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The Definition of Static Pressure in HVAC Systems

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In HVAC systems, static pressure is airflow resistance. Too little or too much static pressure in your system can lead to issues such as system failure and wasted energy.

The easiest way to visualize static pressure is to imagine a hose with unobstructed water flow. If you place your finger partially over its tip to change the hole’s diameter, the pressure increases, causing water flow to speed up.

Water and air are similar. When your ducts’ hole sizes are small, static pressure will increase because air is being forced to pass through a constricted pathway. The optimal static pressure is about half an inch for minimal noise and proper equipment maintenance.

Von’ Heating and Air frequently uses the word “static pressure” when discussing filters, ducts, and other HVAC components. An incorrect static pressure might strain your system to the point of failure. Besides affecting your system’s efficiency and energy costs, static pressure can increase your energy bills.

Three Indicators of High Static Pressure

There are three signs that your HVAC system has significant static pressure:

  • Uneven cooling and heating
  • Increased energy costs
  • Louder or noisier system

Before proceeding, we’d like to emphasize that these signs are not exclusive to this issue. However, if you’re experiencing all three, this may be the cause.

Uneven Cooling and Heating

This occurs when some portions of your home are either too cool or hot. In most cases, it’s because of poor circulation on certain system components so that it doesn’t heat or cool each room properly.

Increased Energy Costs

Did you know that your HVAC system could be causing a sudden increase in your electricity bills? Your air conditioner will always try its best to ensure adequate airflow throughout the house.

And when it encounters opposition, it works much harder to complete the task. However, the additional effort requires greater resources. Therefore, your energy costs will increase.

Have Von’s Heating and Air inspect your equipment, whether this issue or another is the culprit. If you overwork your system for too long, it will eventually fail. Moreover, if the breakdown leads to a cracked heat exchanger, your system will be irreparable.

A Noisier System

Do you hear the sound of air rushing or loud machine noises? These are indications of a system error.

We noted how resistance causes your furnace or air conditioner to work harder. This hard work often translates to loud noise. When the blower motor is functioning at full capacity, it generates louder noise, similar to when you floor the throttle pedal on your car.

You might also hear the air being sucked in and out of the vents with greater force because there is a greater suction.

It’s like when you slightly close your lips and use the same force to breathe in air. You will immediately hear and feel the airflow as it forces its way through the narrower opening.

Causes of High Pressure in Your Ductwork

Three things cause static pressure to increase in your ductwork:

  • The air filter is obstructed or clogged
  • You have undersized air returns
  • Your indoor coil is unclean or too small

Always have Von’s Heating and Air examine your ductwork to determine if either of the three applies. Then, we can inform you of the most appropriate steps to take. The majority of problems do not have DIY solutions. Therefore, working with a certified individual is quite inevitable.

An Obstructed Air Filter

Naturally, your system’s air filter changes the airflow. It acts as a screen and therefore stops dust, allergens, and debris from moving through the air ducts and the air itself.

As air travels past the screen, it captures these particles. However, sometimes the screen creates some resistance.

This is typically not a problem. Yet, if you haven’t replaced the filter in several months, it will become clogged, and then there will be increased resistance.

It is worth mentioning that your screen may be too powerful for the system; thus, the resistance may cause more damage.

The good thing is that the average screen may never have this problem. However, Von’s Heating and Air recommends purchasing filters with higher MERV that trap both small and regular-sized particles.

You Have Undersized Air Returns

The next issue is with your ductwork. In general, undersized or incorrectly built ductwork will increase static pressure.

Nevertheless, it’s important to address the issue of undersized air returns.

Air return ducts extract air from the room and recirculate it to the heating and cooling system. It is a vital and sometimes overlooked component of air circulation. However, if these returns are undersized, a problem can arise.

It’s comparable to breathing through a tiny straw; you can accomplish it, but you must exert more effort to breathe enough than your nostrils or mouth.

Similarly, your heating system will work harder to extract the amount of air required to maintain circulation with undersized air returns.

Also, there will be an issue with your air conditioning. Note that your air conditioning process requires the closed-loop circulation of refrigerant throughout the system. Without sufficient return air, this will be disrupted. This can eventually lead to significant problems, including failures and pricey repairs.

Too Small or Unclean Indoor Coil

If your system’s indoor coil is unclean or too small, it might increase static pressure.

Consider that the heat transfer procedure is accomplished by the coil. During the winter, it warms the air that circulates your home.

A refrigerant liquid containing your home’s heat energy evaporates and travels through the coil during the summer. The coil transfers heat so that the refrigerant can revert to a liquid form, travel back through the entire system, and absorb additional heat. And so, when there is a problem with the indoor coil, the entire system will be affected.

As with the air filters, the coil causes air resistance; this is unavoidable though it is insufficient to cause problems. Nevertheless, if it is unclean, the situation changes. Any dirt, debris, or other detritus on the coil restricts the airflow.

A too tiny coil causes the same issue regardless of how clean it is. Like return vents, not enough air will pass through it if it is too small.

Preventing These Issues From Happening

Perhaps you’ve noticed some recurring themes in the previous section. For example, when a component of your heating, cooling, and air conditioning system is unclean or inappropriately sized, problems will arise.

These issues will impact your home’s comfort and cost you a fortune in repairs and premature replacements. Before that happens, it’s highly essential to act fast. The key is implementing preventative measures and repairing the damage while it is still fresh.

Call us today if you live in Orange Park, FL and the surrounding areas for HVAC system repair, replacement, installation, and maintenance services. We offer several top-notch services for your HVAC system, including filter repairs, humidifiers and dehumidifiers repair and replacement, duct cleaning, ventilation, and air balancing services. From routine maintenance, fast repairs, and new systems installation, we will serve your HVAC needs to the fullest extent. Our services are tailored, meaning that we’ll ensure your 100% satisfaction. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

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