unit are turned off before you clean it.

#3. Vents or Returns are Blocked or Closed

The layout of the vents and returns in your home is designed to provide proper airflow to your HVAC system. However, it can be easy to forget where they are or for one to accidentally be closed. The next thing you know, one or more of the vents get blocked by furniture or drapes and the system’s airflow suffers. Keeping vents and registers clear will help maintain system airflow.

#4. Condenser Has Dirty Coils

When the coils of your condenser are dirty, it can have a detrimental effect on your HVAC system’s airflow. This causes your system to work harder trying to keep your home cool. It is a good idea to clean your coils at least once or twice a year if needed, especially if your dryer vent is located near the unit.

#5. Your Ductwork is Clogged or Leaking

The ductwork in your home delivers the cooled or heated air throughout your home. However, if dust or other debris has accumulated in the ducts, it makes it difficult for air to flow through. And if the ducts have small holes or loose seams, the conditioned air may never make it to the system’s vents. It is a good idea to have your ductwork inspected and cleaned every 3 to 5 years or sooner if needed.

#6. Your Refrigerant is Low

One of the most common causes of airflow problems is refrigerant leaks. The level of refrigerant is usually checked during your AC’s yearly tune-up. You can avoid this problem by making sure your system is properly maintained and serviced.

For problems with your home’s HVAC system and other airflow or ventilation issues, contact Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule service.


indoor air quality,



HVAC tips

Skip to content