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This Is What Happens When You Have Bad Furnace Airflow


Many of the homes in our area are heated by forced-air systems, which are furnaces that create heat and then blow it through a system of ductwork throughout the home and out of vents to where it is needed. One symptom of a furnace in need of repair is a too low flow of air from those vents.

We’ll give you a primer on the causes and effects of low airflow from your furnace so you’ll be prepared to do what’s needed to address the problem.

Causes of Low Furnace Airflow

  • The Air Is Stuck: Perhaps the furnace is heating beautifully and the fan is doing its job to move the heated air along. But if something else is causing the airflow to be blocked, it’s still unable to get where it needs to go. A clogged air filter is one possible blockage, which is why the first thing you should do if you experience low airflow is to clean the filter. There may also be damage in the ductwork itself, such as a crimped or scrunched place, that prevents air from getting through.
  • The Air Is Escaping: Another type of ductwork damage is the kind that leaves openings. Holes, cracks, tears, or disconnected sections can leave your beautifully heated air escaping into places where you absolutely don’t need it, like your attic or between your walls. By the time it gets to your heat vents, there’s not much warm air left.
  • The Air Isn’t Moving: The first step for the heated air from your furnace is being moved along by the fan. If that fan is damaged or stuck in position, or if the motor that runs the fan has shut down or burned out, that heated air isn’t going to be going anywhere.

Effects of Low Furnace Airflow

With many of these possible causes of low airflow, a small problem could worsen with time if it isn’t addressed. In all of these cases, you’ll be using unnecessary fuel trying to warm your home, and that will create an unpleasantly high heating bill. And in some cases, it could cause a safety hazard. If the hot air is staying in the furnace rather than being properly conducted throughout your home, components will begin to overheat. This causes a lot of wear and tear, potentially leading to other repair needs or even shortening the lifespan of your furnace.

In modern furnaces, a limit switch will shut the furnace down as it starts to overheat, which prevents it from heating your home but also prevents it from starting a fire. If you have an old furnace, though, or your limit switch is broken, this problem could cause a fire. 

What to Do If You Notice Low Airflow

The first step when you’re concerned about low airflow is to clean or replace the air filter to see if that helps. If not, it’s time to call in an expert in furnace repair in Springfield, PA. Taking steps to get it fixed right away will save you from unnecessarily high utility bills, additional repairs, having to replace your heater much sooner, and possibly even worse.

Reach out to Murphy’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. It’s always “Integrity Before Profit.”

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