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How Do You Fix Air Vents in Your House?

fix air vents house
Feb 2022

The weather in Ontario can be quite extreme. Summers get hot. And the winters can be pretty frosty. Hence, working air vents are key to staying comfortable in your home.

A working HVAC and optimal air vents will combine to keep you toasty or cool. That’s why it’s important to answer how to fix faulty air vents in the home.

Cold spots in your room or rooms with a different temperature than the rest of your home are signs of poor airflow in your house. Here, we’ll go over the causes of problems with your air vent. We’ll also cover repair hacks to help you fix faulty air vents in your house. 

Why Your Air Vent is Faulty

The journey to fixing your air vent starts with understanding why it’s not working optimally. The following reasons should guide your troubleshooting efforts:

Vent is Closed

Blocked vents are probably the most common in the book. Blockages in or around your vent will limit your HVAC’s capacity to cool or heat the room. After all, the system needs unfettered airflow to work properly.

Air vents in your house pump air into the room and are usually near the ceiling or baseboards. The first way to fix your house vent is by checking airflow through the vents. Obstructions like furniture, bedding and decor pieces can block airflow out of your house vents.

This evaluation step sounds like an obvious fix. But we find that many people forget it works. Clear any blocked vents and feel around it for optimal airflow. 

Damper Valves

How effective your HVAC system is revolves around optimal airflow. The damper is the flow regulating component of your HVAC system.

Damper valves direct optimum airflow to certain rooms in your home. Or, a damper can stop it altogether, depending on your needs.

Automatic dampers work hand in hand with a thermostat. While their operation is simple, they are more likely to get stuck. How you fix a house vent becomes harder when it’s an automatic damper system. It’s an electrical problem that’ll likely require the assistance of an HVAC professional.

Fixing your house vents when the problem is a faulty manual damper is more straightforward. Manual dampers can shift mistakenly to the wrong position. Simply look for them in your ductwork and move the damper to the proper position.

Manual dampers have a small lever that controls their position. You’ll have to assess the damper’s position in your ductwork and determine the correct position for it. Then, move the lever to the proper position.

Tracking all the manual dampers in your ductwork can be a challenging prospect. That’s why we often recommend talking to an HVAC professional about fixing your house vents. It’s a job they can do in one or two hours. 

Blocked House Vents

Air filters are in your heater or air conditioner system to keep out dirt and dust. But, they can only do so much. Now and then, dust bunnies and dirt particles will find their way into your HVAC system. Airflow through your ducts can also deposit small particles of dirt in your air vents.

These deposits will accumulate over time to cause airflow and air quality problems. Add the amount of foot traffic that goes through your home, and you have a potent recipe for blocked air vents.

In this situation, how to fix your house vent is as simple as cleaning the ducts. And unless you have the tools for the job, you’ll need a professional’s help. They can get into the duct, remove the blockage and get your vents working smoothly. 

Leaky Duct

The question of how to fix the air vents in your house becomes doubly important when you have leaky ducts. Holes and gaps in your home will cause a pressure drop that limits airflow.

Your home’s HVAC system must be 100% sealed at all times. The only exits and entrances that should exist are the vents in your home. Leaks, holes and connection gaps make it harder for air to move through the system. You’ll be left with weak airflow that may not be enough to cool or heat your home.

You can fix leaky air vents in your home through DIY methods. For example, adhesive tape and rubber can combine as a stop-gap until you contact an HVAC specialist. But the best option is to call in an appliance repair specialist. They’ll assess the entire vent system, find leaks you may have missed and fix them immediately.

Faulty Flex Duct

Your HVAC system uses a complex duct system to move air through your home. These ducts come in different sizes, configurations and shapes. Flex ducts are a common duct configuration present in areas where a solid duct can’t go.

Flex ducts comprise a flexible, insulated plastic material. They look like wire ribbing and often have a thin metal covering. Flex ducts are super flexible and will fit perfectly in areas where solid ducts are useless. For example, flex ducts are ideal for use in the attic area where space is a huge constraint.

While they remain super flexible, flex ducts are more likely to sustain considerable damage. Objects leaning on them, foot traffic and rodents are all factors that can restrict airflow in flex ducts.

