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February 2, 2021
To your dismay, you noticed that there’s little to no air coming out of the supply air vent opening! You check the other rooms and they’re getting air just fine. But that one room has you wondering how you can improve your HVAC air flow.
So, what’s wrong with that one room? Once you have verified the vent is operational and open, here are a few issues with the ductwork that can cause this frustrating problem.
4 Common Causes of a Single Air Vent with Little to No Air
Kinked/crushed flex duct
Flex duct is, as it sounds, ductwork that’s very flexible. However, because it’s so flexible, it’s easily bent and crushed, which restricts airflow to a particular room.
If you have flex ductwork in the attic, check to see if anything is pinching or crushing it.
Disconnected air duct
Both metal sheet ductwork and flex ductwork can get disconnected at the main duct connected, between pipe sections, and at the register termination fitting, preventing any hot or cool air from your heating and air conditioning systems from reaching the rooms in your home.
You’ll need a professional to locate the disconnected duct and seal it so that no air escapes.
Leaky/holey air ducts
If you’ve got just a little air coming through the vent, the ductwork leading to the room may be leaky or full of holes.
This problem is actually pretty common. According to ENERGY STAR, “in a typical house, however, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.”
The solution? Duct sealing.
HVAC vent dampers are valves in your ducts that control airflow in your air duct system. When open, air flows freely; when closed (or almost shut), there’s little or no airflow. Have you ever wondered if an AC vent should be open or closed? If you are using your heating and cooling system, they should always stay open! Even in rooms you are not using. Your system has to breathe. You may have a closed damper in the duct that’s blocking air from reaching the vent in your one room.
Other Possible Issues
Occasionally something else could be creating blockage, by covering your air vents in the walls (e.g. an animal that breached the duct and made a nest or died, your kids’ stuffed toys, someone hides something in a floor duct, etc.). Furniture blocking air vents is also a common problem.
Remove the item causing the blockage or rearrange furniture for optimal airflow.
How Pippin Brothers Can Help
A visual inspection
If you live in the Lawton, OK area, Pippin Brothers can quickly find where the problem lies in your duct system by performing a visual inspection. This is the quickest and least expensive method for investigating your duct system.
High resolution imaging and thermal scanning
If the visual inspection yielded limited or no information (which is common if ducts are concealed and not accessible), we can insert a high-resolution imaging camera that we utilize for our energy audits to see crushed, broken, blocked, leaky or dirty ducts on a video monitor.
A thermal scan may show blocked heat/cooling or an area of leakage or a broken duct. The camera detects heat patterns and changes in the temperature of your duct system. These readings allow our technicians to locate problems and can potentially prevent a potential system failure and save you money on costly repairs and downtime.
Seldom does no/low airflow require invasive measures such as cutting holes in drywall and patching. But when we do have to open a small area of a wall or ceiling to access the problem, we have skilled craftsmen that can repair the opening and make it like new when we’re done.
Have You Always Had No/Low Airflow?
This blog post assumes you have always had good airflow and that one day, you had no/low airflow from a duct.
But if parts of your home have always had no or low airflow and have never been comfortable, it’s usually the result of inadequate duct system installation from when the house was built or the equipment was replaced. We can test the performance of your duct system to determine how effectively and efficiently it is working and if it is limiting your comfort, equipment performance, and impacting your energy bills, regardless of the age of your equipment.