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What Causes Low Air Flow in Furnaces?

Many homes in Larchmont, NY make use of forced-air furnaces, which use burners or electrical power to warm the air, then blow it through the home via the duct system. Problems can be caused when the air flow is slowed, which can happen for a number of reasons. Only a trained technician can diagnose such a problem, but astute homeowners can spot the presence of low air flow and summon a technician to take care of the problem. Here is a quick description of the causes of low air flow, and why the situation is such a problem when it arises.


Low air flow arises from one of three general causes:

  • Blockages, or anything which restricts the flow of air through the ducts. Clogged air filters can sometimes cause this, as can dents or divots in the ducts themselves.
  • Diversions, such as breaches in the ducts or misaligned fans which direct the heated air in an unintended direction.
  • Power problems, typically resulting from issues with the fan motor or the electrical power to it.

Why This Is a Problem

The most obvious problem with low air flow is that it slows the heating process, which means the furnace must run longer and consume more fuel to do its job (raising monthly bills in the process). Of more pressing concern is the fact that without proper air flow the heated air simply stays inside the furnace. That can cause internal components to overheat, and while most modern furnaces will shut down automatically before that happens, it still renders the heating system effectively unusable until the problem is corrected.

If a homeowner detects low air flow from the vents, the best bet is to shut the heater down and call in a qualified repair service.

The professionals at Yost and Campbell Heating, Cooling and Generators can repair all manner of heating problems.

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