If you're a new homeowner who has been in the home for a few months, you might notice that your heating ducts aren't putting out heat as strongly as they once did. This is a common occurrence for many heating systems. But the good news is that there are some small, yet repairable, reasons for this to happen. This guide explains a few tips to help you feel the air flowing out of your vents as strongly as it did when you first moved in.
Check and Clean the Vent Grills
If you have already checked your air filter and changed it if necessary, your next step is to clean the vent grills in each room. To do this, you'll need the following supplies:
- a pair of gloves
- a flashlight
- a screwdriver
- a wet cloth
Use the screwdriver to remove the vents from the ducts. Point the flashlight into the duct to check for obstructions like paper, dust or dirt, and then remove them with your hand.
While you have the vent out, wipe out each slit in the grill to clear it of dust and other allergen-causing debris. Then replace the vent with the screwdriver and screws that you removed.
Ensure the Butterfly Valves Are Set Properly
Butterfly valves are used to control airflow to particular rooms. These valves look similar to wing nuts and are located on the bottom part of the actual air duct. These valves can be toggled by hand, and if they are in the "off" position, the room receives little to no airflow.
Ensure that the butterfly valve is turned parallel to the duct. If you'd like to decrease the airflow, turn the valve perpendicular to the duct.
Check for Leaking Duct Seams
Leaking ducts can drastically reduce airflow because the air is going to places it shouldn't. Climb into the attic or go into the basement and run your hand along the seams of the ducts with the unit running.
If you feel air coming from the seams, cover the holes with metal foil tape. If you cant tell whether your air ducts are leaking, contact a professional HVAC repair company to inspect your system.
Now that you know some simple tricks to encourage stronger airflow from your HVAC unit, you may save a lot of money by performing these checks yourself. Ask your heating and cooling professional for more ideas on making your unit work more efficiently.