To achieve optimal operation of air conditioning and heating systems, three major steps play a key role. They are Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB). Here, we will focus on “air balance.” Air balance is a process by which the performance of a simple or complex HVAC system can be measured. It is an important part, but often overlooked, in ensuring that the building or living area is optimized for both efficiency and personal comfort.
Why is Air Balancing Important?
- If air is not properly balanced, many problems arise. One such problem is condensation. The indoors can have drafts and cold spots, making the air unpleasant.
- Improper air balance will also cost money as it applies extra stress on heating and cooling equipment. There are risks of your HVAC system getting damaged along with health and safety concerns as well.
- When air is not correctly balanced, energy is wasted and contaminants are allowed to enter the room, as condensation takes place.
- This can result in food and health safety issues as the residents are prone to inhale carbon dioxide
The Concept of Air Balancing
We all understand that air always tries and equalizes pressure. If we bring inside the same amount of air that we expel, there will be neutral air balance. If we bring in more air than the amount we expel, there is positive air balance. On the other hand, if we expel more air than we bring in, there is negative air balance.
Negative air balance is common in old buildings and buildings that have been extended or re-purposed. In such cases, the air is being drawn in from even the smallest gaps, not only from open doors and windows. The air that flows inside is untreated and has a different temperature compared to the air within. This causes problems in the HVAC efficiency, and the condensation prepares a breeding ground for contaminants.
There is no doubt that when the HVAC system is under additional stress, there is more energy consumed. When the air indoors is not balanced, the air conditioner needs to work harder to keep this temperature. There is a spike in your energy costs. Improper balance can damage the HVAC system and the condensation that forms may prove to be costly. Here are some key advantages of air balancing,
- Prolonged equipment life
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Comfortable environment
- Improved air quality indoors creates a healthy environment
Types of Air Balance
Basically, there are two types of air balance: Comfort balance and AABC Certified Air Balance.
“Comfort balance” is simply checking to see whether the indoors feel comfortably conditioned. The purpose of AABC Certified Air Balance is to ensure that all components of the system work in harmony, and at optimum performance, to provide total occupant comfort.
Now, it is your choice to pick the type of air balance you would like in your home. It is better to hire a good air balance company with skillful technicians to conduct an air balance inspection. The results will help you decide on the necessity of making the required corrections.