Central AC: Reasons For Poor Airflow
Poor airflow can be even more frustrating than a total AC breakdown, simply because you know the unit is running but the house isn't getting any cooler. There are several reasons why you may be suffering from poor AC airflow. The following can help you determine what is wrong so you can schedule a repair.
Fan and Motor Issues
The most obvious reason for poor airflow is a failing fan or motor assembly. If the motor has completely failed, then your AC may not power on at all so you will not hear the low hum of the motor. In some cases, the motor is still operating but not sufficiently, which will usually result in audible clues such as grinding or squealing. If the fan is jammed or broken, the motor may try to operate but the fan won't spin. Usually, you will hear some sort of noise to indicate this malfunction, as well. In some cases, the motor and fan assembly can be repaired, while in other cases you may need to have them replaced.
A failure of one of the electrical systems in the unit can also lead to poor airflow, often with little to no warning. Sometimes it is something as simple as a blown internal switch or a capacitor, which can easily be replaced. In other cases, old wiring may have shorted out, which will require slightly more involved electrical work to repair. Electrical issues that result in the smell of burning metal can pose a fire hazard, so turn off your unit completely until it can be looked at by a professional if you suspect electrical issues are causing your airflow problems.
Don't overlook the thermostat when determining the issue with your air conditioner. A failing thermostat is often the case when it comes to poor airflow. Signs that the thermostat is to blame may include a unit that cycles on and off without reaching the set temperature on the thermostat. In some cases, you may have to set the thermostat higher or lower to achieve sufficient cooling and airflow. A technician can test your thermostat and replace it if necessary.
Lack of airflow into the unit can also affect airflow out and into your home. Although frequent filter changes are important to ensure airflow, you should also have the entire unit cleaned annually as part of a regularly yearly tune-up. Further, make sure vents, registers, and returns throughout the home are open and not blocked by any items.
Contact an air conditioner repair service in your area like Bud's Heating & Air Conditioning for more help with poor airflow problems.