Troubleshooting Your Ventilation
The last thing you want is to be caught without a working heater or air conditioner during extreme seasonal conditions. In many cases where your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) is malfunctioning, you might be inclined to call a professional. However, many of these problems can be diagnosed and even fixed by an amateur. To help you out, here's a brief guide on one of the most common problems with ventilation:
Some rooms aren't getting hot/cold air
One of the most common problems with heating and air conditioning is that some rooms are getting the hot/cold air, but others aren't. This is actually a problem with your ventilation rather than your heater or air conditioner, which is incredibly fortuitous for you. Instead of spending hundreds or thousands on a costly professional visit that will just end up telling you that nothing is wrong with your expensive appliance, you can easily identify the problem and get a general sense of where the blockage is yourself.
This specific problem is caused by some sort of impediment in your ventilation shafts that prevents air from moving between your heater/air conditioner and the room in question. In order to narrow down the problem, follow these steps:
- Close Doors Between Rooms - you'll want to get an accurate picture of which rooms are being blocked. If doors are open, then hot or cold air can easily flow between rooms, which will make it a lot harder for you to determine which rooms are being deprived of heat or cold. You'll also want to make sure that all windows are closed in rooms that have vents.
- Turn on the AC or Heater - usually your heater and air conditioner run through the same ventilation shafts, so it doesn't necessarily matter which you use. The important thing is that you run the system for several hours while keeping the doors closed as much as possible. This will allow each room to approach an average temperature that you can measure against one another in order to get a clear picture of what's going on.
- Check the Temperatures - in some cases, it will be easy to tell the difference in temperature just by feeling it out. If you want to be more precise, you can even take measurements using a thermometer. In either case, you'll want to carefully note which rooms have anomalous readings.
- Check the Vents - if you're lucky, then the blockage might be extremely close to the vent opening in the room or rooms in question. You'll need a screwdriver and maybe a ladder to open the vent and a flashlight to see what the problem is. If you can't see the blockage, then you might need to call a professional.
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