How Can the Room Design in Your Home Affect Airflow?

If you’ve experienced stale, stuffy air in your home, you might blame the room design. Some interior spaces lend themselves to ample airflow even when the HVAC system isn’t running, while others have little to no air movement unless fans or the HVAC system is on.

Characteristics of Room Design

  • Homes with walls between rooms will have greater airflow challenges. Walls block air movement, and small rooms will have lower airflow rates unless the HVAC contractor compensated by changing the ductwork size and distribution.
  • The great-room concept is the best room design for natural airflow. The lack of walls or other obstacles keeps the air flowing throughout the space.
  • Homes that have two windows on adjacent or opposite walls in each room have greater airflow when the windows are open.

Two-story homes have a natural airflow from the first level to the second level; this is called the chimney effect.

Increasing Airflow

While it’s possible to alter a room design to improve airflow, it’s easier to increase ventilation by:

  • Adding a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans represent an affordable way to increase air movement even when the house is closed up. A ceiling fan pulls air from the floor or ceiling depending on the season. As it pulls the air from one direction, the opposite sides of the blades push it. If there is an open window in that room, the ceiling fan will pull some of it inside, which freshens the air.
  • Balancing the HVAC system. A licensed HVAC contractor can air balance your HVAC system so that every room receives the optimal amount of airflow. They can alter the size of the ducts, change the position of the fins on the registers, or add ductwork and registers to an existing room.
  • Moving the furniture around. You may be able to simply move the furniture to better utilize the airflow patterns in the room. Moving the couch to a place with greater airflow may alleviate any discomfort you experience because of room design. 

If you’re experiencing stale, stuffy air, the HVAC pros at CCAC can assess your room design and find effective solutions. We provide trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »