If you have been having problems with your heater or air conditioner, then you might actually be dealing with a blockage in your ventilation system. Thankfully, there are some ways that you narrow down the location of such a blockage, such as the following steps:
Isolate Vent Covers
The first thing that you need to do is figure out which vent covers are getting fresh air and which are not. To do this, you have two options. For a more cost-efficient, yet less accurate strategy, you can run the central fan alone. For a little more expensive, yet more reliable plan, you can try turning on the heater or air conditioner.
Before proceeding down either path, you'll want to get a rough idea of where the air ducts are in your home. The main goal here is to identify branches in the ducts, so that you can determine where each room is located along the air duct.
For this to work, you need to turn on the central fan and then go around your house, checking every single vent cover. You should be able to feel a noticeable amount of air flowing out of each vent cover.
However, you might not be able to tell the difference or there might just be low airflow in general. Since the layout of the air ducts means that some areas of your home will get more flow naturally, you can't necessarily come to any conclusions about blockages based on this limited information.
If you want to go this way, then you'll want to close up every door and window that you can (even those leading from one room to another) and then crank up your appliance of choice. This will effectively allow each room to reach a certain temperature independently, showing which rooms are getting hot/cold air and which are not.
Once you've waited 20-30 minutes, you should go into each room and check to see how the temperature feels. Rooms that are getting air flow will have be much warmer/colder than they were when you started, while rooms with poor air flow will have barely changed at all.
Using Your Information
Now that you know which rooms you need to look at, you can develop an idea of where the blockage lies in the air ducts. If only a single vent cover is affected, then you can be fairly confident that the blockage is somewhere between that vent cover and the closest branch in the air ducts.
In fact, you might be able to reach the blockage yourself by opening up the vent cover with a screwdriver and reaching around gently with a broom.
If multiple vent covers are affected, then the blockage will likely be pretty deep in the system, which generally means that you will need to hire a professional HVAC service, like Butler Heating & Air.
The air conditioning unit outside your home needs to be taken care of if you want it to keep you cool for many summers into the future. During the winter, should the unit be covered? Do you really need to do anything to winterize the unit? Our blog will show you several ways for you to protect your air conditioning unit through the winter. You will learn how to build a cover, determine if you need to do any work to it and much more. Hopefully what you learn here will help you to keep your unit running well for many years.