Not Enough Air Coming Through My Vents. Time For Furnace Repair in Ocean City, NJ?
Now that we are in the thick of winter, you are using your heating system pretty much all the time. One common problem we hear from Ocean City, NJ homeowners is that one vent may not be blowing hot air, or the air isn’t blowing at all! If that’s the case, this could be a problem with your furnace.
You may be able to fix this on your own without calling a professional, but it could also become a huge headache that may be easily fixed by someone with a little more knowledge.
In this article, we’ll look at four common causes for weak air circulation during the winter. We’ll let you know what you can do to try and fix it yourself, and when you need to call to make sure the problem gets taken care of safely and effectively.
Four Reasons Your Vents Aren’t Blowing Enough Hot Air
Four common reasons there isn’t enough hot air blowing out of your vents are:
- A Vent is Blocked
- The Air Filter is Clogged
- Leaky Ductwork
- The Furnace is Breaking Down
A Vent is Blocked
Just like many things in life, a blocked vent could have a trickle down effect. Obviously, it will cause problems in the room with the blocked vent, but it will also have a negative effect on your furnace.
Blocking a vent with a couch, bed, dresser, or another large object blocks the air from properly circulating in your system. In a lot of cases, that causes the heat to back up because it has nowhere to go.
When that happens, your furnace starts to overheat, and could then shut off.
In another case, you may be blocking a return vent. This means that not enough air is flowing back into the system. When this happens, there’s not enough air to keep coming back out.
Go around your home and check each room. Make sure each vent not only isn’t blocked, but has about 12 inches of room to pump the air out.
The Air Filter is Clogged
Air filters should be changed about every three to four months. If you have not changed your air filter in that time, this could be the issue!
An air filter catches dust and other airborne irritants from passing through your HVAC system. After so much is caught, it starts to prevent air from coming through the system. Not only is the air flow much weaker, but the air is also probably much dirtier.
The general rule is to change the air filter once a season or every three months. You may have to do it more often if you have pets or people in your home with breathing issues.
Ducts use forced air from your furnace to circulate heat. If there’s a hole, slit, or another opening somewhere in the ductwork, then you’re losing pressure.
This works that same as a straw. If you have a small hole in it, it won’t work as effectively.
If this is the case, you’ll notice less hot air coming through the vents as a result. The air is leaking somewhere, likely in your walls, and never getting to your living space.
This problem can be tough to identify on your own, especially if the leak is happening in a vent behind a wall. For staters, you can at least do a visual inspection.
Go to where your furnace is located, in the basement or attic most likely. Check out any exposed ductwork coming from your furnace. Do you see any openings?
When the furnace is running, you can also carefully run your hand close to the ducts to see if you feel any air escaping. Use caution: It might be hot.
If you notice air leaking out of those vents, then you’ve found the problem.If you don’t see a leak, it could be coming from somewhere else, or that may not be the problem at all.
The Furnace is Breaking Down
One thing every homeowner hopes to avoid is a breakdown. Unfortunately, weak airflow could be a sign that it’s time to replace your system. It’s possible that maybe the system could be fixed if this problem is caught right away, but sometimes the clock has just run out on an older heating system.
Just like any machine, be it a car or a furnace, after many years of work, sometimes it just gets harder to get the job done, especially if there is a problem.
One of the easiest signs to see, and maybe the first, is that your energy bills are rising, while the heating system stays the same or even weakens. This means that your system is using more fuel to try and get the job done, while actually becoming less and less efficient.
The age of the system and the maintenance history are also great indicators. If it’s over 15 years old, there’s a chance you’ll need a new one soon.
Many heaters can last longer than that, but, to hit 20 years or more, they need annual preventative maintenance. Signing up for a service plan is a great way to make sure this happens.
If you have regular maintenance done on your system, you shouldn’t run into this problem too often, but if you haven’t had service in years, it could mean an early grave for your furnace.
Do I Need Furnace Repair When My Vents Don’t Blow Enough Hot Air?
If you’ve identified a simple problem such as a blocked vent or clogged air filter, you may have solved the problem yourself. Just run your system and make sure to check on the vents that were giving you problems.
If the problem is still an issue, it’s time to call in the pros.
Even if you noticed a leak in your ductwork, it’s not exactly a “do it yourself” kind of fix. Having a professional take a look at that, plus the system could help you keep it running well for a few more years.
Cold Air Blowing Through the Vents
If you have cold air coming out of your vents when it’s set to heating, you may have a bigger issue than low airflow.
Here’s what’s happening: The furnace is overheating. Even a heating system can overheat, unfortunately.
The furnace produces heat, but it also pushes it out of the system right away. If that hot air has nowhere to go, it traps itself inside the unit, and can then crack and damage pieces inside.
Fortunately, the furnace has a built-in failsafe: Blowing cold air. The change to cool air prevents the system from being damaged too badly.
This is why you are feeling cold air coming out of your vents instead of hot air. The cool air in the system has to go somewhere.
If you don’t do anything about this, it will likely be this weird mix of hot and cold air until eventually the system breaks down.
The constant, extreme swings between high and low temperatures cause the parts to wear out and crack under the stress. It’s just like taking an extremely hot glass and running it under cold water. It will break right in your hand!
In this case, the heat exchanger can crack — which, unfortunately, means you need a new furnace.
Heater Repair in Ocean City, NJ
If you’re noticing circulation problems or cold air through the vents when your furnace is running, don’t ignore it! Your Ocean City, NJ home may go from having a small, fixable problem to needing a new furnace before it should.
Instead, call Broadley’s at (609) 390-3907! With decades of experience and an excellent reputation in Ocean City, Avalon, Sea Isle, and all along the Jersey Shore, we’ll keep you warm all winter long.