There are few things more frustrating than walking into an overheated house after a long day at work.

After all, your air conditioner has two jobs: cooling your home and circulating that cool air. Why can’t it tackle these both?

However, that second task can be surprisingly tricky, and HVAC airflow problems are among the most common HVAC problems most homeowners will tackle. Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of the four most frequent causes—and what to do about them!

Read on to bring your system back up to speed.

1. Closed Registers and Vents

This is the obvious first place to check when there’s low or no airflow, but many homeowners forget to start here. Someone else in the house may have closed a return or supply register to keep a room warmer, or you may have forgotten you closed it between seasonal temperature fluctuations. Either way, make sure to open all registers and vents to prevent a loss of airflow.

2. Clogged Air Filter

Experts recommend that you change your air filter every 6 months, or as needed. You may need more frequent changes if you have more occupants in your home or if you have pets.

Clogged air filters can affect the air quality in your home, and the more they’re clogged, the more likely they are to start affecting your airflow as well. You may even notice uneven temperatures throughout the rooms in your house, and your HVAC system may suffer damage as it struggles to push cool air where it’s needed.

Make sure to replace your filter with high-quality options whenever you notice they’ve grown dirty.

3. Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the substance responsible for cooling your home. When the air isn’t as cool as it should be, your refrigerant may be to blame.

If you’re worried about this, make sure to contact a professional to fix the leak. Experts like the team at Aire Serv are equipped to handle this dangerous substance for you, as it can be dangerous to breathe and can harm your bare skin.

4. Dirt or Obstructions in Your Outdoor Unit

When you’re seeing HVAC problems like reduced airflow, it’s a good idea to do an inspection of your entire system—including your exterior unit.

Sometimes, obstructions may make it hard for your system to run efficiently. These obstructions, including leaves, plants, and even branches, are usually easy to clear away. While you’re outside, check to make sure that your landscaping hasn’t become too overgrown around your unit.

In addition, debris or dust can sometimes build up if you haven’t cleaned your outdoor condenser unit recently. Take the time to wash this away, and see if it impacts your airflow.

Get Expert Help to Tackle Serious HVAC Airflow Problems

If you’re noticing issues that can’t be explained, even once you’ve checked out the common culprits above, it may be time to call for backup. An expert can help diagnose your HVAC airflow problems before they become serious. The last thing you want is to put these issues off and deal with HVAC emergency repair later down the line!

Want to learn more about the DIY home skills you should know? Check out our other posts!

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The Most Hotly Contested Web Design Concepts of 2016

If there’s one topic that gets people fired up it’s web design. To succeed online, a smartly designed website is crucial. Something that brings in visitors and keeps them on your page, absorbing content.

Unfortunately, what constitutes a great site isn’t always agreed upon, and there’s constant debate of best practices, what’s hot, what’s not, and what is the cancer that is killing the industry. The argument still rages on, and recently it’s moved on to these commonly used web design elements:

The Carousel

“We’re not at the park, so why are we going around and around? Because people keep designing their sites with these blasted carousels” is just one of the commonly heard gripes about this supposedly interesting design choice.

Unfortunately, we have to keep clicking left or right to get another little morsel of information that the designers have deemed us worthy to handle. Are they afraid we can’t read full paragraphs? This one isn’t just a matter being annoyed personal preference, however, Carousel designs actually harm your websites performance.

They kill local SEO efforts by starving your site of actual content, the slow your site down with huge image files and JavaScript, and they are so confoundingly bad that nobody clicks through them all the way. The naysayers might have a point on this one, Carousels are way more trouble than they are worth.

Parallax Scrolling

You’ve seen this technique on graphics heavy sites in which the foreground and background scroll at different speeds. It creates a feeling of depth, helps tell a story through visuals, and looks pretty cool when properly implemented.

Unfortunately, it comes with some (resolvable) issues that may make it a waste of time. Like the Carousel, use of Parallax Scrolling is damaging to SEO. Since there’s usually just one page and a bunch of images, there’s no text content for search engines to crawl through and rank.

The abundance of images reduces performance (and completely kills performance on mobile devices). Most damaging of all though, is that the technique can just make it confusing to absorb any useful information, which will cut your number of repeat visitors down tremendously.

Think about it, would you stick around on a website where your only navigation option was to scroll downwards through hard-to read image/text combos? Of course, there are examples of Parallax Scrolling done right, so the argument is there that it’s all about how you choose to use it.

The Hamburger Menu

That three lined symbol in the corner on most websites that you click to access navigation options is commonly known as the hamburger menu.

While it does look cool, and you can see why one might be tempted to clean up their navigation by having it sleekly displayed in a drop-down menu, many say it kills a websites discoverability.

When your navigation options are out of sight, they are also out of mind, the thinking goes. There’s also the argument that it’s less efficient, since you’re forced to go to a separate menu just to see your options, but that’s more a matter of personal taste, it would seem.

We may never get definitive answers on whether these trends are good or bad, but it seems pretty clear that if you are going to try to incorporate any of these ideas into your design, you have to do it with care.

We’ve given you an overview of the tons of free web design options out there for building a pretty good site. When you have to move up to the big leagues though, it’d be prudent to hire some big league talent.

Professional web developers like Big Drop (out of New York), or Brown Box Branding (Dallas TX) offer great designs coupled with high level marketing strategies proven to keep the visitors coming back to your site for more.

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