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3 Simple Ways to Improve Your Furnace’s Airflow for More Comfort

February 10th, 2013

Does it sometimes feel like your home takes forever to get to your desired temperature? The problem might not be with the furnace itself (big sigh of relief). It could be an airflow problem.

See, when your heating system can’t efficiently circulate your heated air throughout your home, your furnace has to run longer to get to the temperature you want.

This not only delays your comfort, but costs you more money as well.

Here are three simple solutions to improve your furnace’s airflow without needing to call a professional.

Unblock and clean your vents

Here’s a super easy way to increase air flow. Check the vents in your home and make sure none of them are blocked so they have room to breathe.

Vents are usually blocked by furniture or drapes. When vents are underneath your furniture or drapes, their ability to supply air to your rooms is decreased (costing you money and comfort.)

Also, clear the dust off the vents’ grills so that nothing impedes airflow (or spreads dust around your home for that matter.)

Change your filters and clean your return grill

A dirty air filter impedes air movement and makes it hard for your furnace to work efficiently. So, when’s the last time you changed your air filter? You should change your air filter whenever it is visibly dirty – so check it about once a month.

Also, if your air return grill is looking nasty, use a vacuum to clean the dust off the grill so air can move more freely.

Seal leaky ductwork

Snap on some goggles and a dust mask, it’s time to check out your air ducts.

Why?

Because, according to Energy Star, “About 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.”

Signs that you’ve probably got leaky ducts include:

  • Cold spots in your home while your furnace is running
  • Dusty rooms after turning on your HVAC system
  • Higher utility bills

To seal your leaky ducts, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn on your furnace.
  2. Locate your air ducts (look in your attic or crawl space)
  3. Feel along the sides of the air ducts so you can feel where hot air is escaping. Look for black marks, which are signs of leaks. (Typical places you’ll find leaks are connections at vents and registers where they meet the floor, walls and ceiling.)
  4. Seal with mastic-type sealant. Do NOT use duct tape. Even though it’s called “duct” tape, it’s not a long-term solution to sealing air ducts

Some ductwork is hard to reach and requires calling a professional technician to clean them.

Proper airflow is essential to the comfort of your home and efficiency of your furnace. These tips will help you solve many airflow problems in your home. But if you are still having problems with your furnace, it may be time to contact a professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Service Champions helps East Bay, San Jose and Sacramento homeowners keep comfortable, safe and healthy. Contact us online for more information.

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