Understanding Airflow in Your Home | Ryan Refrigeration Heating Air

Understanding Airflow in Your Home

May 15, 2020

Airflow inside your home is important for several reasons. Stagnant air is a red flag that signals there is most likely indoor pollution inside. If the air remains immobile for an extended period of time, you will smell it and feel it. It is one thing to go outside and feel the mugginess of a humid day in San Diego. Inside, however, you should be able to come home to a comfortable environment.

Professionals like us at Ryan Refrigeration, Heating, Air, & Solar have been helping customers achieve that comfort and peace of mind for several years. Here are some things about airflow to consider:

How Does Air Flow?

Changes in pressure cause air to flow. When there is no pressure, the air remains stagnant. On those hot summer days that are also muggy, stagnant air can be quite uncomfortable because there is no slight breeze to take the edge off. Wind is caused by air that is moving from high pressure to low pressure.

Indoors, you rely on pressure to circulate air from one end of a room to another or from one room to another. The pressure is caused by your heating, cooling and ventilation system. Most new homes have an HVAC system. Older homes may not have an HVAC unit, but by installing ceiling fans or opening the windows, you can cause a similar effect. You can also invest in a unit and have our professionals set it up for you. Here are some ways to successfully create healthy airflow in your home:

Get Regular HVAC Maintenance

The best way to improve the indoor airflow of your home is to ensure that your HVAC system receives regular maintenance. At different points of the year, there are different allergens floating around. Preventing them from getting into the air is impossible. When the trees and flowers are blooming, pollen will be in the air. It is going to get into your home with the air that blows inside. You may even drag it indoors with your shoes. You should, therefore, go on the defensive.

Regular HVAC maintenance ensures that the ventilation system is not blowing dust into the rooms that have vents. Our technicians can also replace the filter. The purpose of the filter is to capture the dust that gets sucked in by the cooling system. This way, the cooled air that is pushed out is mostly dust-free.

During maintenance, you can take the opportunity to speak with our technician about any airflow concerns you may have. If you are noticing that the cooling system is pushing more dust into your home, your ductwork may need to be cleaned up. If you have noticed that your energy bills are steadily increasing, your system may be working harder and producing less output. The airflow could simply be obstructed, too.

Eliminate Obstacles

To optimize the airflow in your home, you must eliminate obstacles to that airflow. There has to be open space around the unit and your vents. If you have furnishings near vents, it is wise to reposition them. When there isn’t enough space to allow air to flow freely, your HVAC unit must work harder to do its job. This increases energy usage and energy costs.

You also have to take into consideration the obstacles that you cannot see. Dust clogs, among others, also block the airflow’s path. Whether those clogs are in the coils, drain lines or the filter, they must be removed. One way you will know that clogs exist even though you cannot see them is less output and higher energy bills. Our technicians can inspect the unit and outline their findings for you.

Open a Window

On days when it is not warm enough to run the cooling system but it still feels stuffy indoors, open a window to improve airflow. In the morning, for example, this is when you can let in the freshest air. Now, if you are someone who suffers from respiratory issues, you are technically caught in a catch-22.

As mentioned earlier, different allergens and pollutants are floating in the air at different times of the year. So, if you open the window, you may let some of them in. The good news is that there are ways to strike a balance.

First, ensure that your HVAC unit has been cleaned. One of our technicians can perform this service. When you finally do turn it on, it is less likely to blow clumps of dust in your home. Then, invest in at least one air purifier. An air purifier is not going to clean up the air 100%, but it can improve it by at least 50%. There are purifiers on the market today that claim to trap up to 80% of allergens floating in the air. A great way to judge the effectiveness of your purifier is by the way you feel. If you have respiratory issues, notice if you feel better or worse after setting up the purifier.

Next, you might consider adding screens to the windows. Screens are great for trapping dust. Also, mosquitoes and other pests are less likely to enter your home without an invitation. The fresh air will still enter your home and improve the air circulation indoors. An open window allows the indoor stuffiness to escape, too.


Once the air is flowing and circulating indoors, it is great unless that airflow is picking up dust inside your house. So, to minimize the flow of dust indoors, make sure that you are cleaning on a regular basis. Dusting off the furniture is a must. If it is not removed, the dust will fly around when you turn on the cooling system. You are encouraged to regularly change the bedding, too. When you go to sleep, the last thing that you want is to sleep on a layer of dust.

Decluttering is also vital to reducing the amount of dust in your house. Anytime there is a stack of books or clothes, that is fertile ground for dust to gather.


Ultimately, optimal airflow comes down to good ventilation. Remember that optimal airflow is only a positive if it does not contain a lot of dust and allergens. Otherwise, you are just spreading around triggers for respiratory ailments. Even those who are healthy could be prone to respiratory issues.

The ventilation in your HVAC system is the component that determines how much air is reaching its destination. The homes of today are built to be as energy efficient as possible. This means that your indoor air does not escape and the outdoor air does not get in, either. Ventilation forces the indoor air to flow so that you are comfortable indoors.

For more airflow tips, contact us at Ryan Refrigeration, Heating, Air, & Solar in San Diego. We offer heating and cooling repair, installation and maintenance services. We can even handle solar projects and commercial jobs. Give us a call to learn more.

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