Why Do I Have Poor Air Flow in my House?

Clearly, you and I do not live on board the International Space Station. As you know, in several of our previous posts we’ve been discussing details of the heating, cooling and ventilation system that crew members who live on the ISS deal need for their survival. Making the ISS habitable, both in the sense of appropriate temperatures and proper ventilation require special systems to deal with the unique circumstances of living in zero gravity, and also being in a location with extreme “climate” conditions.

However, just because you and I and our friends and neighbors in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area live on planet Earth doesn’t mean that keeping our home comfortably cool or cozily warm is a piece of cake. It still takes an appropriately designed, installed and maintained system to do the job well. There are several things that the folks here at GAMA Air feel may be causing proper air flow and impeding your home’s central heating and AC system from heating and cooling your house effectively.

Check your vents

Ideally there should be an air supply vent in each room of your home, and maybe even two for larger rooms. But here are some things that will adversely affect the air flow from the vents in your house.

Do you have furniture blocking the vents? Obviously if there is a dresser or wardrobe right on top of the floor vent, then it is blocked off and not working like it should. But maybe not so obviously is if there is a bed over a vent. Air may still be able to come out the vent, but under the bed the air flow is restricted and not able to circulate properly throughout the room. In that room you will have hot or cold spots. Keep furniture sufficiently away from floor vents.

What about curtains? If a floor vent is right under a window, check to see if the curtains are covering it. The air may be blowing out the vent, but then go in between the curtains and the window. Whatever window dressing you use, make sure they do not block the flow of air from the vent into the room.

Are all the vents in your house open? If you are trying to close off vents in an attempt to balance the air flow throughout your home, you may be doing more harm than good. A central heating and cooling systems requires a certain amount of air to flow through the furnace or air handler to operate properly and safely. Closing off one or more vents in your house does not force more air to come out other vents. The laws of physics limit the amount of air that can come out of each vent based on the size of the vent and the size of the duct connected to the vent.

Instead of helping, closing off vents will reduce the total amount of airflow going through the system. And ironically it will make your central AC or furnace work harder to heat and cool your home, and ultimately it won’t feel as comfortable.

But there’s more. Stay tuned for our next post.

Are you eager to know more right away about this topic? Then visit our “Ask an Expert” page, fill in the form, and our resident expert will get back to you quickly.

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