Fixing air vents in your house is easier when the flex duct is the guilty culprit. Simply identify dents and kinks that can restrict airflow and undo them. The same applies if there is a need for replacement. New flex ducts are cheap and relatively simple for a professional to install. 

Air Filter Problems

air filter problems

Return vents in your home are responsible for drawing hot or cold air from your home. Air moving through the return vents must pass through a filter that removes dust, dirt and allergens. These filters have a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) value that determines their ability to remove dust and allergens in the return air.

HVAC filters can get dirty or blocked over a period of consistent use. It becomes harder for return air to pass through dirty air filters. Consequently, your HVAC system won’t have enough air to heat or cool your home.

Sometimes, the best way to fix air vents in your house is to check the filters. Clean the HVAC filters periodically to reduce the dirt accumulation rate. Another option is to replace your HVAC’s air filters periodically. Replace filters with less-fine models (follow manufacturer’s MERV rating recommendations), which tend to get blocked less frequently.

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How to Troubleshoot and Fix Air Vents in Your Home

Above, we have highlighted the different causative agents behind faulty vents in your house. It’s highly unlikely for air vents to suffer from all of the problems we discuss in the previous section.

Therefore, it’s important to identify which problem is causing poor airflow in your home. The answer to this query will determine the best way to fix air vents in your house.

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Are there cold or hot pockets in certain parts of your home?
  • Is there air coming out of the vents in your house?
  • Are you experiencing sharp, unexpected increases in your home’s energy bills?

A “yes” to every question above means you’re likely dealing with clogged or blocked air ducts. You can confirm the source of the issue by turning on your HVAC system and assessing each room in the house individually.

Check every vent in each room for optimal airflow. Be sure to make a mental note of rooms experiencing poor airflow. You’ll need this info when speaking to an HVAC repair professional or fixing your air vents through DIY means. 

Step-by-Step to Unclogging Air Vents in Your House

Here’s how to unclog air vents in your house:

  • Start by removing the screws on the duct overs 
  • You may also need to unscrew grill plates present on the return air ducts 
  • Use a paper towel to cover the supply vents. 
  • Tweak the thermostat until it’s set to “fan on.”
  • Then loosen and remove the air ducts.
  • Assess the supply and return registers for damage. 
  • Clean them thoroughly with water and a mild cleaning agent.
  • Return the registers to their former positions. Then, screw in the grip plates and air duct covers.
  • Airflow should return to normal after cleaning the entire system. 

Fixing Clogged Air Filters

Part of how to fix air vents in your house is cleaning clogged filters. As mentioned earlier, clogged air filters will disrupt the system’s ability to produce optimal airflow. In simple terms, clogged filters will leave your HVAC unable to cool or heat your home.

Start by changing your air filters every 30-90 days. Depending on how often your HVAC system sees usage, you may need to swap out air filters more frequently. House owners with pets should change their air filters far more frequently. Dander and hairs from pets increase the rate at which air filters get dirty and clogged. 

Why Your Air Vents May be Blocked

Understanding why your air vents may be blocked is a big part of fixing them. This information will help you solve current airflow problems and fix future ones.

Here’s why you may have to fix the air vents in your house:

  • Dirt buildup in the air ducts 
  • Dead animals in your air ducts 
  • Leaky ducts 
  • Damaged flex ducts 
  • Closed dampers
  • Physical obstructions near open vents

Each problem above comes with unique solutions. Dead animals and physical obstructions near open vents are easier to fix. It may be better to call in an expert HVAC professional to fix your air vents if you’re dealing with the other issues on the list above.

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So, How Do I Fix the Air Vents in My House?

The answer to how to fix air vents in your house revolves around removing blockages and clogs in the ductwork. Air filters and faulty dampers are other components that can contribute to poor airflow. You can use the troubleshooting steps discussed above to get your vents working optimally. 

What if your vents are still working poorly even after going through the steps above? Well, this is where we come in. Prime Appliance Repair is home to HVAC repair professionals with plenty of experience fixing faulty air ducts. 

You can always communicate with a friendly entity in our repair team by calling us. We’ll discuss appointments, provide a free price estimate and fix your faulty air vents the same day you call us. 

Get in touch with us today!

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