Central HVAC units are specially constructed to provide an entire building with heated or cooled air. Why, then, do so many buildings end up with uncomfortable hot or cold spots? In many cases, it boils down to unbalanced airflow in the building.
What Is Unbalanced Airflow?
Unbalanced airflow is what happens whenever the air doesn’t move through the HVAC system in the way it was intended. Common signs that you no longer have balanced airflow include:
- Variable airflow – In a balanced system, all vents and registers should have the same amount of flow no matter how far it is from the central air unit. If the airflow varies significantly when all of the registers are open, then it may not be balanced.
- Temperature irregularity – All rooms within a temperature zone with balanced airflow will be the same temperature. If you have noticeably hot or cold spots, chances are good that the flow isn’t balanced.
- Missing or damaged ceiling tiles – The tiles in suspended ceilings aren’t there just for decoration; they also help to regulate and direct airflow. Any damage, obstruction or misplacement can cause issues.
In some systems, even leaving doors closed can alter the balance of indoor air. Buildings that have been significantly altered since the ductwork was installed may also have airflow issues. Also bear in mind that many buildings have multiple temperature zones, which may need to be addressed separately.
How Can You Achieve Balanced Airflow?
Fixing airflow issues is reliant on identifying the underlying problem. It may be as simple as cleaning the debris from suspended ceiling tiles or replacing damaged sections. The addition of automatic duct dampers may correct some problems. It may require significant renovations, including adding air return registers or correcting bad ductwork layouts. The first step is to discuss the issue with a qualified HVAC technician and get an inspection of the entire system.
For more information on how you can achieve balanced airflow, contact us at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We provide comprehensive HVAC services to the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts.
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