Making Adjustments To Your Air Duct System
For optimum performance from your HVAC system, you will need to adjust your air duct system slightly at the beginning of the heating season, and then again at the start of the cooling season.
The reason for this is because warm air naturally rises, which makes it harder for your system to cool your second floor in the summer.
In the summer you should have all of the air vents on the 2nd floor wide open. This also includes any dampers in the pipes that are serving those vents.
On the main floor, the air vents should be about half-way closed, which in turn would force more air to go to the remaining vents which serve the upstairs.
Basement vents including the return air vent(s) should be temporarily closed or sealed. During the cooling season, your basement will be noticeably cooler anyway, so we want to push as much of your cooled air upstairs as possible.
And as always, be sure that there are no obstructions around air vents and especially any cold air return vents or grills.
Also be sure to close the damper in the bypass tube of any duct-mounted humidifier.
For the heating season, it is then necessary to go through the home and make some quick adjustments to the system at the start of this season.
Open the basement vents and be sure that any dampers are open as well. The vents on the main floor should be fully opened, and the vents serving the upstairs should be about half-way closed, with the exception of any specific rooms that seem to be hard to heat.
The reason you would want the basement vents to be open now is because since heat rises, the heat in the basement will warm the floor above it. And the same applies to the air coming out of the main floor vents.
You can fine-tune this procedure even further to help solve problems with cold rooms in the home. If you partially close any one damper in the system, that will cause more air to blow out somewhere else.
If you find that certain rooms are difficult to heat or cool, then those rooms are more than likely on your second floor, or possibly above a garage or some other unheated area. Keeping the door open to that room will help the airflow, especially if there is no return air directly in that room. Sometimes it is not so convenient to always keep the door to a specific room open, but this alone can sometimes solve the problem of reduced airflow.
Keeping your air filter clean is crucial for the operation of your furnace, to help maximize energy savings and for your own personal comfort. A dirty air filter will not allow the proper amount of air to flow through your HVAC system and especially through your ducts.
Making these simple adjustments twice per year takes about five minutes to do each time. Adjusting your air volume dampers and air vents is something that we can easily do for free while we are in your home cleaning your air duct system.
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