Do you have a room in your home that you would like to put to good use, but it’s too cold or too hot? Use the steps below to balance your residential HVAC system. Don’t let that room be a waste. Using air balance techniques, you can make sure that all the rooms in your home have a comfortable and balanced temperature.
Air balancing is a complex process. It often involves ductwork adjustment or repair, engineering calculations, testing, and adjusting. That is why many HVAC contractors do not recommend homeowners attempt it. However, it has numerous benefits.
Robert B. Payne is one of the few HVAC contractors who is an expert in air balancing and recommends that homeowners do their best to balance the system. We suggest starting with the basics.
What is Air Balancing?
Air balancing is the process of adjusting and testing the air distribution system in a home or commercial building to ensure an even temperature throughout. This means making sure that each room receives an equal amount of heated or cooled air.
When do You Require Balancing Your Residential HVAC System?
There are several reasons why you may need to balance your residential HVAC system.
1. You Experience Erratic Heating And Cooling
The number one reason people experience erratic heating and cooling is that they have an imbalanced residential HVAC system. This could be due to poor ductwork design or installation. While one room may be most affected, others may experience a slight imbalance which you may not perceive.
When you have hot and cold spots, you may be tempted to increase the temperature or lower it to compensate for the imbalance. However, this will increase energy costs and not solve the problem. It may also lead to problems with your HVAC system.
2. Your Home Has Undersized Return Vents
Supply and return vents supply fresh air to your rooms and return used air to your HVAC system. To maintain balance, your HVAC system should have the correct number of return and supply vents.
Sometimes, to reduce spending, builders will install a single large return vent to avoid adding additional vents. As a result, air pressure becomes imbalanced and rooms may not receive enough fresh air. You’ll also spend more on energy costs.
One return vent can be effective when the doors are mostly open. But if you close the doors often, your home will require additional return vents to maintain air pressure balance. Otherwise, there’ll be a negative pressure environment, leading to the intake of outside air through cracks and other openings. This air comes with moisture, dust, and other contaminants that reduce indoor air quality. This overworks your HVAC system and increases your electricity bills.
Now that you know why you have hot and cold spots in your home, it’s time to balance your residential HVAC system. This is not something you can do yourself, so it’s best to contact a professional HVAC contractor for help. They will inspect your system and make the necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance. Be sure to check their references and certifications before you hire them.
How To Balance Forced Air Heating Systems
In order for your home to have a balanced temperature, your certified air flow technician will do the following:
- Get the needed total system airflow from the heating output or system tonnage.
- Calculate the airflow in each room. To do this, the technician will use engineering calculations and other parameters like room size, location, and so on.
- Take a look at the design of the building to get a clear picture of the airflow pathway and the location of each room.
- Inspect and test the HVAC system to identify any problems and to ensure it is running at maximum efficiency.
- Record the delivered airflow readings for the whole system and then in each room. The results will then be compared to the calculated airflow requirements to check for disparities.
When they have finished their assessment, the technician will then use an air balance to make adjustments where necessary.
How to Increase Airflow in Air Ducts With HVAC Damper
Now, how do certified airflow technicians increase or decrease the airflow in your home to reach a balance? The process is pretty straightforward.
- They’ll adjust the system’s blower fan speed to increase or decrease the overall airflow output.
- They’ll carry out a comprehensive inspection of the ductwork to check for any air leaks or areas of impairment that may be leading to an imbalance.
- They’ll install or remove supply and return air ducts to adjust the airflow in each room.
- They’ll also insulate ductwork to reduce air leakage or the transfer of heat from one room to another.
- They’ll add dampers to the air ducts to control the airflow in each room. This helps to direct the right amount of airflow to each room. If the ducts already have dampers, these can be adjusted.
- Adjust the settings of the filtration unit or air cleaner.
After doing all this, the technician will then take readings to ensure that the system is balanced and running efficiently. If you would like to know how much all of this will cost, find out below.
How Much Does Air Balancing Cost?
Air balancing is a complex process that requires experience, time, labor, specialized equipment, and skill. It can not be compared to some other home improvement projects.
The cost of air balancing depends on the size and complexity of your air duct system, accessibility, and other factors. In general, you can expect to pay between $75-$150 for each opening. This does not include the cost of sealing, insulating, adding, or removing ducts. An average home with a few supply vents, one return vent, one exhaust fan, and one outside air intake can cost anywhere from $800 to $2000.
When it comes to balancing the air in your home, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about comfort – it’s also about efficiency and indoor air quality. Hiring an experienced HVAC contractor is the best way to go and whatever you spend on the project is worth the investment. Not only will you get a comfortable home with uniform temperatures, but you’ll also save on energy bills and enjoy better air quality.
What Are The Benefits of Air Balance?
Air balancing has numerous benefits for your home. Here are just some of them:
1. Improved Comfort Levels
As we’ve already established, air balancing ensures that every room in your home is heated or cooled evenly. This means you’ll be able to enjoy consistent temperatures throughout your whole house and improved comfort levels all year round.
2. Consistent Temperatures
This is one of the main benefits of air balancing. By ensuring that each room has the same amount of airflow, you can be sure that temperatures are consistent throughout your entire home.
3. Improved Indoor Air Quality
When airflow is balanced, you can be sure that the air quality in your home is improved. This is because the circulating air will be filtered and evenly distributed throughout each room. Because the building is well sealed and the air is balanced, there will be less chance of dust and allergens building up in your home.
4. Higher Energy Efficiency
If the airflow in your home is properly balanced, there’ll be even temperature distribution, and your HVAC system will operate more efficiently and use less energy. This means you’ll be able to save money on your energy bills in the long run.
5. Your HVAC System Will Last Longer
Finally, when the airflow is balanced in your home, it ensures that all components of the HVAC system are operating as intended. This means that you’ll be able to extend the life of your HVAC system and get more out of it for longer.
All of these benefits make air balancing a wise investment for any homeowner who wants to achieve maximum comfort levels in their home.
Contact The Expert Air Balance Team at Robert B. Payne
By balancing your residential HVAC system, you can make sure that each room in your home is comfortable and energy-efficient. This will not only improve the quality of life in your home, but it will also save you money on energy bills. So don’t hesitate to contact the expert air balance team at Robert B. Payne today at (540) 373-5876 to get started. Our experienced technicians are waiting to help you achieve a comfortable and energy-efficient home environment. We look forward to hearing from you!