Common Air Flow Questions From Customers

On average, our technicians are in 150 Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan homes every day. We’ve noticed, some of the same homeowner questions keep coming up.
Here’s our expert answers from Operations Manager James Olesen:

1. Should I open or close my basement registers?

Open them in the winter so you can heat the basement, but, since basements are typically cooler anyway during summer, you can shut the registers. Remember, cool air sinks.

2. My couch is blocking one of my registers. How bad is that?

Having one blocked register isn’t the end of the world, especially if there is a little space under the furniture, the air will find a way out, Olesen said. In fact, if there are several registers in a room, losing one usually won’t impact air conditioning in that space. But never ever block a cold air return. “It’s much harder on your system to pull in fresh air than to push out the cool air, so keep the returns free from all blockage,” he said.

3. What are the optimal thermostat settings for my air conditioner this spring?

“It really depends on personal comfort,” he said. “But don’t let the house heat up every day and expect your AC to drop it back to your comfort level at 5 o’clock when you come home. That is really hard on the HVAC system.”

4. Can I hose off my own condenser coil (the stuff inside my outdoor AC unit) with a hose?

You sure can. It is especially helpful to clear cottonwood fluff when that starts flying here late May. Remember to never use a pressure washer, but you can certainly rise off dirt and remove debris. Then, let your professional technician do a thorough coil clean and tuneup once a year.

5. How should my ceiling fans be set this spring and summer – clockwise or counterclockwise? Does turning on the furnace blower help?

It really doesn’t matter, because either direction mixes the air, which is ultimately what you want. But, for summer, clockwise will push air down toward you and make you feel the breeze. Less expensive and more efficient though, is leaving your furnace blower on, even when the AC isn’t running.

6. Can I sleep with my windows open?

Once we hit the high humidity of summer, you are better off leaving the windows closed at night. Otherwise, your air conditioner will have to work extra hard in the morning removing all that humidity you let in overnight.

7. Should I vacuum dust off my cold air returns?

Yes. And get a professional duct cleaning about every six years.


Remember Home Comfort Experts is YOUR source for cooling, air quality and plumbing news! We can help!
Call Amanda to set a time for your reporter and photographer to ride for a few hours in one of our clean vans to see the inside of furnaces, duct and dryer vent cleaning, UV light germ-killing equipment and other highly visual HVAC events.
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