airflow Category

Troubleshooting Reduced Airflow In Your Home

reduced airflowIs optimum comfort reaching all parts of your home or are ductwork obstructions limiting proper air circulation? To maintain consistent temperatures throughout your house, your HVAC system requires free airflow: The average 1,600 square foot home needs about 1,000 cubic feet per minute of air flowing through the ducts to all rooms. If ductwork obstructions are causing reduced airflow, you’re not only feeling the effects of diminished heating and cooling, you’re also paying higher monthly energy bills and subjecting your furnace and A/C to increased wear and tear.

Because most of the total span of household ductwork is installed out of sight in the attic, crawl space or inside walls, professional duct inspection and service including airflow measurements in individual rooms is required to evaluate the system and pinpoint trouble spots. Here are some common examples of ductwork obstructions that cause reduced airflow:

  • Dirty air filter. This one’s a no-brainer as well as an easy fix. A clogged air filter can almost totally obstruct system airflow. Most HVAC experts recommend monthly air filter replacement during cooling season and every other month during heating season. It’s a simple DIY task you can do in just minutes.
  • Internal deterioration. Ducts typically routed through unconditioned zones like the attic may incorporate an insulating liner to reduce thermal gain or loss. Over time, this inner liner may deteriorate, collapse and substantially impede internal airflow. A visual inspection of duct spans is required to identify this problem.
  • Kinked flex duct. Where common flexible plastic ductwork is installed, longer spans may sag due to age, gradually kinking and obstructing airflow. Additional supports may be needed to correct sagging segments. Flex duct running through the attic may also be inadvertently crushed by heavy objects such as boxes placed there for storage.
  • Loose dampers. Air dampers are small doors installed inside duct branches to adjust airflow into individual rooms. Lock screws securing these adjustments may loosen over the years and gradually allow the damper to close entirely, obstructing airflow through that branch of ductwork.

For expert diagnosis and repair of ductwork obstructions, contact the HVAC pros at Apollo Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.


Boosting Home Comfort with Ceiling Fans

ceiling fanA ceiling fan installation in Cincinnati can help boost household comfort while lowering heating and cooling bills. Ceiling fans were actually the first electrical indoor comfort device, becoming common in residences during the 1920s. Efficient fans today sip energy and can cost as little as one cent per hour to operate. By supplementing air circulation in the proper direction for the season, a ceiling fan installation in Cincinnati can make your home more comfortable while lowering monthly utility costs.

Ceiling fans move a large volume of air at low velocity. Their slowly rotating paddle-like blades induce gentle air circulation without blowing papers around or making noise. Here’s how a ceiling fan supports your indoor comfort and energy-efficiency in winter and summer.

Ceiling Fans in Winter

As warmth from your furnace enters the livings spaces, the laws of physics quickly take effect. Heat energy naturally rises and accumulates in a layer at the ceiling, radiating into the attic. In winter, running a ceiling fan disrupts the accumulation of heat at the ceiling and continuously pushes it out toward the walls and down into the room, keeping occupants more comfortable. Since you don’t have to bump up the furnace thermostat to compensate for heat loss into the attic, a ceiling fan can reduce heating expenses by up to 15 percent.

During winter, the directional switch on a ceiling fan should be set to the clockwise or “Reverse” setting in order to circulate air properly and augment heating.

Ceiling Fans in Summer

Known as the wind-chill effect, moving air makes any environment feel cooler than it actually is. In summer a ceiling fan makes rooms more comfortable without actually changing the thermometer reading. This allows you to move the air conditioner thermostat up a few degrees. As a rule of thumb, for every degree you increase the thermostat setting, you decrease monthly A/C costs by 1%.

Change the fan directional switch to the counter-clockwise or “Forward” setting in summer. You should be able to feel the breeze when standing directly beneath the fan.

For professional advice about ceiling fan installation in Cincinnati, contact Apollo Home Electrical, Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

The Importance of a Balanced System

If your heat pump freezes over, it’s telling you something important. While light frosting may come and go on an outdoor coil in winter, thick ice formation on an indoor or outdoor heat pump coil is never normal in any season. Usually, it’s a symptom of imbalance somewhere in the system. Heat pump energy efficiency and performance are severely diminished by coil icing. In extreme cases, the unit may shut down entirely. Here are typical reasons a heat pump freezes over, and what you can do about it.

