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ComfortZone
ComfortZone, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 514
Experience:  10 years in the HVAC industry.
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My furnace doesnt seem to blow air out of the registers as

Customer Question

My furnace doesn't seem to blow air out of the registers as strong as it used to. Yes there is a new filter. I even cut out a side just before my ac coils to clean them just in case anything was blocked. It wasn't. I did have a new furnace, guts if you will call it, they only replaced the interior, a few years ago. But the air just barely comes out of the registers. It used to come out strong enough to blow my curtains. It doesn't now. My furnace company, i'm sorry to say is useless and they say they have no idea why this is happening!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  ComfortZone replied 3 years ago.

ComfortZone :

Where is the furnace located. In the basement? How many floors are you heating? does this happen with the heat and cool?

Customer :

It is located in a crawl space where it has always been. I have a one floor ranch...no basement. It happens on both the heat and cooling. Nothing has changed since i had the unit put in...except for the new guts of it.

ComfortZone :

When you take the filter out does it blow any stronger?

Customer :

No.

ComfortZone :

When you cut the hole, you could see the AC coil and it was clean?

Customer :

Yes and i washed it and then blew air through the coils with a compressor.

ComfortZone :

How old is the fan motor?

ComfortZone :

Have you checked the blower assembly itself to see if the blower wheel was dirty?

Customer :

I am not sure..maybe 10 yrs or so. But i have already asked my furnace co to come and check it. The guy said it was fine. He was the one to suggest cutting the hole in the side. When they changed the guts they found a dead mouse on it, said they cleaned it off and it all looked good. I try to run just the fan every so often because i live in the country and mice are plenty!

ComfortZone :

Any chance there is a hole in the supply duct?

Customer :

All the work was done a couple years ago.....bryant was involved with a lawsuit..i got a free new interior then. Just about October/November just passed I called my furnace company about this, they sent the guy out, he checked everything, said it was good but i should do the hole thing. I did and no change.

Customer :

How would i look for that>

ComfortZone :

Is the duct sheet metal or flexible?

Customer :

Metal and I crawled once to look for holes that i could use duct tape on. Didn't see any...but i do have vents that push warm and cold air under my house since i only have a crawl space and to prevent pipes from freezing.

Customer :

I have even gone to the point to vacuum out everything i could get the vac into.

ComfortZone :

There is an airflow test that can be performed where they can measure the amount of air that is coming from your duct in CFM. Not sure if all companies have that capability but that is about all I can suggest at this point. You may also try getting someone out to clean your duct and see if that will work

ComfortZone :

Duct cleaning companies have a much stronger vacuum

Customer :

Does duct cleaning really work?

ComfortZone :

Depends upon the company doing it and how long the system has been in place. I am not a big believer in it, but there are some that swear by it.

ComfortZone :

It might be worth a shot in your case

Customer :

I haven't heard anything good either.

ComfortZone :

Not all HVAC companies do it and it is almost a niche market in itself

ComfortZone :

The changing of the heat exchanger should not have caused your airflow to decrease though.

ComfortZone :

Unless something got trapped in the blower opening.

ComfortZone :

Have you taken the blower out yourself?

Customer :

So i would have to specifically ask someone to do a CFM test? . It was going before that and that is why i asked them to check it out once they had the furnace out. They had to unhook it from the crawl space..take it out side and take it apart to put the new one in. No i haven't as very hard to see into as the furnace is mounted under my house, not on the ground and it is also sideways. How hard is that to take out?

ComfortZone :

Not real hard to take the blower out. The hard part is getting into that crawl space and having enough room to manuever.

ComfortZone :

The blower is held in by 2 screws

ComfortZone :

Not sure how nimble you are, but you may have to remove some wiring as well. Most of it is plugged into the control board and is marked.

Customer :

Crap on the electrical part! My blower almost looks like an airplane engine. It's encased and sitting in the middle is the squirrel cage. Does that sound about right? If so then i have to take that apart or rather out? Is there anyway that i could get pic/instructions to do this?

ComfortZone :

No need to take the motor out of the assembly, you want to take the housing out of the furnace and look inside of that opening to see if it is clear to the furnace

Customer :

What housing are you talking about?

Customer :

Oh you mean to take the whole blower....housing and all out to see if that is blocked?

ComfortZone :

Yes. Pull the whole housing out of the furnace. Then look inside the whole to the furnace to see if there is anything blocking it

Customer :

If so that housing where it is mounted looks as though there are no ducts going to it. Laying on it's side the blower is on the bottom part, the hole of it with the squirrel cage is facing uip.

