6 Strategies To Increase Airflow To One Room

Air Vent

The easiest way to enhance airflow to a single room is to make sure all register and duct dampers are open.

If the registers and dampers are closed, this can restrict too much airflow and cause your system to work much harder.

Even in rooms that aren’t being used, it’s best to leave the vents at least partially open.

A lot of homes have this problem of weak airflow to particular rooms.

With over a decade of HVAC service experience, it’s something I deal with on a regular basis.

Here are the 6 strategies to increase airflow to a particular room…

  1. Install A Booster Fan
  2. Use Ceiling Fans
  3. Check Vents And Consider Zoning
  4. Preventative Maintenance
  5. Have Your Ductwork Cleaned
  6. Invest in a Ventilator (ERV or HRV)

Strategy #1: Install A Booster Fan

Inline duct boosters are a good option for increasing airflow to one room.

A booster fan can be installed in the supply duct and wired in with the furnace to run when the furnace blower comes on.

Depending on the size of the fan, this can increase airflow from 100-800 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

Sometimes the ductwork is incorrectly sized or the furnace blower is too small to adequately provide enough air to certain vents, especially supply runs that are the furthest away from the furnace.

A duct booster is a great solution to increase airflow in these applications.

If you are considering adding a booster fan, check the size of your duct first. Each size has a maximum amount of air it can provide.

Six inch supply runs are the most common and can provide a maximum airflow of 100-CFM (assuming 0.1 friction loss).

Check the table below when sizing a booster fan to increase airflow to a room in your home. (Figures assume 0.1 friction loss)

Round Metal Duct SizeMax CFM

Strategy #2: Use Ceiling Fans

Using ceiling fans is a great way to increase airflow in a particular room.

When running your air conditioner, you can usually increase your thermostat set point up by about 4 degrees because of the cooling effect ceiling fans provide. You can read our guide on the best high CFM ceiling fans here.

The airflow from a ceiling fan will help the sweat from your skin evaporate more quickly.

Make sure in the summer you have the fan rotating counterclockwise to aid in cooling the room.

Strategy #3: Check Vents And Consider Zoning

If you notice one room in your home isn’t getting sufficient airflow, make sure your vents and dampers are open.

All your supply runs should have dampers in the registers and the ducts. They should always be open or partially open for your heating and air conditioning to perform at optimal levels.

In some applications a zoning system can be installed to comfortably control different areas of your home.

Zoning involves installing dampers in your existing duct that can be controlled by several thermostats to condition multiple areas at different temperatures.

Being able to set different zones at their own temperature is efficient and comfortable, but you have to have a proper set up for it to function well.


Strategy #4: Preventative Maintenance

Regular maintenance will help increase efficiency and ensure your system is providing as much airflow as possible.

In my experience as a licensed HVAC contractor, I can assure you that a dirty system will not provide the necessary airflow.

Typically the air filter is the first thing to clog and restrict airflow, but it’s not the only thing you should take care of.

Dirty blower wheels greatly reduce the amount of air that can be provided by your furnace. Accumulated dust and dirt inside your furnace will always negatively affect how your system is operating.

Maintenance on your system will take care of these issues and make certain you have sufficient airflow.

Not only is it great for your equipment, but it’s also great for your indoor air quality and can provide you with peace of mind knowing everything is up to par.

RELATED: How Strong Should Air Come Out Of Vents?

Strategy #5: Have Your Ductwork Cleaned

No matter how efficiently your air filter is cleaning the air in your home, dust and dirt can accumulate in your ductwork.

Over time this accumulation of debris can hinder the amount of airflow that can be provided. Think of drinking a milkshake through different sized straws. The smaller the straw, the more difficult it is to drink it.

The same is true in your duct. If you have significant obstructions and accumulated debris, it reduces the volume of air that can move to your vents.

Luckily having your ductwork cleaned is a very common service that lots of contractors can provide for you.

If you’re struggling with dust in your home, I invite you to check out our guide on the best air filters for dust control here!

dirty ductwork

Strategy #6: Invest in a Ventilator (ERV or HRV)

Energy recovery ventilators (ERV) and heat recovery ventilators (HRV) are a great investment for many reasons, one of which is increasing airflow.

An ERV is used to exchange stale air from your home and introduce fresh air from outside. It also helps retain moisture in the air in your home.

Having fresh air circulated into your home isn’t only beneficial for increasing airflow, it’s also much healthier.

An HRV does the same thing, but it does not retain moisture like an ERV does. This makes it a good choice for homes with higher humidity levels.

Indoor air quality is usually poor, especially in tightly built and well-insulated homes. The chemical pollutants from perfumes and cleaners as well as other off gassing materials and particulate matter get trapped in the home.

Ventilators eliminate this issue by bringing in fresh air and creating a slightly positive pressure environment in your home.

Read Also >> Why Is There Mold Smell In My Air Conditioner?

Final Thoughts

There are several simple tricks to try increasing airflow before installing additional equipment.

Checking vents and dampers and turning on ceiling fans doesn’t cost you anything and is a great place to start.

If after you take care of that you’re still having airflow issues, I would recommend calling a professional to check out your HVAC system.

Regular maintenance and duct cleaning not only benefits your airflow, it also ensures your system is working impeccably. Booster fans and ventilators are definitely recommended, but can be costly to have installed.

Airflow is essential for first-rate performance and any airflow related problems you may have should be rectified quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Fix Unbalanced Air Vents?

To correct uneven airflow, check all your vents and dampers to make sure they’re open. Inspect your equipment and ducts to make sure it’s clean. Lastly, install booster fans or a ventilator to increase airflow if necessary.

Why Is One Area Of My House Warmer?

If one bedroom or area of your house is hotter, you may have vents closed or duct related issues. If there’s lots of sunlight increasing the temperature, you may not have enough supply ducts to that room for the extra heat gained.

Is There A Way To Cool Just A Single Room?

You can cool only one room with a zoning system or with an independent AC unit like a ductless mini split. You can also try using a ceiling fan to help keep the room feeling more comfortable.

Why Is There No Airflow In One Room?

If no airflow is coming out of your vents in only one room, you have a damper closed or a duct issue.

The run could be disconnected or there could be an obstruction in the supply run. Inspect the vent and duct supplying that vent and open any dampers.

Will A Ceiling Fan Help Cool?

A ceiling fan won’t increase or decrease the actual temperature. It simply moves and circulates the air in the room changing the way the temperature feels. In the summer it helps sweat evaporate quicker, allowing our body to feel cooler in warmer temperatures.


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