Insufficient Airflow

A heat pump unit Source: Shutterstock

A heat pump unit
Source: Shutterstock

The temperature of a heat pump indoor coil in cooling mode normally remains above 40

degrees Fahrenheit. If system airflow drops below specifications, however, heat transfer declines and coil refrigerant temperature plunges. Condensation on the coil freezes, initiating the cycle of ice accumulation. Common reasons for low airflow include:

  • Dirty air filter. A clogged filter reduces air volume through the coil, potentially causing icing. Changing the air filter is a simple DIY task—a qualified HVAC service tech can show you how if you don’t know—and should ideally be performed monthly.
  • Closed or obstructed vents. Balanced system airflow depends on open supply and return vents in individual rooms. If one or more vents are manually shut or blocked by furniture, drapes or other obstructions, airflow through the coil may be insufficient to prevent icing. Keep all vents clear and don’t close vents in unoccupied rooms.

Low Refrigerant

Proper refrigerant charge is a critical balance. As refrigerant pressure declines below specifications, refrigerant temperature drops, too. Coil icing soon follows. Low refrigerant charge is usually caused by leakage. A qualified HVAC service technician has the equipment and expertise to pinpoint and repair refrigerant leaks, then restore the refrigerant charge to manufacturer’s specifications.

Defective Defroster

If light winter frosting on an outdoor coil accumulates into a layer of thick ice, the heat pump’s automatic defroster may have failed. Professional troubleshooting is required to isolate the problem, replace defective components and verify proper repair.

For qualified service if your heat pump freezes over, in the greater Cincinnati area, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

What’s Your Expert Likely to Do During a Furnace Inspection?

furnace evaluationNow that the heat of summer has passed, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming heating season, which will be all too soon in the Cincinnati area. While the weather is still mild and your HVAC contractor is between busy seasons, it’s a good idea to schedule a fall furnace evaluation and have routine maintenance performed on your system. (more…)

Save Energy as the Temperatures Decline With These Handy Tips

Save Energy as the Temperatures DeclineShorter days and cooler temperatures are subtle reminders for what’s to come in the months ahead. While you’re preparing your home for the harsh reality of a Cincinnati winter, consider making some additional changes to help conserve energy and lower your monthly heating bill. Here are some great energy saving tips to get you started.  (more…)

4 Common A/C Issues That May Be Plaguing Your Home

common A/C issuesAir conditioners tend to be reliable systems if they’re installed correctly, and, often, most problems are related to routine maintenance issues. If the A/C in your Cincinnati area home has stopped working, check for theses common A/C issues before calling a professional and you may be able to save the cost of a service call: (more…)

Ductwork Issues Can Impact Comfort and Energy Efficiency — Common Airflow Obstructions

ductwork obstructions, Cincinnati, OhioObstructions in the air ducts are common issues homeowners can face, which can result in poor efficiency, unhealthy indoor air quality and a higher energy bill each month. (more…)

Don’t Suffer Upstairs — How to Keep It Cool on the Second Floor of Your Cincy Home

keep upstairs cool, Cincinnati, OhioDuring Cincinnati’s hot summer months, many homeowners find comfort running their air conditioning. Even with the A/C going, those with second floors often find it difficult to keep upstairs cool, no matter how hot it is outside.  (more…)

High Efficiency A/C: How to Maintain Peak Performance

high efficiency a/c, Cincinnati, OhioThe hot and humid summers in Cincinnati are more bearable when your home is equipped with a high efficiency A/C system. To ensure that your home stays cool and comfy all summer long, you need your cooling system running at its peak level.


Duct Sealing Will Keep Your Home’s Cool Air Flowing All Summer Long

duct sealing-air duct-Cincinnati, OhioLeaky ductwork and air leaks in your home can make the hot and sticky Cincinnati summer worse by causing discomfort throughout your home and increasing the amount of energy used trying to cool your home. (more…)