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Improve Air Flow in Your Ventilation System

Valerie Johannsen People & Brand Manager

The middle of fall is the perfect time to do maintenance on your home heating and cooling system.  If you haven’t turned on your furnace yet, then it’s even better, because you have the opportunity to make sure your furnace is in prime operation before it even starts up.  Since the same ventilation ducts are used for both heating and cooling, much of the maintenance you can do for your home will be beneficial for the entire year. But for now, let’s focus on heating.

Inspect Ventilation Ducts

Wherever you’re able to see them, do a visual inspection of your ductwork.  Look for any breaks or possible damage, especially in places that don’t need heating or cooling (the attic for example).  Then look for drafts or poorly insulated rooms in the house using a smoke or incense stick.  If you find any leaks, have ventilation ducts sealed with mastic tape and insulation, to prevent temperature changes inside the air duct.  Seal any drafts in your rooms as well.

Then inspect the inside of your ductwork.  Airflow isn’t just about what’s flowing out of your ducts, but how easily air can be forced through. Remove the vent and look inside with a flashlight.  If the vent is in an awkward location, use a flash camera to take a picture. If the inside of your ducts are dirty and dusty, then it’s best to hire a professional cleaner.  Clean ductwork improves the efficiency of your unit and prevents allergens from being spread around the home.  The cleaner your ducts, the less your HVAC or central air system has to work to regulate the temperature in your home.

Replace Filters

The filter in your for your furnace or HVAC unit is the most inexpensive yet essential component you have access to.  Its job is simple, keep dust, particles, and allergens out of your ventilation system. Over time, it traps and collects a lot of dust and detritus.  Eventually, your filter is unable to capture any more leading to restricted airflow within your system.  The filter becomes less efficient, allowing particles to pass through, and forces the fan in your unit to work harder to draw air through the system.  Fortunately, filters are the easiest item to replace.

Depending on how much use your central air system sees, you should change the filter every three to six months.  If you’re using an expanded media filter, the filter only needs to be changed annually. The easiest way to remember when your filter was last changed is to mark it when you install it.  That way, whenever you inspect, you don’t have to remember when the last time you changed out filters was.

Exhaust Vents

For your furnace, there’s a separate airflow system you need to keep maintained:  The exhaust vents.  Your furnace needs to exhaust the fumes from burning gas or other fuels. Check the exhaust vent outside to ensure that no animals have nested in the furnace vent during the warmer weather.


Heating and Cooling Des Moines Since 1997

At Service Legends, we take pride in heating and cooling Des Moines and the surrounding areas. Our HVAC services include furnace and air conditioner installation, repairs, maintenance, and tune-ups. Our lineup of Indoor Air Quality solutions includes whole-home humidifiers, air purifiers, and air filtration systems. We can even help with HVAC financing.

Call 515-657-6634 to contact our Home Comfort Heroes today. We’re standing by 24/7.

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