AC systems are designed to move air through a network of ductwork to every room in a home. With an optimal air conditioner, the air will flow through the system without resistance. This equates to a static pressure that is at or near zero. Any disruption in the airflow causes the static pressure to increase. At McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer services in Jacksonville, FL, to troubleshoot, repair, and prevent high static pressure in AC systems.
What Is High Static Pressure in Your AC System?
Static pressure can be described in the most basic terms as tension inside the ductwork that builds up when the air doesn’t flow easily. High static pressure means that there is too much resistance inside the ducts, and this is a good indication that there is a problem with the airflow path in your AC system.
What Causes High Static Pressure in Your AC System?
High static pressure is related to the ductwork or filters. Within the ductwork, you may have frame damage, such as kinks, dents, or collapsed sections. The ductwork may not have been designed properly for the AC unit. In these cases, the high static pressure has been present for a long time. The issue may be that the ductwork is too small for your current unit. This often happens when Jacksonville homeowners upgrade their AC units. Another possibility is that the ductwork was not installed properly for the current AC unit, or perhaps additions have been made to the house, but the existing ductwork was not properly modified. Using the wrong filters on your AC system also causes high static pressure.
What Are the Signs of High Static Pressure in Your AC System?
High static pressure does cause some tangible signs. High or low humidity inside your house is a good indication of high static pressure in your AC system. You may also notice that you have hot or cold spots in your home. If your utility bills are higher than normal from the previous year, this can be a sign of high static pressure. Lastly, AC systems that endure high static pressure over years of use will generally fail before the end of their expected lifetimes.
Why Is High Static Pressure a Concern for Your AC System?
In order to understand the impact of high static pressure in your ductwork, think of your blower and compressor as the heart of your AC system. These pieces of equipment are responsible for moving cooled air into your home. The ductwork is like your system of blood vessels. The air needs to move easily through the ducts, and any points where the ducts narrow will cause an increase in pressure. The blower and compressor have to work harder to maintain continuous airflow. Otherwise, there may be a backflow of air inside the ducts. This can cause a range of problems throughout your house. Additionally, the strain on your blower and compressor shortens the lifetime of the components.
How Can You Check Static Pressure in Your AC System?
At McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer annual maintenance checks for residential AC systems in Jacksonville. During these tune-ups, we’ll check your static pressure, ductwork, and filters. You can also monitor the static pressure on your own by installing a Magnehelic gauge. The gauge works much the same way as the cuff that is used to check your blood pressure. A diaphragm inside the gauge is sensitive to pressure changes inside the system. The dial on the gauge indicates the levels of pressure, and ideally, it should be at or near zero.
What Should You Do If You Have High Static Pressure in Your AC System?
Finding the source of high static pressure in your AC system requires expertise. If your Magnehelic gauge gives an alarming reading or you notice signs of high static pressure throughout inside your home, McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning can help. We’ll conduct a thorough inspection of the system, ductwork, and filters. Once we identify the problem, we’ll explain our findings and recommended the necessary repairs.
What Types of Repairs Are Needed for High Static Pressure?
While the repairs for high static pressure can be relatively simple, you should entrust the work to an experienced technician. Some of the areas that may need repairs or replacement are the filters, ducts, blower, and compressor. Filters are the easiest solution for high static pressure. The filters should be of the correct size, style, and material. If the filters are dirty, this may also cause high static pressure inside the ductwork. If you have damaged ductwork, the repairs may involve replacing only the affected sections of ductwork. If the entire system of ductwork is not designed, sized, or installed properly, you may need to replace most, if not all, of the ductwork to provide a more efficient network throughout your home.
Will You Need to Replace the Blower and Compressor?
After making repairs to the filters and ductwork, you may need to replace the blower and compressor. Chances are that any issues in the ductwork or with the filters have caused premature wear and tear to these components. The technician evaluates these components to determine if repairs are needed or if the parts should be replaced. Depending on how long your AC system has been operating with high static pressure, the repairs may be minor. If the blower and compressor have been damaged, the technician might be able to make repairs, but the parts will need to be replaced sooner than the expected lifetime.
How Can You Prevent High Static Pressure in Your AC System?
There are many ways to prevent or catch high static pressure in your AC system. These steps include:
- Scheduling annual maintenance with a professional technician
- Working with a reputable contractor when you’re upgrading your AC unit
- Hiring a trusted technician if you’re planning to remodel your home or expanding the living space
- Having a professional inspect any ductwork that may be in older homes
- Not ignoring any issues with your HVAC system
- Carefully monitoring your utility bills every quarter and annually for increases in costs
If you are building a new home, work with the experts at McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning to design your entire HVAC system, including the ductwork layout. We recommend AC and heating units that will provide the greatest levels of efficiency in your budget and reduce the risk for high static pressure in the future.
McGowan’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers comprehensive residential HVAC services in the Jacksonville area. Our technicians are experienced with AC repair, maintenance, and installation. We’re also experts in heating solutions, duct cleaning, indoor air quality products, attic insulation, commercial services, and new home construction. We carry a full line of HVAC filters, AC units, heating units, air purification products, and more. We work with homeowners in Jacksonville and surrounding areas to update, design, and improve their AC systems to ensure maximum comfort and efficiency throughout the year. Call us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.