A problem with your ventilation can easily wreak havoc on your entire house. A single blockage can prevent your heater and air conditioner from performing their jobs and regulating the temperature in your home. Therefore, it's important that you know how to identify a ventilation problem:
Check Every Vent Opening
First of all, you are going to want to check the airflow coming out of every single vent opening in your home. To do this, you should first just turn on the central fan. This will blow air throughout your ventilation system without costing you the extra electricity that it would take to run your heater or AC. Once the fan is running, you should place your hand over every vent cover. This will give you a good idea of which vents are working effectively and which are not. However, you will need to look at some other details before drawing any conclusions. A vent with no apparent airflow could be suffering from a blockage, but that isn't always the case.
Run the Heater/AC
Now you will want to check both the heater and the air conditioner. If you want to save money, you can check only one of the two, but this won't give you quite as complete a picture of the state of your HVAC. Running your system of choice for about half an hour, taking care to close every window and door that you can. This will help contain the environment in each room in order to make your diagnosis much easier. After the half hour is up, check each room to see what the temperature is like. You don't need to take detailed measurements, but you should be able to tell which rooms got hotter/colder and which did not. If you want, you can then test the other system that you haven't tested already. Again, identify the rooms that did not change in temperature.
Draw a Conclusion
In conjunction with your earlier test of the vent covers, this should give you a good idea of what you are dealing with. If your heater worked in some rooms, but not others, then you should find the same behavior in your AC and in the general airflow of those vent covers. If that is the case, then there is a good chance that there is a blockage very close to that vent. If the blockage was deeper in your ventilation system, then it would likely affect more rooms.
On the other hand, this information could help you find that your heater or AC aren't working at all. In such a case, you might want to take a closer look at those devices before hiring a pro to clean your vents. Click here to continue reading more about HVACs.