woman distraught over high bills
November 7, 2023

Imagine for a moment that you’re jogging, but, instead of breathing normally, you have to breathe through a straw. Sounds crazy right? Trying to force so much air through such a small opening would easily tire you out and may even cause some health issues if you did it every day.

Well, that’s what it’s like for your HVAC system when you have undersized supply and return ducts — except the adverse effects are a strained HVAC system, inadequate comfort, higher energy bills, breakdowns, expensive repairs, and possibly even a premature end to the life of your equipment.

How? Before we get into that, let’s talk about the purpose of your ducts and vents.

How Supply & Return Ducts Work

In order for your HVAC system to heat and cool your Lawton-area home properly, it needs a way to deliver the air. Most HVAC systems use supply ducts to deliver the heated or cooled air to your registers or diffusers that are located in several rooms. These systems are also equipped with return grilles that allow air to return to the furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump where it is heated or cooled again. The process repeats until your room’s temperature reaches your preferred thermostat settings.

Problems With Poorly Designed Ducts

If your supply duct is too small or the register is too restrictive, your HVAC system has to blow longer and harder in order to keep your home comfortable—which takes more time and effort to get all the air out.

If the return duct is too small or there are an inadequate number of return grilles, your HVAC system won’t be able to return enough air to recirculate into the system. Again, it’s like if you were breathing in through a straw while jogging. Except for your HVAC system, it will need to run for a long time, increase your energy bills, and have a shorter lifespan. 

Other Problems With Decreased Airflow

Even if your ducts are properly sized, there are other problems that can restrict air circulation as well. These problems include:

  • Blocked supply registers – Don’t place furniture or drapes over your supply vents. They block the air coming out.
  • Dirty air filter - The air filter in your return vent keeps dirt out of your HVAC system, but if the filter becomes dirty, it restricts how much air can get back into your system to be reused. Check your filter at least once a month and change it when it’s visibly dirty.
  • Leaky air ducts - Leaks in your air ducts prevent your HVAC system from transporting all the air to your rooms. These can create hot or cold spots in your home. When air ducts leak they can pull air from the attic or garage that is full of dirt, dust or insulation. The average duct system leaks up to 40% of conditioned air according to the Department of Energy. To learn more, read our post about leaky air ducts

Duct & Airflow Solutions From Pippin Brothers

At Pippin Brothers, we can help solve your airflow and duct issues with our comprehensive duct and airflow services. From duct sealing and repairs to more extensive duct replacements, our team of NCI-certified technicians can provide long-lasting solutions that will make your home more comfortable and help decrease your energy bills. 

Your body can only exhale what you inhale. Your HVAC system is no different. You wouldn’t breathe through a straw, so why should your HVAC system? If your HVAC system isn’t cooling or heating properly due to decreased airflow, contact Pippin Brothers so we can diagnose what the problem is and fix it.

Is your HVAC blowing hot air? Call 580-699-5662 or contact us online for solutions.