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Wall Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Bad Heater Airflow Can Lead to These Problems


When you’re chilly outdoors and come into your home, you expect—and deserve—to warm up thanks to plentiful hot air coming from your vents. It’s absolutely miserable to have just a trickle of warm air and be unable to get your home warm enough. 

Insufficient airflow through your heating system can have a variety of causes, and it’s important to address it, because it can also cause a variety of other problems. What are those possible causes, and what heating troubles could occur because of that low airflow? We’ll lay out some details for you.

How Bad Airflow Begins

There are four likely reasons why you might not be getting enough airflow through your heater and out into your home, and when a technician inspects your heating in Buford, GA they can determine which is the actual culprit. Any of these four issues can be fixed with repairs, so it’s unlikely that your whole heater will need to be replaced.

  • Clogged Air Filter: The air filter is the component that prevents dust, pet hair, and other debris from gumming up the works, causing damage to your heater, and recirculating into the air you breathe. If that air filter is packed with a thick layer of dust, however, it starts to cause problems. When your heating system tries to pull air through, it simply doesn’t get enough. Your air filter should be cleaned every 1–3 months, and you can do this simple maintenance job yourself.
  • Broken Blower Fan: As you can imagine, a fan only works well if it’s aligned properly and has all its parts. If your blower fan is off-kilter, out of position, or has one or more blades broken or bent, it simply can’t move air the way it should. The blower fan is a replaceable part, and if this is your problem, repair will be straightforward.
  • Blower Motor Problems: Just as a fan can only work well when the fan itself is in good condition, it can also only function when it has a working motor. Because motors have many moving parts, there are many ways that something can go wrong. A technician can inspect it and determine whether it needs lubrication, a new belt, or a full motor replacement.
  • Damaged Ductwork: Many things can cause holes or cracks in ducts, such as home improvement mishaps, pest damage, or simply the slow deterioration of time. If these unintended openings in your ductwork are allowing your heated air to escape to places where it’s not needed, such as your attic or between your walls, there just won’t be enough coming out through the vents where you do need it.

How Bad Airflow Causes More Problems

First, your heater will continue trying to bring your home to your desired temperature, even if it’s not able to direct that heat properly. This means extra energy will be used to accomplish the task, which adds up to extra costs when you see your next utility bill. Furthermore, all that effort adds to the wear and tear the system experiences, and that added strain can wear out components prematurely and even shorten the life expectancy of your heater. 

There’s another effect that’s even worse. In many cases, the low airflow you’re experiencing from your vents means that while air is being heated, it’s not being allowed to flow away from your heater. The heat builds up in your heater, which has mechanisms to trigger a system shutdown in case of overheating. As long as those mechanisms are functioning properly, it won’t burn out any components in your heater, which is a great reason to make sure you have annual maintenance to keep those parts in top condition. But it does mean your heater will shut down its heating cycles before it brings your home to the right temperature, making your not-warm-enough house even colder. 

Prompt repairs can eliminate the risk of these more-serious issues developing, so if you are experiencing low airflow, get professional assistance right away.

Reach out to Wall Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. for all your heating needs.

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