Even if your furnace and air conditioner are in perfect condition, your HVAC system won’t give you the results you’re looking for if it can’t circulate air effectively. Low airflow may seem like a┬ásimple problem on the surface, but it can actually occur due to a variety of different problems in your system. Discover four of the most common causes of poor HVAC airflow and what you can do to resolve them.

1. Blocked Vent Registers

As is often the case, the simplest possible solution is the best place to start when investigating HVAC airflow issues. If you mainly notice weak airflow in only a few rooms, make sure the vent registers in those rooms are open. While the effect will be more pronounced in these areas, closed vents can throw off your HVAC system’s air balance and make it harder to deliver air to every part of your home.

You can accidentally place furniture on top of an air vent when you rearrange a room, and you may even forget the vent is there. Look around to make sure you have no unused vent registers in the problem rooms of your home. Make sure furniture, curtains, large potted plants, and other obstructions are a few feet away from all of your vents.

2. Duct Damage

If your vent registers aren’t the problem, conditioned air in your HVAC system might be lost or blocked before it ever reaches its destination. Duct leaks are one of the largest potential sources of wasted energy. In the average home, 20 to 30 percent of heated and cooled air escapes through duct leaks. In other cases, a dented, crimped, or undersized section of ductwork may create a bottleneck that restricts airflow.

Since the majority of duct problems occur behind your walls, you have no easy way to get a complete picture of your ductwork’s health on your own. Fortunately, a professional duct inspection can provide the solution. Duct inspection professionals can examine every section of your ducts to pinpoint problem areas and replace blocked or leaky ductwork.

3. Dust Buildup

Many homeowners have the impression that their furnace filter is meant to improve indoor air quality. While high-efficiency furnace filters can certainly perform this function, the main purpose of a furnace filter is to protect your furnace, air conditioner, and blower from harmful dust buildup.

Airborne dust is a threat to the sensitive mechanical and electronic components of your HVAC system. If dust is allowed to build up inside of your HVAC appliances, it may only be a matter of time before a furnace or AC breakdown occurs.

Dust is dangerous for your HVAC system because it’s an excellent insulator. A blanket of dust inside your furnace or AC will prevent heat from dissipating effectively and may eventually cause the unit to overheat. Dust that settles on electrical wiring and contacts can prevent electronic components from getting power, and it may even present a fire hazard by causing short circuits.

4. Failing Blower Fan

The blower fan is the part of your HVAC system that is directly responsible for moving air. A blower fan that is failing will often slow down and continue to run sluggishly before it breaks down completely. If this is the cause of poor airflow in your home, this may be due to dust on the motor, other failing components such as the capacitor, or simply the age of the motor.

Other signs of blower motor failure sometimes appear along with reduced airflow. You may notice an unexplained increase in your energy bill if your blower begins to fail since it will draw more power to provide the same level of performance. Certain problems that can slow a blower motor down produce jarring noises, so call a technician if you hear any sounds like motor grinding or squealing belts and bearings.

With these tips, you can stop camping next to your vents to warm up or cool off and start enjoying true whole-home comfort. If your home has poor airflow or other HVAC performance issues, call the pros at Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning.