3 Ways To Improve Your Furnace's Airflow

Your forced-air furnace requires a massive volume of air to provide heat to your home. When your furnace doesn't receive enough air, it won't be able to heat your home quickly or efficiently. If your furnace just doesn't seem to be receiving a sufficient amount of airflow, then perform or arrange for these three maintenance tasks:

Replace or Clean Your Air Filter

Clogged air filters are one of the leading causes of restricted airflow throughout an HVAC system. Air filters can become clogged by airborne debris such as dirt, dust, and pet fur that contaminates your indoor air. When your filter's pores become clogged with debris, your blower motor will struggle to pull air into your furnace.

To replace a conventional air filter, open the access panel on your blower motor housing. Pull out your filter from the side of the housing that is connected to your return air duct. If there's any debris caught around the edges of your return duct, wipe it away with a damp rag or towel. Once the area is clean, slide a compatible replacement filter back into the housing and reinstall your access panel to finish the job.

If you have an electrostatic air filter, then shut off the power to your filter system and open the system's door. Pull out your cells, pre-filters, and charcoal screens. Wash your cells and pre-filters with a mixture of mild soap and warm water and let them dry before reinstalling them into your electrostatic filter. Replace your charcoal filters if they no longer eliminate your home's indoor odors while your HVAC system is in operation.

Replacing or cleaning your air filter every couple months will prevent your filter from creating an airflow restriction in the future.

Wash Your Squirrel Cage

Your squirrel cage is a large metal cylinder that surrounds your blower motor. This component helps your blower motor operate correctly by using its blades to pull air towards your furnace. However, when it's dirty, it will spin at a reduced rate and slow the airflow through your system.

Shut off both the power and gas supply to your furnace. Open your blower motor housing and disconnect the electrical wiring between your blower motor and furnace. If you have trouble removing the electrical connections, or if you don't have any experience with electrical components, then stop and leave the rest of the job to a professional HVAC technician.

Once you've disconnected the wiring to your motor, remove the mounting screws or bolts that secure your squirrel cage and motor to your housing. Pull both your squirrel cage and motor out of your furnace and separate them from each other by removing the fasteners lining the side of your cage.

Take your squirrel cage outside and use your garden hose to blast away all the debris on your cage. Once your cage is clean, let it dry for about half an hour and reinstall your squirrel cage and motor. Make sure to connect each electrical wire in its original position to avoid any electrical problems next time you activate your furnace.

Resize Your Air Ducts

If your furnace just never seemed to operate according to its specifications, then chances are that your air ducts aren't sized correctly. Ducts that are too large will prevent your motor from creating an ideal airflow speed through your system. Ducts that are too small can damage your blower motor and prevent your furnace from receiving enough air to operate efficiently.

Resizing your air ducts may seem like a monstrous task. However, by sizing your air ducts to match the output of your furnace, you can ensure that your furnace will operate as efficiently as possible throughout the rest of its life.

If your furnace still seems to be experiencing airflow problems even after performing or arranging for these maintenance tasks, then it's time to click here for more info or hire your HVAC technician for a comprehensive inspection. By hiring a professional to inspect your furnace and perform the necessary repairs, you can ensure that your furnace operates safely and efficiently all year long.