InspectAPedia tolerates no conflicts of interest. We have no relationship with advertisers, products, or services discussed at this website.
Diagnose & fix weak / warm air conditioner output:
This article describes the common causes of too-weak or too-warm air supplied from an air conditioner or heat pump system (in cooling mode).
Before deciding to buy a bigger or more powerful or higher BTU-rated air conditioner or before changing the blower fan here are some basic and usually low-cost things to check that could make a big difference in how well an air conditioner is delivering cool air to the occupied rooms in your building.
Check and Fix These Existing Air Conditioning Problems Before Trying to Improve its Cooling Capacity
Watch out: It could be a mistake to spend on any costly air conditioning improvement if the original system actually already had the needed capacity, but simply needed maintenance (like replacing a filter - A/C Filter Problems) or repair (like repairing a leaky duct - A/C Air Duct Problems).
FIRST: review all of the air conditioning performance diagnosis suggestions here to be sure there is not something that needs to be repaired or corrected with the system.
For example we have seen cool air output significantly improved by finding and fixing a disconnected cool air duct that no one had noticed in a hard-to-access crawl area.
Certainly some central air conditioning systems, especially retrofit designs, have less than optimum duct design, such as inadequate central return air registers, room doors that are so tight that it is difficult to blow cool air into the room when the door is closed, inadequate supply ducts or less than optimum supply register placement such as only in floors.
But redesigning and installing for an optimum air conditioning duct system can be costly, so it might be worth taking some other steps.
SECOND: make sure that other energy-savings steps have been taken in the building, such as proper insulation, sealing un-wanted drafts, etc.
See ENERGY SAVINGS in BUILDINGS - those suggestions apply to both heating and cooling costs.
If your HVAC service technician is sure that the present cooling system is working as intended, then if you are not considering supply or return air duct improvements, or a replacement air conditioner system of higher capacity, you might consider a stronger blower fan (discuss what you could do with your HVAC tech), or booster fans individual registers.
Watch out - just boosting air conditioner air flow by installing a higher capacity blower fan is not that simple - if the blower moves air through the duct system faster than the design speed for the system ,the cooling coil may be insufficient in capacity, the air will not be dehumidified (and the building will be less comfortable - A/C Not Dehumidifying), or you might get annoying duct or equipment noises. Discuss these possibilities with your HVAC service company.
How to Get More Cool Air Flow from Floor-Level Air Conditioning Supply Registers
How can I improve cold air delivery from my air conditioner?
Older Florida home with air handler under house in crawl space. Air is ducted to floor
registers. Not very efficient as cold air doesn't rise much. House has a flat roof no attic
space to get up into. Any thoughts on how to improve?
- D. (Anon).
Reply: Checklist of Air Conditioner Airflow Improvements
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem. That said, here are some things to consider in improving cool air flow in your home:
We agree completely that cool air works better delivered from ceilings than from floors
since cool air tends naturally to fall through the occupied space. It takes more energy to blow cool air "up" than to drop it into a room from supply registers mounted high on walls or in the ceilings. We discuss this further
at LOCATION OF REGISTERS & DUCTS.
But the cost of changing ductwork is rather high and the work disruptive so that's not your first choice.
Here are some A/C cool air flow improvement steps:
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
Ask a Question or Search InspectApedia
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: email@example.com. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones