What Causes Low Airflow in Your A/C?

air-conditioning-fansSpring is here, and with it comes the return of warm temperatures and the need to run your air conditioner. You’ve probably already done so a number of times and A/C usage is only going to increase as the mercury continues to rise. Now is the ideal time to spot any trouble your system may be experiencing. That gives you time to check for any problems your system may be experiencing, and getting them addressed before the stifling heat of summer arrives.

Generally speaking, anything that doesn’t resemble your air conditioner’s normal functioning should be cause for concern. One common symptom you might spot is airflow from your vents that is lower than normal. It may sound like just a minor nuisance, and it often is, but you need to get it addressed swiftly nonetheless. The longer it goes on, the greater the chances of serious damage to your system occurring.

Why Is It a Problem?

On the most benign level, reduced airflow still slows down the air conditioner’s ability to cool your home. That means it must work harder to do its job and costs you more money in the interim. More importantly, the added strain increases wear and tear on the system, making it harder to avoid a breakdown in the future and similarly raising the costs to you.

This can happen gradually over time, but it can also happen very quickly in some cases. When the air doesn’t flow with sufficient speed through your system, cold air tends to get trapped in the air conditioner itself. This often creates frost or ice on the coils – insulating the refrigerant from the air it’s trying to cool – as well as increasing the stress and strain on individual components. That can accelerate the problem, forcing your system to work increasingly hard and elevating the chances of a serious repair issue. The sooner the problem is identified and corrected, the better off your system will be.

What Causes It?

Low air flow can stem from a number of different causes, which is why you should never attempt to diagnose or repair the issue yourself. Only trained and licensed technicians can safely examine the system and determine the best means of fixing it.

Generally speaking, however, the causes of low air flow can be grouped into two basic categories:

  1. Impediments to the Air Flow. This means something is blocking the flow of air through the ducts. It can be a crimp or a blockage in the ducts themselves, or sometimes a breach pulling air out of the ducts. It can also be caused by a clogged filter.
  2. Lack of Power. This means a problem with the power source running the fan that blows the air through your ducts. That usually means the fan motor, fan belt or fan blades, though it can also mean electrical problems like frayed wires interfering with the power.

If you’re having problems with the air flow in your A/C here in Tigard, OR, contact The Clean Air Act for high quality repairs.

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