How You Can Use Duct and Register Fans To Increase HVAC Circulation

As Douglas Trattner explains in an article for Houselogic, homes that frequently have cold spots during the winter or hot spots during the summer may be suffering from poor ductwork. While your HVAC itself may be working properly, problematic ductwork may be negatively affecting your home’s comfort and the energy bills that go with it.

Trattner expands on these problems:

“Twists and turns in ducts, along with long spans of ductwork, conspire to restrict air flow. While some parts of your house seem cozy, others may suffer from a lack of heated or cooled air from your HVAC system.” He adds, “The problem is usually worse in older homes with ducts that weren’t designed to handle modern heating and cooling systems.”

Luckily, there are solutions for improving your ductwork’s performance. Booster fans are one of these.

The role of booster fans

Trattner explains that booster fans are additional features that can facilitate the movement of air through ducts. Booster fans aren’t a solution to the underlying problems or defects with inline ducts, but they do increase air flow into rooms, in turn preventing sporadic cold and warm spots in some homes.

So how might you know your home could benefit from booster fans?

It is important for a certified HVAC inspector to check out your system. They will be able to identify the contributors at the root of airflow and efficiency problems. Common culprits are dirty filters, peeling duct tape and blocked air returns.

There are two common types of HVAC booster fans

Register booster fans: The least expensive and also most straightforward to install, register booster fans can be put into your existing wall, floor or ceiling register. “They mount flush to the surface, plug into the wall outlet, and feature a modest internal fan that goes on and off when the HVAC system kicks in,” Trattner adds.

Inline duct fans: Another option are cylindrical fans, which typically replace a section of ductwork. For inline duct fans to work, your HVAC ducting must first be exposed. “Though some units simply plug in, most are hardwired and require a relay back to the furnace that tells the unit when to switch on,” says Trattner, adding: “Installation may require an electrician.”

While inline duct fans often produce less noise than register booster fans, you need to be careful about identifying the “size and shape of your existing ductwork so you can pick the right-sized unit.”

When your heating and cooling system is working properly, your entire home is more comfortable. Make sure to do an inspection of these systems every year. Right now, as we head into spring, is a great time to check that your system is in top shape. 

SMO Energy carries a wide selection of HVAC equipment options. Browse our extensive options from top manufacturers like Trane, Carrier, Rudd, Navien and Rinnai. By meeting with one of our Home Energy Consultants, you can also get recommendations for your system that takes into account your fuel type, the size of your house and your temperature preferences.

Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation with one of our energy consultants. We also offer free estimates and great financing options for well qualified clients. You can reach our Client Care Center at 1-888-222-3720. We are available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. We also offer 24/7 emergency service.

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