What to Do When No Air Is Coming Out of Your Registers

It’s hard to know where to start when there is no air coming out of registers in your home. Service HQ has some helpful tips for understanding your HVAC system and troubleshooting potential airflow problems.

What is an HVAC Register?

AC registers are grill coverings that direct the air coming from your heat and air system. Each register has a damper that you can open or close to control airflow in the given area of your home. During the original construction of a home or the installation of new ductwork, registers are strategically placed to offer the most efficient heating and cooling of your residence.

Example of an air conditioning register

Potential Causes of Poor Register Airflow

Most air conditioning issues stem from one of two causes.

  1. Lack of Maintenance. If you’re having trouble with your air conditioning registers, improper maintenance may be to blame. While you can’t go back in time, it is possible that some basic checks and routine maintenance may fix your issues.
  2. Broken HVAC Components. Even with proper maintenance, you may encounter broken or malfunctioning components that must be repaired or replaced. Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t know about these issues until air stops coming out of AC vents.

Troubleshooting Register Issues

When you’ve noticed no air coming out of registers, start here!

  • Be sure the AC unit is on. Check your thermostat and make sure that you’ve got it set to cool.
  • Set cooling temp below current room temperature. Set your thermostat several degrees cooler than the ambient room temp to get your unit running.
  • Adjust dampers on your registers. Each register should have a lever that opens or closes the vent. Open all dampers and see if airflow improves.
  • Check your filters. Have you changed your air filters lately? It’s recommended that the average homeowner change filters every two months. If you have pets, you may need to change them more often. Filters are most often located in the return HVAC register but are sometimes housed in the air handler of the unit.
Man troubleshooting AC register issues

Other Potential Causes for Restricted Airflow

If these basic issues have all checked out and there is still no air coming out of registers, then there are other causes to consider.

  • Thermostat. If your thermostat isn’t working properly, then it may not be communicating with your AC unit. This could be a voltage issue or simply a faulty thermostat to blame.
  • Duct Blockage. If some registers are blowing and others are not, you may have a blockage issue in the ductwork. If there is no collapse, then a thorough duct cleaning may fix your airflow problems.
  • Air Handler. The air handler of your unit is in charge of blowing cool air through the ducts. If the unit is running but the air isn’t coming out of the vents, then you may have an issue with your capacitor or blower motor.

When to Call a Pro

Sometimes airflow issues can be quickly diagnosed and a DIY fix will get you up and running again. If that’s not the case, then it might be time to call in a pro.

Service HQ has a trained and experienced team of techs that can troubleshoot, diagnose, clean, and repair your air conditioning system. Should it be necessary, we also offer new unit installation and indoor air quality services. Want to stay one step ahead and avoid future problems or unexpected expenses? Regular AC maintenance services are available, too. Our top priority is providing quality services to keep your HVAC running efficiently.

We’re locally-owned and operated in Kansas and we service HVAC systems for business owners and residents in the Wichita area. You can schedule a service appointment to address register airflow issues or other problems using our contact form or by calling us at 316-425-5098.

Woman on the phone hiring HVAC services