How To Check Your AC For Obstructions That Cause Low Airflow

If your air conditioner is running, but the air output is low, there could be a number of things to blame. The problem could be something simple such as blocked airflow when it gets pulled in to the system or when it blows out. Besides that, there could be mechanical or component failures. While you'll probably need to call an HVAC contractor if the unit needs to be repaired, you can check on blocked airflow yourself. Here are some things to do.

Check The Vents

Go through your house and check all the vents where chilled air blows out. Make sure each vent is open and not clogged. If you haven't cleaned the vents in a long time, they might be dusty or clogged with debris. Dust out the vents and see if airflow increases. If you can see into the ducts, you should give them a quick glance as well. If a rodent chewed through a coil duct, the air may be leaking into your attic rather than flowing through the vents. If you see anything in the vents, such as bits of insulation or material from a rodent's nest, then investigate the ducts further.

Clean Your Filter

Another likely culprit of reduced airflow is a clogged filter. Pull your filter out and hold it against the light to see if it is full of caked dust. If so, change it right away. You need to change the filter regularly, or you'll have problems with your air conditioner. The unit could even ice over due to poor airflow. If a clogged filter was the problem, you should notice an improvement in airflow when the new one is put in, and your problem will be solved.

Clear The Condenser Unit

The problem could also be with the air conditioning unit that sits outdoors. You can take a look at it to see if the cage is full of debris or if there is ice forming on the coils. Before you do anything to the outdoor unit, be sure the power is cut off to your AC. Then, you can lift the lid and look inside. If you see patches of ice in there, the coils could be clogged up. You'll need to turn your AC off and set your HVAC on fan only so the ice thaws out. Before you do that, go ahead and clean the condenser cage so none of the fins are obstructed and the coils have debris brushed off them.

Once the cage is clean, the ice has melted, the filter has been changed, and all the vents and exterior parts have been checked for airflow obstructions and dusted, turn the AC back on. Set the temperature on the thermostat low enough so the cool air will kick in. Allow several minutes to pass for the unit to power up and start working properly. Then you can check the airflow coming from the vents. If the problem was due to an obstruction, it should be fixed now, and you'll feel a rush of chilled air coming from the vents. If there is still low airflow, call an HVAC contractor at a company like R & R Heating & Cooling of Polk CO Inc for repairs. The problem could be a malfunctioning electrical component or a problem with the fan motor. The contractor will assess the situation to diagnose and fix the problem, and then your AC will blow plenty of chilled air again so you can enjoy cool comfort as soon as possible.