Air conditioners and furnaces work to maintain an optimal temperature by constantly cycling chilled or heated air through a home or building. Air conditioners, for example, extract heat from the inside and transfer it outside. The rate at which the air moves through a building, known as airflow, depends on the size of the building’s ductwork and how much resistance is created by its contents.
Airflow also depends on static pressure resulting from friction and other airflow resistance. The higher the static pressure, the harder it is for air to move through a duct, which means it has to work harder and draw more energy. Static pressure is the force needed to overcome internal resistance and move air through a duct. Higher pressure means less airflow, while a lower static pressure allows air to flow more freely.
Signs of High Static Pressure
Here are three signs that your static pressure is too high:
- A noisy system
- Higher energy bills
- Uneven cooling and heating
A Noisy System
If your air conditioner or furnace is making more noise than usual, there could be a problem with static pressure. This can be caused by a dusty, dirty, or clogged filter or debris caught in the system.
If your air conditioner makes a loud humming noise, it indicates high static pressure. If the problem persists, chances are you need to clean or replace your filter and possibly have your ducts professionally inspected.
Higher Energy Bills
The higher the static pressure, the harder it is for air to move through a duct. Your unit may be working overtime to overcome that resistance and moving more air than necessary, which means it will work harder and use more energy than usual. In extreme cases, this could cause your system to overheat.
Uneven cooling and heating
If your system is cooling and heating unevenly, you may need to check the ductwork, air handlers, and filters. High static pressure in a system makes it harder for air to move through ducts and obstacles such as clogged filters and registers. This limits airflow and reduces comfort by cooling or heating fewer areas of the house.
How High Static Pressure Affects Your Air Conditioner or Furnace
The higher the static pressure, the harder it is for air to move through a duct. Therefore, high static pressure in your system or ductwork is more energy-intensive and will use up more energy. Your unit may run hotter or take longer to cool.
High static pressure could also lead to equipment failure. High static pressure can cause the blades of your air conditioner to burn out more quickly and reduce their efficiency, which is why you should keep your filter clean. If high static pressure persists in your system, it can damage filters, compressors and other components.
What Causes High Static Pressure Problems
There are three reasons your air conditioner or furnace may have high static pressure:
- Indoor coil is dirty
- The air returns are undersized
- Air filter is clogged or too restrictive
Indoor Coil Is Dirty
When dust and debris build up on the evaporator coil, it creates friction with the air being blown over it. This reduces airflow and creates high static pressure. A dirty coil can be cleaned with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner. It is advised to use a soft-bristled brush, so you don’t damage the fins on the evaporator coil.
The Air Returns Are Undersized
Air returns are an essential part of a system because they help improve airflow and the comfort of the home. If you have undersized air returns, it can lead to high static pressure.
Air Filter Is Clogged or Too Restrictive
A dirty air filter can also cause high static pressure in a system. If a filter is too restrictive, airflow will be restricted because it won’t have enough space to pass through. This will lead to high static pressure.
Static pressure is a crucial aspect of maintaining cooling and heating systems. If the static pressure is too high and there is not enough area of circulation between the supply and return sides, it can cause premature wear on compressors, coils, or other components of a system that rely on a constant flow of air. At Travis Crawford Heating & Cooling, we install and maintain heating and cooling systems in your home. We are located in Charlotte, NC.
In conclusion, high static pressure can result in a noisy system, higher energy bills, and uneven cooling and heating. High static pressure can damage your system and the compressor. We offer cooling, heating, and plumbing services. Contact Travis Crawford Heating & Cooling today if you have any questions or concerns regarding your system’s static pressure.