A Dirty Air Filter Is Among the Common Culprits of Restricted Airflow in Homes

When you are driving down the road and notice that your car is acting funny, you probably begin to mentally troubleshoot the problem. Did you put bad gas in the car? Are your sparkplugs acting up? Do you need an oil change? There are several reasons why your car might not be performing as it should. Similarly, when your HVAC system acts up, there are several things you might consider when trying to troubleshoot the problem. If you have inconsistent temperatures or issues with energy efficiency, poor airflow might be the problem.

Like your car, you depend on your HVAC system to be reliable when you need it. During the winter or summer months, most of us rely on our HVAC systems to deliver comfortable air throughout our homes. Depending on where you live, the season changes could place heavy demands on your HVAC system. If you have an airflow issue, it could lead to some uncomfortable temperatures. Diminished airflow means that cooled or warmed air from your HVAC system isn’t circulating your home efficiently. As a result, it can be too hot or too cold in your home.

If you encounter an issue with the air from your HVAC equipment, a dirty air filter is among the common culprits of restricted airflow in homes. Aside from dirty filters, there are a few other reasons why you might have an airflow problem. Let’s take a closer look at potential problems that could interfere with your airflow.

Dirty Air Filters


While changing your air filters regularly is part of required homeowner maintenance, many people can forget about it. As discussed, dirty air filters are a leading cause of restricted airflow issues. Your air filter is a key piece of your HVAC system that catches and traps dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens, and airborne particles. Your air filter is your HVAC system’s first line of defense that prevents dust, dirt, and debris from getting into your system and your home. A clogged or dirty air filter could create weak airflow from the vents in your house. Clogged air filters mean less efficient systems and usually temperature inconsistencies in your home. If you are experiencing the symptoms of weak airflow, the first troubleshooting step is to check your air filters.

Ductwork Leaks


The ductwork running through your home is the vehicle that moves air from your HVAC system to the rooms in your house. Depending on the age and material of your duct, over time, they can become damaged or begin to degrade. If your ductwork is damaged or has developed cracks, holes, or separated seams, air can leak out on its way into your home. Leaky ducts allow air to escape and decrease the amount of air circulating your house. Your ductwork can be one of the possible reasons for the inadequate flow of air. An HVAC professional can inspect your ductwork and repair any leaks that are causing airflow issues.

Dirty Ductwork

Aside from leaking ductwork, similar to your air filter, clogged and dirty ducts could also create airflow issues. Over time, your ductwork could become clogged with pet hair, dirt, pollen, dust, and other debris. Similar to the way sticks and rocks can dam up a river, accumulated debris in your ductwork could prevent air from flowing freely to your house. Ductwork cleaning professionals estimate that several pounds of material could collect in your system over a year. To improve airflow and unclog your ducts, you can have an HVAC technician or other professional do a thorough duct cleaning.

One of the best ways to increase the amount of air flowing into your home is through regular cleaning and HVAC maintenance. Regular maintenance can ensure that your system is running efficiently and that your ducts are leak-free and clean.