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Just like how blood pressure is a key indicator of your cardiovascular health, static pressure indicates the health of your air ducts. High static pressure is an indication of elevated pressure on the air duct system, which puts unnecessary stress on the system. Identifying the issue early will not only ensure that your equipment functions in top shape but also increase its durability and eliminate repairing costs. If you want to make sure that your heating and air equipment functions optimally it is important to consider how static pressure impacts its performance.

HVAC systems of any size are structured to support the movement of a certain volume of air through them. To make sure that the airflow is optimal, the ductwork should be designed in such a way that it enables the system to work efficiently. If all these components are fitted correctly, the static pressure is automatically optimal. However, improper ductwork is common than you think. Poor system designs, bad filter choices and a combination of these factors play a role in your static pressure issues. Whether it is the noisy systems due to restricted airflow, irregular hot/cold spots that hover above the register or expensive equipment failures such as a blower or compressor failure; everything can be attributed to improper static pressure.

What causes static pressure?

First pleated filter

Did you know that the first standard 1” filter can cause havoc in the airflow? Restricted airflow is one of the most common causes of static pressure. Trying to filter a large volume of air through a relatively smaller area can put undue pressure on the system. Replace it with a media filter with low-pressure drop. If you are concerned about allergens, simply add UV lights to the supply ducts or alternatively upgrade to a HEPA filter.

Poor ductwork

As described earlier, poor ductwork like sagging flex ducts, unnecessary extra bends and dips, or even other installation mishaps are all potential sources of high pressure. Reinstalling or replacing the ductwork is the only option if your static pressure is a result of botched ductwork.

Undersized return air

Compressors are designed to pump highly pressured refrigerant, but if the return air path is narrow, it can result in severe pressure buildup within the path. Your system may also send back the liquid to the compressor unconventionally. Prolonged exposure to such a wrong flow can create additional issues for the static pressure.

Static pressure can be tested using specialized equipment. The sooner the problem is detected, the easier and less expensive is the recourse. Having said that, detecting problems due to static pressure can be quite tricky. Minor faults in the pressure cannot be visible easily since most equipment still continue to ‘drag’ in spite of improper static pressure. It is not until a complete breakdown occurs that one can catch the static pressure component. It is imperative to carry out an early assessment of static pressure within your HVAC equipment and take preventive measure on time.

If you are not sure why your HVAC system is noisy or the airflow seems patchy, talk to an expert from Electric Horsepower today. Get your system checked and save on expensive repairs and replacements.