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A Guide to Residential Air Balancing

Woman Relaxing in Comfortable Home with Balanced Air

When tested, most HVAC systems – both commercial and residential – can find themselves between 20 and 30% too high or low when it comes to airflow. What this means, in a nutshell, is that without even knowing it… your home could be sending too much or too little air to various rooms. This, in turn, leads to money lost on inefficient energy bills and some rooms being less comfortable than others. Nobody likes uneven heating or cooling!

After reading that, if you take your comfort as seriously as we do, you’re probably wondering: how can I fix this? How can I stop hot and cold spots from happening and live comfortably? The answer: through residential air balancing. Let’s guide you through what it is, why it’s important, and how you can make sure your home’s air levels get properly balanced. 

What is air balancing?

To put it as simply as possible, air balancing is a process where tests are conducted on your HVAC system to help deliver an ideal amount of air to each individual room. The process itself consists of a number of tests meant to identify the strengths (and, in some cases, weaknesses) of your heating and cooling system so things can be adjusted to best serve your entire home.

Why do I need the air in my home balanced?

We’ve told you what it is, but why is it important? Air balancing, as it’s name suggests, balances your home’s air. Here are a few reasons why it’s both important and helpful:

  • Residential air balancing can help diagnose a variety of HVAC problems. Some of the problems having your air balanced will uncover include damaged ducts, loose joints in your ducts, blockages, and any improperly sized or installed ductwork.
  • Your home’s energy efficiency will improve as a result. The way your home’s heating and cooling systems work is through the movement of air. If air isn’t moving properly, that means your system is using unnecessary amounts of power moving air that ends up lost. Reduce the amount of lost airflow means reducing the amount of power wasted. Less power usage means more money in your pocket.

How do they professionally balance the air in your home?

  1. It starts with an inspection. Before a technician runs their tests, they have to make sure your home can be balanced properly. They’ll walk the system and look for any minor issues like disconnected ducts or dampers left open. 
  2. They’ll take airflow recordings. Using a commercial balancing hood, your tehnician will measure and record the flow or air coming from each supply register in your home. After that, they’ll record air flow into return grilles. These numbers will be added together and compared to what the airflows are supposed to be based on a number of factors. This will get you your initial information and let you know where problem areas are.
  3. Additional testing may be done. Depending on your home and the technician, other tests will be conducted to verify and drill down on the causes for any imbalances in your home’s airflow. These tests can include a check on fan speeds, external static pressure, and electrical measurements. These test results can be compared to manufacturer specs to make sure they’re not contributing to any problems.

Is there anything I can do myself to help balance my air?

Since the testing involves certain apparatuses that the average person doesn’t have at home, you won’t be able to see where your problem areas are. That said, there are still a few things you can do to help your home without the help of a professional. Things like:

  • Turn on your thermostat’s fan setting. This will keep your home’s air moving consistently.
  • Get new windows. We know that new window installation is a costly endeavor that you can’t just do, however we do recommend keeping an eye on your windows when it comes to home air balancing. Air escaping through improperly sealed windows can cause levels to not be where they’re supposed to.
  • Test a 2-degree temperature offset between your first and second floor. Ideally, this can help balance extreme temperatures (cold spots, etc.) between the two levels.

A room with balanced air has an amount of air coming in that matches what’s going out. There are steps you can take, listed here, to help balance the air in your home without the help of professionals. If you want a more thorough balancing done, however, you can always contact the team at Welter Heating to set up an appointment.

A Guide to Residential Air Balancing

Woman Relaxing in Comfortable Home with Balanced Air

When tested, most HVAC systems – both commercial and residential – can find themselves between 20 and 30% too high or low when it comes to airflow. What this means, in a nutshell, is that without even knowing it… your home could be sending too much or too little air to various rooms. This, in turn, leads to money lost on inefficient energy bills and some rooms being less comfortable than others. Nobody likes uneven heating or cooling!

After reading that, if you take your comfort as seriously as we do, you’re probably wondering: how can I fix this? How can I stop hot and cold spots from happening and live comfortably? The answer: through residential air balancing. Let’s guide you through what it is, why it’s important, and how you can make sure your home’s air levels get properly balanced. 

What is air balancing?

To put it as simply as possible, air balancing is a process where tests are conducted on your HVAC system to help deliver an ideal amount of air to each individual room. The process itself consists of a number of tests meant to identify the strengths (and, in some cases, weaknesses) of your heating and cooling system so things can be adjusted to best serve your entire home.

Why do I need the air in my home balanced?

We’ve told you what it is, but why is it important? Air balancing, as it’s name suggests, balances your home’s air. Here are a few reasons why it’s both important and helpful:

  • Residential air balancing can help diagnose a variety of HVAC problems. Some of the problems having your air balanced will uncover include damaged ducts, loose joints in your ducts, blockages, and any improperly sized or installed ductwork.
  • Your home’s energy efficiency will improve as a result. The way your home’s heating and cooling systems work is through the movement of air. If air isn’t moving properly, that means your system is using unnecessary amounts of power moving air that ends up lost. Reduce the amount of lost airflow means reducing the amount of power wasted. Less power usage means more money in your pocket.

How do they professionally balance the air in your home?

  1. It starts with an inspection. Before a technician runs their tests, they have to make sure your home can be balanced properly. They’ll walk the system and look for any minor issues like disconnected ducts or dampers left open. 
  2. They’ll take airflow recordings. Using a commercial balancing hood, your tehnician will measure and record the flow or air coming from each supply register in your home. After that, they’ll record air flow into return grilles. These numbers will be added together and compared to what the airflows are supposed to be based on a number of factors. This will get you your initial information and let you know where problem areas are.
  3. Additional testing may be done. Depending on your home and the technician, other tests will be conducted to verify and drill down on the causes for any imbalances in your home’s airflow. These tests can include a check on fan speeds, external static pressure, and electrical measurements. These test results can be compared to manufacturer specs to make sure they’re not contributing to any problems.

Is there anything I can do myself to help balance my air?

Since the testing involves certain apparatuses that the average person doesn’t have at home, you won’t be able to see where your problem areas are. That said, there are still a few things you can do to help your home without the help of a professional. Things like:

  • Turn on your thermostat’s fan setting. This will keep your home’s air moving consistently.
  • Get new windows. We know that new window installation is a costly endeavor that you can’t just do, however we do recommend keeping an eye on your windows when it comes to home air balancing. Air escaping through improperly sealed windows can cause levels to not be where they’re supposed to.
  • Test a 2-degree temperature offset between your first and second floor. Ideally, this can help balance extreme temperatures (cold spots, etc.) between the two levels.

A room with balanced air has an amount of air coming in that matches what’s going out. There are steps you can take, listed here, to help balance the air in your home without the help of professionals. If you want a more thorough balancing done, however, you can always contact the team at Welter Heating to set up an appointment.

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