Top Three Things That Might Starve Your AC Of Air

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The air conditioner (AC) can only cool your home if it gets the air to cool in the first place. The AC gets this air through the return vents and duct system. Anything that starves your AC of air can cause the system to malfunction and affect your home's comfort. Below are three main things that can starve your AC of air.

1. Improper Design

Professional AC design ensures maximum airflow throughout the house. The air should flow from the AC, cool the house, and then return to the AC for cooling. The AC will starve if something interferes with this flow. Below are some design issues that might cause such interference.

Small Ductwork or Vent

The AC might not get enough air if the return vent or ductwork is small and cannot handle the required air volume. Such a situation might arise if the vents and ductwork don't match the AC capacity.

Few or Improperly Placed Vents

Your AC gets its air through the vents that should be in different parts of the house. Ideally, every room should have a vent to return stale air to the AC even with closed doors. The AC will starve if your house has only a few vents or if you place the vents in the wrong areas.

The effect of improper design on airflow underscores the need for professional AC design and installation. An AC contractor won't make the mistakes that a DIYer or an amateur installer would.

2. Damage

Even if the vent and duct design is adequate, the AC might still might not get enough air if something damages the ductwork and causes air leakage. Below are some ways this might happen.

Duct Disconnections

The ductwork comprises several pieces of material, such as fiberglass or metal, that connect to deliver air from the house to the AC. Wear and tear or animals can disconnect the ducts at their joints and leak air before the air can reach the AC.


The ductwork material can also develop cracks or holes that leak air. Animals, wear and tear, and heavy impacts are some of the things that can tear the ductwork.

3. Clogging

Lastly, your AC might also lack air due to clogging in different system parts. For example, clogging in the following AC parts has such an effect.

Air Filter

The air filter cleans the air that enters the AC. If dirt, mold, or other debris clogs the air filter, they also restrict the air the AC receives.

Return Vents

Anything that blocks the return vents or registers starves the AC of air. For example, you might block the vents if you place furniture or other objects over the vents.

Duct Blockages

Duct blockages occur when animals die within the ductwork, debris gets into the ductwork, or something crashes the duct material.

Contact a residential HVAC services provider to learn more.