All forced-air HVAC systems rely on ductwork to deliver conditioned air, and proper upkeep of your ducts makes a difference in the overall performance of the system. The term air balancing refers to the process HVAC contractors use to make sure that each part of your home the ducts serve has optimum airflow that assures even comfort throughout.
The only way to assure yourself that your ducts are delivering cooled or heated air effectively is to have a careful ductwork and system evaluation. HVAC professionals test temperature and humidity, and measure the pressure of the air exiting the register using a manometer. Both of these tests reveal how sound and efficient the ducts are in any particular location.
Factors that affect ductwork performance include:
- Leaks: Ducts can develop leaks at any point in their lifetime. A leaking duct won’t deliver as much conditioned air, and its pressure will be lower. These leaks contribute to higher energy costs because the air intended for your rooms is lost in places where you don’t need it.
- Twisted or fallen ducts: Sometimes flexible ducts will develop kinks that block some of the airflow. Long runs of flex ducts can sag or kink if they’re not properly supported.
- Improper ductwork sizing or configuration. The original HVAC installer may not have accurately sized the ductwork capacity initially or didn’t take into account the dynamics of air balancing from the start. Multiple story homes, in particular, may feel less comfortable in the summer, since the cooled air the A/C produces doesn’t naturally flow up, unlike heated air that rises through conduction. Cold air always falls and unless the HVAC installer made adjustments to compensate, you may not be getting the most from your cooling system.
Once the air imbalances have been identified, the contractor can remedy the problems with the ductwork that will improve air distribution and your comfort.
For more information about the value of air balancing your system, contact Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve been providing HVAC services for greater Cleveland homeowners since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air balancing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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