The blueprint for your home includes the location of walls, doors and windows. Did you know that there’s a page on that blueprint that caters to your HVAC needs? It states the size of register and return openings in each room, where the ductwork will be placed and how it should be insulated. That page also states a unique number, the CFM number, for each room. The CFM number basically defines your home’s air balancing needs.
In this blog, we’ll look at air balancing. We’ll tell you what it is and why it is important to maintain it just like it is essential to maintain your HVAC system. But first, what is air balancing all about?
Air Balancing 101: What is Air Balancing?
CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, a unit of measurement that defines the amount of air from your HVAC system to keep a uniform temperature in your home. The CFM number for a room is determined by its size, shape, and the number of people who occupy it.
If the CFM in your home’s blueprint is met, there won’t be any noticeable differences in temperature in different rooms in your home. Your HVAC system will also run more efficiently. If your print’s CFM is met, there won’t be any hot or cold spots in your home.
If the team that installed your HVAC system after your home was built did so according to the prescribed CFM requirements per room, you won’t have any air balancing problems in your home. If the sizing was wrong, your home probably has an unbalanced air system. Read on to find out more about the causes of an unbalanced air system.
What Causes Unbalanced Air Flow?
You will see some of these signs if your home has an unbalanced airflow:
- Inadequate Air Flow: The rooms in your home farthest from your HVAC system may not have enough airflow and you will see a rise in temperature in those particular areas.
- High Energy Bills: An unbalanced airflow means that your HVAC system is working harder than it should to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This will result in higher energy bills.
- Hot or Cold Spots: Rooms that are further away from your HVAC system will be warmer or cooler than rooms that are closer to the system.
In addition, your home master plan may include a room that has more than one exterior wall around it. For instance, the room above your garage, usually on the second floor, may have two outer walls. For your HVAC system to be able to balance air flow, the room should have been adequately insulated to account for the exterior walls and floor. This room will also require special ducting to make sure there’s enough airflow. Your home will have an unbalanced airflow if these issues are not taken care of.
How do I Know I Have an Air Balancing Problem?
If any of the points we’ve discussed so far sound familiar, it’s a good idea to get your home’s airflow checked for air balance testing by a professional. The technician will check the airflow reading at the registers, return vents, and other places in your ductwork. If you have an unbalanced airflow, he will let you know a few ways to solve the problem.
For your HVAC system to run at maximum efficiency and save you money, your exhaust fans, grill, fresh air, and registers have to be balanced. If one or more of these factors are not balanced, the HVAC system will have to work harder than necessary to achieve thermal comfort in your home. This will result in high energy bills and a shorter lifespan for your unit.
Why is Air Balancing Essential?
If your home has a well-balanced system, it will be more comfortable and cost less to heat and cool. A well-balanced system is also essential for good indoor air quality.
A professional HVAC team like Robert B. Payne will be able to resolve your air balance problems. Next, we look at several ways to solve an unbalanced airflow in your home.
How to Solve Your Home’s Air Balance Problem
Adding more vents to the problem areas in your home is the most common way to solve an airflow problem. While this will resolve the room’s air balance problem, you’ll place more burden on your HVAC system which has to work harder to heat and cool your home.
Here’s a look at common causes of air imbalance and the comprehensive ways to achieve an air balanced home.
For rooms that are not balanced, adding insulation is the best way to achieve an air balanced home. Rooms with extra exterior walls and floors will require more insulation as well to achieve the air balance you desire.
Accurate Duct Sizing
Sometimes, increasing airflow by adding vents to a room may not be the best way to solve an air balance issue. You should look at the duct size and the location of the room relative to your HVAC system. Reducing the duct may just be all you need to increase airflow to the affected room.
Upgrade Your Windows
Windows play a major role in any room in your home achieving the needed CFM expectation. Upgrading the windows in the rooms with air balance issues will not only help to improve airflow but also make your home more energy efficient.
Final Thoughts on Achieving an Air Balanced Home
It’s important that every room in your home has proper airflow for two main reasons. First, it ensures the comfort of everyone in your house. Second, it protects your HVAC system from working harder than necessary which could lead to a shorter lifespan for the unit. If you’re having trouble with rooms in your house not being comfortable, or your energy bills are higher than normal, it’s time to have a professional check the air balance in your home.
Contact Robert B. Payne if You Think You Have Air Balance Problems
If you think you have an air balance problem in your home, the first step is to contact a professional HVAC contractor like Robert B. Payne. We will come to your house and perform an airflow test at the registers, return vents, and other places where air flow can be detected. If we find that you have an unbalanced airflow, we will let you know a few ways to solve the problem. Give us a call today at (540) 373-5876 to schedule an appointment!