Can Blocked Return Ducts Impact Air Conditioner Performance After a Tune Up?

When return vents are blocked or clogged, it can have a serious impact on how well your air conditioner works. Learn how blocked return ducts affect AC performance after a tune up.

Can Blocked Return Ducts Impact Air Conditioner Performance After a Tune Up?

When the return air vents are not functioning properly, the entire air conditioning system is affected. Obstructions in the vents can impede airflow and cause the system to operate inefficiently. Although air leaks do not constitute a blockage, they can still have a major impact on the performance of the air conditioner. Broken seals, missing or loose duct segments, or any other issues that allow air to escape through the ducts will reduce efficiency and lead to energy waste.

Blocking the return air supply to the air controller or fan compartment reduces the amount of air that can easily flow into the system. The fan speed will no longer decrease when you close the return systems and will generate positive air pressure. The most important maintenance task to ensure your air conditioner is running efficiently is to replace or clean the filters on a regular basis. Dirty, clogged filters reduce the amount of air flow and significantly reduce system efficiency.

In addition, when airflow is obstructed, dirt can bypass the filter and settle directly on the evaporator coil, which reduces its heat absorption capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can reduce air conditioner energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Another issue that can arise is clogging of the ventilation grilles. If the air return is blocked, the unit will not be able to extract enough air to properly remove cold air from the coils.

You may need to pay more attention to filters if your air conditioner is in constant use, exposed to dusty conditions, or if you have furry pets in your home. If your AC unit needs more than regular maintenance, for example if it fails to reduce indoor temperature to a comfortable level, hire a professional service technician. When the system is configured to cool down, very little air flows through the evaporator coil, which absorbs heat from the air. Closing off ventilation grilles increases air pressure inside the ducts, causing an even larger volume of warm air to escape through leaks into unconditioned areas ofthe house.

The filters, coils, and fins of an AC unit require regular maintenance for it to operate effectively and efficiently during its years of service. As air flows through the AC system, it passes through an air filter where dust, dirt, pollen, and other particles are trapped and retained. When ducts of an AC system are blocked or clogged, it can have a serious impact on how well your air conditioner works. Rooms throughout your home have ventilation grilles that allow conditioned air from your heating system and AC unit to enter them.

Covering up your outdoor unit of a central AC unit will protect it from winter weather and dirt. Insufficient airflow through your AC unit causes cold air not to move away from its condensing coils quickly enough which can cause it to freeze due to accumulated cold. The evaporator coil and condenser coil of your AC unit accumulate dirt over months and years of service. The central AC unit cools your home by sucking in hot air and blowing it onto coolant cooled coils in order to remove heat and cool down that same air.

At the start of each cooling season inspect your seal between your AC unit and window frame in order to make sure it comes into contact with its metal housing.

Bryan Persing
Bryan Persing

Extreme music expert. Evil beer buff. Friendly sushi ninja. Professional bacon scholar. Friendly tv practitioner.

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