Are Airflow Flaws Making Your HVAC Inefficient?

Delivery of cooling (or heat) is a crucial step in the home comfort system. If an HVAC system performs poorly, it may not be the unit itself; instead, it might be the ductwork. Today, we’re going to look at some of the factors which can contribute to inadequate airflow.

Leaking ductwork is sometimes unnoticed.

Leaking ductwork is sometimes unnoticed.

Size of the ductwork

If the ductwork is too small, the system has to blow longer and harder to get heating and cooling to the rooms, and will never quite do the job adequately. Undersized ductwork is most common when a residential system is changed from one type to another.

Ductwork restrictions

Extreme angles can cause blockages in the ductwork in the ductwork, itself. Flexible ductwork is notorious for such kinks and sags, but blockages aren’t limited to flexible ductwork by any means. Restricted airflow cuts down on the efficiency of the system, which in turn makes the unit work harder, which causes early mechanical difficulties.

Leaking ductwork

While we think of our ductwork as being snug and safe in our attic or crawlspace, years of use, the house settling, and other factors can create leaks in the system. The amount of heat or cooling loss through ductwork flaws can be considerable. Every degree you need to add in winter or subtract in summer from your thermostat to make your house comfortable costs you money. You can see how a constant leak could severely bleed your wallet just by constancy.

Leaking ductwork comes at a high cost.

Leaking ductwork comes at a high cost.


If a register is too small or not open, the entire system works less efficiently. A piece of furniture in front of or on top of a register can create cold or warm pockets. Think of the system as being designed to circulate the air in a room 7.5 times per hour. Slowed, diverted, or blocked airflow makes the system work harder. Efficiency is compromised, costs rise, and the inhabitants aren’t breathing fresh air.

The filter

We know it’s redundant to talk about the importance of changing the air filter. But because it improves the air quality and protects the system from dirt and foreign particles, it also helps with the airflow into the system. It is the critical starting place of the airflow before it enters the handler and system. A dirty filter will also add 5-10% to your bill.

If your system is operating inefficiently, the best thing to do is to have a qualified HVAC company come out. They can perform an assessment of the system, check for leaks, and correct any issues. Over time, the improved airflow will pay for the service by easing the wear and tear on your HVAC unit and in long term energy savings.

If you need heating or cooling repair, maintenance, service, or new installation, call Fire & Ice Heating And Cooling. Serving Lakeland, Brandon, and Tampa. Let us keep you cool! 863-624-6176.