Tips for Improving Home HVAC Airflow
When it comes to the quality and cleanliness of the air in your home or building, air circulation — or airflow, in some circles — is a huge factor. It plays a role in everything from circulating air to all the needed locations in a space to regulating temperature and preventing buildups in your ducts, and understanding how your HVAC system manages airflow is important for grasping how it works in a broad way.
At My Buddy the Plumber, we’re happy to offer a wide range of air quality services as part of our HVAC programs, including home humidifiers and several others that may assist you in this realm. What are some tips we often provide to our clients on how to maximize airflow, and what are some ways our technicians may even assist in this process? Here’s a basic primer.
Why Airflow Matters
First off, let’s briefly go over why airflow is so important within an HVAC system to begin with. Air circulation is key in order to properly heat or cool a space — if the air isn’t moving, it can only go so far before it starts to become stagnant and ineffective.
In addition, airflow is necessary for distributing conditioned air evenly around your home or building; without it, you may experience hot and cold spots. Furthermore, if your ducts aren’t properly cleaned and maintained, airflow can also help to prevent the buildup of debris and pollutants in your system. Mold, for instance, can become a serious issue if proper airflow isn’t maintained.
Our next several sections will go over basic tips for improving airflow in your home or building.
Eliminate HVAC Vent Obstacles
One especially effective way to increase airflow in your ducts is to eliminate certain objects that may obstruct airflow — for instance, if you have a lot of shrubbery around your HVAC vents, cutting them back can help improve the flow. This process works both ways, too; remember that your HVAC system also prevents excess outdoor air from entering your home, so if you have vents that are blocked on the exterior by bushes, for example, your system has to work harder to do its job.
This also includes your indoor vents where air is actually circulated. If your vents are blocked by furniture, for instance, the airflow will be significantly hindered. Make sure to give your vents plenty of clearance so that they can do their job effectively.
Utilize Doors and Windows Intelligently
Doors and windows can be a huge asset to you in terms of increasing airflow within your home or building — but they have to be used properly. The ideal setup here is to create a cross-breeze where you open doors and windows opposite each other.
This works because air always flows from high pressure zones to lower pressure zones, so opening the windows on opposite sides of your home or building will actually create a good amount of airflow as it moves throughout your space. Be sure to close any doors you open as soon as possible as well — if you leave them open for an extended period of time, all the air will escape and your efforts will be for naught.
First and foremost, you should be aware of how existing ceiling fans in your home or building can help improve airflow. A ceiling fan with the blades in a clockwise motion will push air down, which is ideal in the summertime when you’re trying to cool off a space. Conversely, reversing the direction of the blades so that they spin counter-clockwise will create an updraft, which can help to circulate warm air in the wintertime and cool air in the summer.
Not only that, but ceiling fans can actually do a good job of helping your HVAC system as well: Having two fans installed on different levels of your home or building and having them run counter-clockwise will help to increase airflow, allowing your system to work more efficiently. Just remember to keep them clean so that they don’t become a hindrance to the air flow.
In addition, be sure to use your exhaust fans in places like bathrooms and kitchens to help remove pollutants and moisture from the air — this will also help improve airflow in your home or building.
Did you realize that many houseplants, such as peace lilies, Dracaena and others, actually serve as natural air filters? Not only do they help to improve the air quality in your home or building, but they can also help improve airflow.
They do this by producing oxygen and also absorbing various toxins that may be present in your environment, such as formaldehyde and carbon dioxide. They’re also effective at absorbing excess moisture from the air, which makes them a great option for humidifying spaces with poor airflow — especially when combined with an exhaust fan.
Regular HVAC Maintenance
Finally, standard HVAC inspections and maintenance appointments will go a long way toward improving airflow in your home or building. During these appointments, your technician will inspect all the vital components of your system and make any necessary repairs or adjustments.
By keeping your system well-maintained, you’ll be able to ensure that it’s running as efficiently as possible and that it’s able to circulate air effectively throughout your space. This will allow you to receive maximum airflow, which will ultimately help you save money on operating costs.
Don’t neglect your home or building’s HVAC system when it comes to airflow — especially since it plays such a crucial role. For more on how to maximize quality airflow, or to learn about any of our other plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.
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