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Why Is There Not Much Air Coming Out of My Air Vents? An Airflow Troubleshooting Guide

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dirty_air_filterIs your New Jersey home air conditioner unit not blowing air out the supply very hard? Is cold air coming out of the vents but not blowing enough to cool the house?

Here are some easy homeowner troubleshooting tips you can try first before even picking up the phone to call a technician for help.

Check the air filter

First, check your return duct’s air filter.  If you haven’t changed it in awhile (several months), then it’s probably filthy and blocking air from being recirculated around your home.

That’s why you don’t feel much air blowing out your vents: because your air conditioner only has so much air it can recirculate–it’s basically gasping for air!

Typically, you should check your air filter every 30 days to see if it’s dirty–especially during months where your heating and cooling system run the longest.

If you do need to replace it, ASHRAE suggests getting a filter with a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value of MERV 6 or higher.

Open, unblock and clean supply and return registers

If changing your air filter didn’t help, then there are other reasons why your air conditioner has an air deficit.

Check all the supply air and return air registers in your home and see if any of them are:

  • Closed
  • Blocked by furniture or drapes
  • Dirty

All of these will impede airflow circulation in your home. Open, unblock and clean your registers to get your airflow back to normal.

Make sure your air duct dampers are open

Let’s say you have weak airflow in just one or two rooms in your home.

One possible problem is that your dampers may be closed or almost shut. Dampers are basically valves in your ducts that control airflow. When they are open air flows freely; when they’re closed or almost shut you have no or little airflow.

Dampers in ducts are used to zone your home into different heating and cooling areas or to balance the airflow to different rooms, which helps your air conditioner work more efficiently. If you think your air conditioner is taking forever to cool your home because of damper problems, you should contact a professional to take a look.

Another cause of poor airflow in one room is an air duct leak, in which case you should also call a contractor for help.

Airflow problems that require a professional to solve

You can easily do the above yourself to solve your airflow problems. But if none of them help, then you may need a professional’s help.

Some air conditioning problems that require professional help include:

  • Undersized air ducts
  • Not enough supply or return registers 
  • Loose or worn fan belt
  • Leaky ducts

If you’ve tried the solutions in this article but your airflow is still weak, contact Air Professionals online for help.