Air balancing will improve air circulation, increase energy efficiency and enhance the overall performance of your air conditioning and heating system. For a homeowner, it means delivering the right amount of air (hot or cold) to each room making your home more comfortable.
Air balancing is the process that involves modifying your existing HVAC system to make sure that air is evenly distributed throughout the home. All zones will have the correct amount of heat transfer. You want all the components of your HVAC system working in harmony.
Airflow balancing has typically been limited to commercial HVAC, but there is a growing demand and opportunity to bring this practice to residential HVAC.
At its most basic, airflow balancing involves opening and closing supply register dampers to condition a home more evenly. Technicians open or close dampers based on how much airflow each register receives and what is needed to condition a room based on its load calculation. The process starts with all dampers fully open to measure how much air each register delivers, then dampers are closed in rooms that are getting too much airflow relative to the required flow. This method required airflow capture hoods and dedicated and trained technicians to perform optimally.
At home, there is one handy little trick that may be able to improve your home’s comfort quickly and without those levels of data collection. It’s called a two-degree offset, and it works this way:
If you’re in a two-story home and have two thermostats, set the temperatures to have a two-degree offset. Set the thermostat at a two-degree difference for the two floors. For example, upstairs could be set at 72 degrees and downstairs at 74. This will help with uneven temperatures and improve the overall comfort of your home.
Thermostats have gotten seriously smart in the last decade. In addition to their traditional role of simply sensing temperature and powering the HVAC system on or off, units from Nest, ecobee, Honeywell, and others allow for more convenient scheduling and programming as well. While a smart thermostat supports these functions with remote web and mobile-based access and control, the new generation of “learning” thermostats can also remember the pattern of changes users make to the settings and then adjust the unit to automate and mimic those changes. If you have smart thermostats, consider trying out a two-degree offset between an upstairs and downstairs unit. Balancing your central heating minimizes energy consumption and evens temperatures in each room.