When it comes to your HVAC system conducting regular maintenance is important. As a homeowner, you do not want to get any surprises about your HVAC unit. Make sure that you check your air filters and other maintenance suggestions as recommended. If you notice a change in the airflow of your HVAC system, then you should look into calling a professional. They can come out and test your equipment to determine how strong the airflow is. How strong should air come out of vents? The recommended airflow for each room is typically 50 cubic feet per minute.
Let’s take a look below at what this all means.
What Is The Best Way To Measure The Air Flow?
Believe it or not, there are professionals available to help you measure the airflow in your home. Let’s take a look below at what they use to do this.
- Calibrating air balancing hood – Any vent grille that is flat against the wall or ceiling will have this tool placed over the grille. All of the airflow of the fan from the HVAC unit is then caught by the air balancing hood.
- Airflow traverse and an Anemometer – This is used to measure the air velocity. The airflow traverse can only be used on a long straight exhaust duct. Drill a few holes into the air duct and place the anemometer over the holes to catch the airflow velocity.
- Non-contact tachometer and a static pressure kit – Check the manufacturer’s fan performance table to determine the expectation of the fan. Measure the fan speed in RPMs by using a non-contact tachometer. Then use a static pressure kit to measure the static pressure of the airflow. Together the RPM and static pressure can be compared with the manufacturer’s fan performance table.
How Strong Should It Be?
Typically, the strength of your airflow is dependent on the system that you have installed. Each manufacturer has a standard when it comes to creating their units. However, the strength of the system can vary based on the motors and fans or parts installed. Airflow should be equal throughout the home.
The reality is that the airflow strength depends on the systems’ strength. The air in each room of your home should be changed over 8 times per hour. Typically, the smaller the room the faster your airflow will change. You can measure the airflow in cubic feet per minute. Most small rooms, like a bathroom, have an air movement of 50 cubic feet per minute (CFM).
What Prevents The Air Flow?
When it comes to HVAC there are many areas that could prevent airflow. Let’s take a look below at what those items are.
- Vent-blocked or closed – Vents are typically on the wall or roof of your home. Make sure that nothing is in the way of blocking the vent and that you can see through the grid.
- Closed damper valve – When a damper valve is closed it will prevent airflow through the ductwork. In some cases, an automatic switch will open and close the damper valve.
- Leaky ducts – If your ducts become loose or somewhat disconnected the air will escape from the openings and your airflow will be substantially reduced.
- Low air pressure – Clean your air filters or replace them. Dirty air filters create lower air pressure.
- Clogged duct – In some cases, rodents can get trapped in your ductwork. This will create a blockage of airflow. Also, over time, if your air filters aren’t replaced, dirt and debris will begin to build up in your ducts. This too will create a blockage or a clog.
- Misshapen flex duct – Some ducts are flex ducts and they are used to connect a furnace with air vents and trunk lines. If the flex duct does not stay expanded then the space inside the flex duct is smaller and slows the rate of airflow. The system has to work harder to push the air back through your vents because it is a smaller space.
Other Recommended Maintenance
Now that you have an understanding with regard to how strong air should come out of vents you can read up on if leaving your air conditioner on fan or auto is better. Knowing which mode is best for your home will save you money on your utility bill.
Next, be sure to study how long your HVAC system should last. If you aren’t conducting the proper maintenance on your HVAC system, then you likely won’t have your system very long. Always conduct the recommended maintenance on your HVAC system as suggested by the manufacturer of the unit.
Lastly, while you are getting your HVAC system inspected and serviced, this might be a good time to conduct all of the other necessary maintenance to prepare your home for the winter months. Having a checklist is a great idea so that nothing is neglected or missed.
When Do I Call A Professional?
Anytime there is a concern with your HVAC, you should always reach out to a professional HVAC service technician. Make sure that you are getting your HVAC unit serviced twice a year. Also, do your research and find out who is reputable in the local area. Call on your local home inspection team to get your HVAC system inspected during a full home inspection. They can give you a suggested list of repairs before any professional HVAC service technician tries to over-charge you for service.
If you are a homeowner that loves to complete projects, then it should be very simple for you to change your air filters on a regular basis. However, testing the airflow of your HVAC system requires specific tools and knowledge of how they work. It is recommended that if you are concerned with the airflow in your home you call on a professional HVAC technician. If you aren’t sure who to use, call on your local home inspection team. They will inspect your HVAC system and refer you to a reputable HVAC technician. Reach out to Blue Guardian Home Inspections for a full home inspection in Kendall, Kane, Dupage, and LaSalle Counties of Illinois.