What is Air Balancing and Why Do I Need it?
When you consider the number of interconnected systems and environmental elements that affect your home, it’s no wonder why you may often experience comfort problems and high energy bills. If you want to strike the perfect balance for maximizing comfort and efficiency, there’s one system in your home that must be in balance. Keep reading to learn what air balancing is and why your HVAC system may need fine tuning this season.
What is Air Balancing?
Simply put, air balancing is the process of testing your home for efficient airflow, and adjusting your HVAC system so that each room receives the correct and comfortable amount of conditioned air. While your central furnace and A/C may need a tune up to operate safely and efficiently, balancing airflow in your Mid-Atlantic home generally involves repairing and/or modifying your ductwork system. Here’s how:
- Visual inspection: Your HVAC technician first visually inspect your ductwork system for air leaks, the condition of the insulation and listens for noises, such as rattling, that indicate loose joints.
- Measuring supply air: Air pressure at each supply register is measured with a manometer.
- Measuring return air: Return air pressure is measured with a flow hood test at each return grille.
- Temperature and humidity: A hygrometer is used to measure airflow temperature and humidity. This step helps identify heat gain/loss and humidity control problems.
Balancing Your Ductwork
Some of the common problems with the average home’s ductwork are leaky seals, a lack of insulation, moldy insulation and incorrect sizing. Depending on your ductwork’s condition, your HVAC tech may suggest adjusting or installing mechanical dampers to fine-tune airflow at each outlet. Your comfort and home efficiency may benefit with more return grilles or return transfers.
For air balancing modifications or new duct installations, make sure your HVAC tech is experienced using industry best practices for duct sizing.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.