ComfortZone :

I mean the hole, not whole

ComfortZone :

Correct

ComfortZone :

Once you pull that housing out you will see a square hole to the furnace

ComfortZone :

Look inside of it and you should be able to see clear to the AC coil

Customer :

That guy i told you who told me to cut the hole said when he felt just behind the ac on the duct it seemed warmer and thats why he figured there may be a blockage.

Customer :

What you just said when i cleaned the ac unit i was on the furnace side. I havenm't looked on the other side.

Customer :

Maybe i should just turn on the blower and sit there and see if or where the air isn't coming from? So basically i will be looking behind the panel that has all the wiring to see if there are any blockages there?

ComfortZone :

Does your AC cabinet have an access door or is it solid sheet metal?

Customer :

It was solid until i cut a hole. The coil is sitting inside my furnace ductwork.

Customer :

The air has to pass thru the coil to blow air into the house

ComfortZone :

Correct

ComfortZone :

Open that hole back up and turn the fan on and see how stron the air comes out of that hole

Customer :

The hole i cut into the duct?

ComfortZone :

Yes

ComfortZone :

If it is not very stong, then the problem is lower.

ComfortZone :

If it is strong the problem may be higher in the duct

Customer :

Ok...when i look into the hole..on the right is the coil there's a space then i can see vents...sideways

Customer :

I don't get the lower and higher thing.

Customer :

if it's higher then it must be in the duct work after the coil and stuff?

ComfortZone :

Correct

ComfortZone :

You have a main trunk off that coil

Customer :

If not the it is before the coil somewhere

Customer :

Yes that goes to the left and that is where the fan is and i put the filter

ComfortZone :

Correct again

Customer :

This sounds like fun! so basically i will end up having to take pretty much all of it apart to get this maybe to work?

ComfortZone :

Why do you think they told you they found nothing wrong.

ComfortZone :

It aint easy

ComfortZone :

Much easier for me from where I sit in the comfort of my own home

ComfortZone :

then to be in that crawl space

ComfortZone :

I have been in many crawl spaces and dreaded each and every one of them

ComfortZone :

I am 6' 5"

Customer :

Would it be in my best interests to get a pro out here? I am female and can do almost everything by myself but this is crazy. They told me that because the potlickers are lazy! Oops sorry for that. Oh yeah you are alot of help now. Im thinking maybe i could start up something the same way! Too be able to sit at home give advice and get paid!! Well your height would be a problem.

ComfortZone :

No guarantees that you will even find a blockage. These are just things I would check if it were me and I was on this service call.

ComfortZone :

Get a company that will actually do the job right is always a problem. Some do not go the extra mile, get their money and go

ComfortZone :

Hope not to get a callback as you are sick of being lied to.

Customer :

So if i do all that and it proves that it wasn`t any of the above...what then

ComfortZone :

I know the game some of these companies play.

ComfortZone :

Since you say you have a ranch style home with only 1 floor means there should not be any dampers to worry about. A damper is basically a way to shut duct down to push air where it is needed. Usually done in a multi level house where you do not need as much AC in the basement as you do on the 2nd floor

Customer :

My company was good but i don`t know what happened. You would think they would care because i also buy my propane from them. I could always go some where else but as you said the next one might be the same

Customer :

But there are dampers under my house

Customer :

I need het to keep the pipes from freezing

Customer :

i haven`t ever closed or opened them

Customer :

So i should close those dampers for the summer and open them a bit for the winter?

ComfortZone :

These dampers would be in the ductwork of the furnace

ComfortZone :

Full Size Image

Customer :

Yes they are, but they are inside the pipe. It must not be that because they haven't ever been moved it has to be the other

ComfortZone :

There would be a handle in your ductwork to open and close them

Customer :

there is

ComfortZone :

Full Size Image

Customer :

yes

ComfortZone :

This one would be in round duct

ComfortZone :

so do you have these

Customer :

well they are inside but have a handle like that

Customer :

yes i have these

ComfortZone :

There is a wing nut on the handle?

ComfortZone :

that should lock it in place

Customer :

but closing them would only solve the cooling part maybe

ComfortZone :

Not sure, but it is worth a shot

Customer :

i will try that and if it changes the amount of air then what is the solution for the heat?

ComfortZone :

Not sure about that one. You say these are open in the winter to provide some heat to the underneath of your house to keep your pipes from freezing

Customer :

yes they have always been open since the furnace was put in

Customer :

the air flow was good

ComfortZone :

Not sure then. I am out of ideas.

ComfortZone :

Try closing them and see if you get more airflow though

Customer :

You my friend are not the first one to say that to me!

Customer :

I will. If no more air flow then i know it will be near the fan

Customer :

At least i hope!

Customer :

All i can do is either try what we have discussed or call someone in.

ComfortZone :

All right. I sure hope it works.

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