Most heating systems in the area are forced-air furnaces, which generate heat in a single locale and then blow it through your home via a series of ducts. It’s inexpensive and effective, especially in towns with mild winters like ours. You may find it strange if the air flow out of one or more vents has dropped, but not think much about it. It doesn’t seem to be a huge deal. In point of fact, however, it can signal a serious problem. If you detect lower air flow coming out of your furnace, turn it off and call in a repair service immediately.
Why Is This a Problem?
Low air flow is a problem for two specific reasons. The first is that it won’t warm your home as quickly as it might, and force your furnace to work harder to do its job. That in turn will drive your monthly heating bills up, as well as put increased strain on other components. If left unaddressed, it can eventually cause a far more serious breakdown somewhere else in the system.
Above and beyond that, however, if the air isn’t moving, it means that hot air is trapped inside your system, and could quickly cause other components to overheat. That, again, turns a relatively inexpensive repair job into a much costlier one. The good news is that most modern furnaces have safety features that will shut the system off if that happens until the components cool off. The bad news is that it could create a condition called short-cycling, where the furnace turns on and off again rapidly, many times throughout the day without ever really getting the home warm. That can be incredibly hard on the system, and will eventually cause serious breakdowns.
What Causes It?
Low air flow has many possible causes, which is one of the reasons why you should always let a professional take care of repairs instead of trying to handle it yourself. It takes training and licensing to properly diagnose the source of the problem, as well as knowing what it takes to get it fixed. The cause usually boils down to some variation of one of the two basic causes:
- Something Blocking the Flow of Air. This can be as simple as a clogged filter or as problematic as a crimp in your ducts. It can also be caused by a breach in the ducts pulling air out of the system.
- A Lack of Power. A problem with the fan mechanism can cause the flow of air to slow down. This can indicate an issue with the fan motor (or possibly the electrical wiring powering it), a problem with the fan belt, or even an issue with the fan itself (such as a bent or broken fan blade).
If you detect low air flow in your furnace or heating system at anytime, shut it off and call in Intelligent Air Services immediately. We provide an array of quality heating repair services throughout the Austin, TX area.