If you have noticed inconsistent temperatures when the air conditioning is running, your HVAC system may benefit from air balancing. Air balancing is the process of optimizing an HVAC system to ensure that air conditioning outputs are consistent, and temperatures are comfortable in all rooms of the house or building.
The Purpose of Air Balancing
Do you feel a big change in temperature from one room to the next? Are their spots in the house or building that are warmer or colder than others? Air balancing aims to correct these types of airflow issues and evenly distribute temperatures throughout.
The process requires testing and modifying an existing HVAC system in order to deliver the optimal flow of air conditioning to every space in the building. Air balancing is an important part of planning large commercial construction projects, but the same principles can easily be applied to individual homes or apartment complexes.
In addition to improving the comfort levels during the summer months, air balancing may also help increase the air conditioning system’s efficiency, decrease energy bills and wear on HVAC components.
HVAC Problems that Air Balancing Can Help Diagnose
By combining and analyzing the data from these tests, HVAC professionals will have a clearer picture of the performance of your system. They can create a virtual map of the comfort balance and air flow in the building. This will help pinpoint temperature inconsistencies and identify the underlying problem.
HVAC issues that may be identified through an air balancing inspection include:
- Damaged or perforated air ducts
- Loose duct joints
- Undersized ducts
- Excessively long ductwork
- Ductwork with sharp turns
Solutions for Air Balancing Issues
Improving the air balance in your home or office may be as simple as adjusting the fan speeds or control devices and thermostats. The HVAC technicians may also suggest adding dampers or adjusting the existing ones to achieve the desired airflow.
If technicians determine that airflow is imbalanced because of a problem with the ducts, they will then discuss with the homeowner or property owner the best course of action to fix it. The solution may be to simply insulate or seal the ducts. It’s recommended that any air conditioning ducts that have collapsed, have holes or are otherwise damaged be patched or replaced. Loose duct joints can be repaired by refitting and sealing the junction.
HVAC system design flaws, such as inadequately sized ducts or ductwork that is too long, may require more invasive modifications. A complete redesign probably isn’t practical, but it may be possible to retrofit the layout of some ducts to even out the flow of air conditioning.
How Air Balancing Works
To check the air balance, HVAC technicians will need to test your system’s performance.
First, the technicians need to understand how much air is exiting from registers around the house or building. To do this, they will position flow hoods over the air supply registers which will measure the air flowing out. Then, using other equipment, such as a manometer, they will evaluate the air pressure on the supply and return sides of the HVAC system. Using a hygrometer, they can gauge the amount of humidity in the different spaces in the house or building, as well as heat gains and losses.
Advantages of Air Balancing
Increase Energy Efficiency
HVAC system performance is directly related to airflow. Unbalanced airflow in a home or office requires the system to work harder. By fixing any problems inhibiting balanced airflow, you ensure that energy used for air conditioning isn’t wasted.
Longer Lifespan for HVAC Equipment
Good airflow decreases the amount of dust, mold and buildup that collects in your heating and air conditioning system over time. This, combined with the resulting increased efficiency of balanced airflow means that the HVAC system should last for more summers to come.
Improved Comfort Levels
Living spaces that don’t receive enough air conditioning are uncomfortable in the summer heat. Air balancing aims to deliver the optimal amount of cool airflow to each room and eliminate hot spots or stuffy rooms.
Better Air Quality
Efficient air exchange improves air quality by lowering the amount of mold spores, pollen and dust suspended in the air within a house or office.
Looking for Air Balancing Services Near You?
Don’t settle for patchy air conditioning output in your house this summer. You shouldn’t walk into a room in the building and get the sensation that it’s hot, stuffy or stale.