There are many AC signs that can be noticed before a complete failure of your system. In our previous blog post “How to Air Conditioners Work to Keep You Cool?” we discussed the major components of your AC system and how they all work together. In this series of articles we will discuss how to identify common warning signs that a component in your HVAC system is in need of service to avoid additional costly repairs of other components that could fail as a result.
Air Balancing & Air Duct Design
Signs that your AC System needs Air Balancing or Air Duct Redesign
- The temperature and comfort level of the air in your home is inconsistent from room to room.
What is the Cause of Unequal or Unbalanced Air Distribution?
- Unaccounted Extra Heat: This is one of the most common causes of unbalanced air distribution. For example, you redesigned a room in your home or office to include additional heat sources that were not expected when the system was originally designed and installed such as adding a large flat screen TV, game consoles, and computer systems. All of these devices will create extra heat in the room which was not accounted for when the duct work leading to that room was designed.
- Air duct has been damaged, crushed or pierced. It is also common that air ducts accidentally get crushed when storing items in an attic or even by contractors such as a cable TV installers.
- A/C system is too small: The tonnage of your HVAC system is not large enough for the size of your property.
- Air ducts are too small: In many cases we have serviced we’ve found that system was designed with air ducts that are too small.
How do we fix Unbalanced Air Distribution?
Air balancing is a three step process. To fix uneven air distribution in your home or business we first start by conduct heat load calculations. There are many factors such as the size of your home or office, air leakage, electronics that produce heat, and even plants, that we use to calculate the correct tonnage for your AC system. Once we have outlined all of these factors we check your systems tonnage to make sure it is not too small. If we find that it is too small, we will might recommend the replacement of your entire AC system.
Next, we will check all of your air ducts to see if there are intact any pierced, crushed, or undersized air ducts, and we will try and determine what the cause of this was. In many cases we can simply patch up the holes such as when pests like rodents chew through ducts. We will also examine the size of your ducts to see if they may need resizing.
Finally, we will check each A/C vent in your rooms and measure the temperature of the air coming out and compare the temperature to what the thermostat is set to. In most cases, the air coming out of each air register should be about 20 degrees below the what your thermostat is set for. If we find that the air coming out of is not correct, we will recommend air balancing. During an air balance service we will install a variety of collars and dampers in the air duct system and then adjust each until the temperature of the room is correct.
Additional procedures may be necessary if you live in a multi story home. For example large, two-story homes might require the installation of a zone system which has electronically controlled dampers which can be used to evenly air balance the air in each room or in each story.