How Static Pressure Affects an HVAC Systems

HVAC systems are quite complicated and rely on numerous factors to function properly. One such factor is static pressure, which essentially refers to the amount of air pressure inside the ductwork system. HVAC systems are created to work with a certain level of pressure, and if this pressure becomes unbalanced, it can cause numerous problems and make it more difficult to heat and cool the building. To help you better understand this concept, we’ve produced this guide to tell you everything you need to know about static pressure.

What Is Static Pressure?

Static pressure is defined as the resistance to airflow inside an HVAC system’s ductwork. HVAC systems are designed to circulate a specific amount of air and, in turn, require a specific amount of pressure to function properly. If the pressure inside the ductwork system is too high or too low for any reason, it can create numerous possible issues that can impact both the efficiency and effectiveness of your heating and cooling systems.

What Happens If the Static Pressure Is Too High or Too Low?

One of the most common problems caused by too high or too little static pressure is uneven heating and cooling in different parts of the building. If the pressure is too low, it indicates that the system isn’t pumping enough air. This means the system isn’t working well enough or providing enough air to fully heat or cool the entire building, and this issue is usually most noticeable in those rooms or areas at the furthest ends of the duct system.

A similar issue can also occur if the pressure inside the system is too high. The difference is that, in this case, the excess pressure will force most of the conditioned air into those rooms closest to the air handler, which generally doesn’t leave enough conditioned air to fully heat or cool those rooms further away.

Another major issue with pressure imbalances is that they cause your heating or cooling system to work much harder and run more frequently. This can lead to greater wear and tear, increased repairs and a shorter lifespan for your heating and cooling equipment. As you might expect, this problem also leads to greatly increased energy costs.

Too high or too little static pressure also tends to result in the HVAC system making far more noise whenever it runs. In most cases, you’ll hear a sudden whooshing of air flowing through the ducts whenever the system turns on. As well, pressure imbalances can also cause duct leaks, which can further harm the system’s ability to properly heat or cool the building.

What Causes High Static Pressure?

High static pressure is generally much more common than low static pressure, and this issue can have numerous potential causes. One common cause is if the HVAC equipment is improperly sized and too large for the size of the building.

The problem can also be caused if the ductwork is too small or not properly designed. This could be because the supply ductwork isn’t large enough to handle the volume of airflow or that the return ducts are too small to bring enough air back into the system.

High static pressure can also be caused by something as minor as using the wrong air filter or not replacing your air filter often enough. If the filter is overly dirty, it can dramatically restrict the amount of air coming into the system and thus increase the pressure. The same problem can also be caused if you try to use a filter that is more efficient than your system can handle.

Issues That Can Lead to Low Static Pressure

Low static pressure is generally caused by one of two things. One potential cause is if the furnace or AC is too small to provide adequate air for the entire building, and the only real way to correct this issue is to replace the unit with one that is the appropriate size. This problem is especially common in situations where people have added an addition to their home without upgrading to a larger HVAC unit.

The other cause of low static pressure is leaking or damaged ductwork. If the ducts are leaking or not properly sealed, it allows much of the air inside the system to escape and thus lowers the pressure. This problem can be easily taken care of by resealing or repairing your ductwork. However, if your ducts are more than 15 years old, it usually makes more sense to replace the entire system since ducts only have a maximum lifespan of 20 or so years.

If you’re concerned that your HVAC system is experiencing any type of static pressure issue, the expert technicians at BELOMAN are on hand to diagnose and repair whatever problems you’re facing. We work on all makes and models of HVAC equipment, and we are available 24/7 for emergency repairs. Our technicians work on both residential and commercial heating and cooling installations and repairs as well as indoor air quality and pest solutions. We also offer a wide range of plumbing services like drain cleaning, video inspection, water heaters, and faucets. We are located in Belleville and serve customers throughout the surrounding areas. Contact us today!