Air conditioning systems usually work by sucking air from a building, cooling the air, and then dumping the cooled air back into the building. This process is usually made possible by a system of ducts. Obstructions in any part of an air conditioner's duct system are bound to cause restricted airflow, something that will then have a negative impact on the air conditioner's performance. The following are common air supply obstructions that may be to blame for the drop in your air conditioner's performance.
A sucked-in air filter
Air filters usually help to not protect air conditioning systems from the negative effects of dust accumulation, but also improve air quality in air conditioned spaces. Unfortunately, the force with which the air is being sucked into the system can sometimes be too much for an air filter to handle. It may also be that the fasteners of a filter get loose. This may then cause the filter to be sucked into the air duct system. And since the filter is likely to be sucked into the duct system at an angle, it will make it almost impossible for air to pass through. This will restrict the rate at which air flows through the system.
To prevent this from happening, making sure that you tighten your air filter fasteners is important. Cleaning the filter will allow for smoother airflow through the filters and will thus create less resistance. Doing so will, therefore, help to reduce the risks of the filter getting sucked into the air duct system.
The collapsed sections of flex ducts
Sharp bends, an inadequate support structure, and restricted installation space usually increase the chances of flex duct blockage. When the material used to hold the flex duct in place is tied tight or forces the flex duct to hang on its own weight, it creates crimped sections that may not allow smooth flow of air through the system. This may then lead to restricted airflow problems such as coil icing that may then reduce the ability of your air conditioner to cool incoming air. This is a problem that can be avoided by providing the appropriate support structure to the flex ducts. Avoiding sharp bends during installation will also help.
Stuck zone dampers
Zone dampers are usually used to control the flow of air in a building with multiple spaces that need air conditioning. The dampers can be used to encourage cooled air to flow into a given space by restricting air flow to another. This is usually necessary especially in cases where a building has different lengths of ducts running into different rooms.
When a zone damper gets stuck while closed, it can completely block airflow to a certain section of the building. The resulting obstruction will then starve the section of cool air, making it uncomfortable. Zone dampers that get stuck when in an open position can also restrict airflow to spaces that can only get air if the damper is closed. In such cases, changing the defective zone damper is usually enough to get the air duct system working as efficiently as it should.
For more information on air conditioning maintenance and repair, check out websites like http://www.getzschman.com.