Have you ever felt like your air conditioning wasn’t distributing the air evenly throughout your room or your house? Has this led to poor air circulation throughout your house?
To combat the problems mentioned above, you might want to know about air balancing and balancing air conditioning vents properly. So, read on to understand everything about it.
What is Air Balancing?
Before we talk about how you can balance air conditioning vents, you may want to understand what exactly air balancing is and how it works.
In simple words, air balancing is all about distributing the air evenly by modifying and changing some elements of your HVAC system. Hence, it is about ensuring that the different parts or components of an HVAC work simultaneously and in harmony.
Advantages of Air Balancing
Now that you know what air balancing means, what are the benefits of it? Air balancing has plenty of benefits to offer, be it for your comfort or your HVAC system. Given below are some of the major ones.
Offers Energy Efficiency
One of the best benefits of air balancing is how energy efficient the whole process is. It is because the efficiency of your cooling system is directly related to the airflow. Hence, in the cause of unevenly distributed airflow, your HVAC system has to work harder than normal.
Thus, this whole thing can lead to wastage of energy as well as increased energy bills. So, air balancing can help prevent that by distributing the air evenly and reduce the wastage of energy being utilized for the air conditioning system.
Increases the Lifespan of Your HVAC System
As mentioned above, when there’s an uneven distribution of air, your HVAC system has to work more. This increases the load on your HVAC system and reduces its lifespan.
So, air balancing can also increase your HVAC system’s lifespan by reducing the load on it. Moreover, evenly distributed air can also reduce dust and mold buildup in the heating and cooling system, which lessens its lifespan.
Thus, you can expect your HVAC system to last for a long time with air balancing.
Provides You Comfort
One of the primary reasons why going for an air balancing process is fantastic is that it can provide you with ample comfort.
It is because air balancing ensures that all the areas of your house have evenly distributed airflow. This increases the air circulation in your house, increases the cooling effect, and reduces hot or humid areas.
This way, it can make your house cool, airy and give you enough comfort!
Improves the Air Quality
Uneven distribution of cool air can lead to moisture accumulation, which then gives rise to mold problems. Moreover, it also gives rise to increased pollens and dust in the air, which degrades air quality.
So, with the help of air balancing, you can also reduce these problems and increase the quality of the air you’re breathing.
Reduces the Need to Replace the HVAC System
If you feel like there are many problems with your HVAC system, then air balancing can help you find out those too.
Once you or your technician can diagnose these problems, you can easily find solutions for them without feeling the need to replace the whole HVAC system.
9. Causes of Low Airflow in a Home
If you’re unsure about the cause of low airflow in your home, then certain things are responsible for it. Given below are some of them:
1. Condenser Unit Obstruction
One of the reasons for low airflow is obstructed condenser unit. A condenser unit of an air conditioning system is placed outside of the room. So, it may get obstructed because of the accumulation of leaves or other debris.
So, to fix this problem and increase the HVAC airflow, you need to clear out this obstruction from the condenser unit.
2. Clogging in Filters
Another reason for poor flow is the clogged filters of your air conditioning system.
The filters of your air conditioning system are critical as they can keep the leaves and debris out of the main equipment, including the ducts. The real problem arises when the filters get clogged or blocked if they are not cleaned regularly.
Due to this, the HVAC airflow is affected, which leads to low airflow in your home. Hence, make sure you clean the filters as instructed.
3. Blocked Vents or Registers
Did you know that sometimes placing the furniture right in front of the vents or registers can reduce airflow in your house too?
It is important to make sure that there’s no furniture or any other obstruction placed in front of the vents or registers.
4. Blockage or Leakage in Ducts
Clogged filters can further lead to blockage or leakage in ducts too. The dirt that moves past the clogged parts can then get accumulated in the ducts too.
Moreover, it is also possible that the ducts are too small or narrow for your entire air conditioning system. This can also cause blockage in them. Now, this blockage can cause holes or cracks, which can lead to leakage in the ducts.
Thus, all of this can lead to less airflow in your house and cause problems.
5. Thermostat or Fan Issues
If you can’t find any issues, you might want to check the thermostat, too, as there’s where sometimes the problem lies. Sometimes, it can also be due to low battery.
You may also want to look out for issues with the air conditioning fan. A fan helps in blowing air through the ducts and into the room. So, if the fan is too sluggish or slow, it can affect the airflow.
Moreover, sometimes, even the fan can get too grimy or dirty. In such cases, too, its overall working is affected, and there’s a reduction in the airflow across the room. Here, it would help if you cleaned the fan to get rid of this problem.
6. Dirt in Coils
Your air conditioning unit has yet another important part, known as the condenser coil. This coil is responsible for releasing all the heat. Now, as it is a part of the outdoor unit, it may get dirty too.
Due to the accumulated dirt, the condenser coil’s functioning is hugely affected, so there’s less heat release.
Hence, because of this, the HVAC system starts working harder to keep the area cool. So, this can also lead to poor airflow in the house.
7. Issues With AC Unit
Sometimes, when the AC unit is too oversized, there’s also a problem of low airflow. It is because oversized AC units work inefficiently as they don’t work long enough to remove the humidity out of your house.
So, it is always a better idea to go with smaller AC units rather than bulky ones.
8. Inadequate or Outdated Design of HVAC
If you have recently changed the layout of your room or house, you can also face low airflow.
With the new house layout, some HVAC systems may go outdated. Due to this reason, they won’t work as efficiently as you want them to. So, in this case, even making some minor changes with the ductwork can help in getting back their efficiency and increasing the airflow inside the house.
9. Refrigerant Problems
When your HVAC system isn’t well-maintained, it may face refrigerant problems. In this case, you’ll notice that your air conditioning system is leaking refrigerant. This causes low airflow and even reduced cooling.
So, if you feel like this might be the problem, call up your technician.
HVAC Problems That Air Balancing Can Help Diagnose
With HVAC systems, finding a solution isn’t always a problem but finding the issue is a major one.
So, as mentioned above, air balancing inspection can also help diagnose some problems with your HVAC system. Knowing these problems can help you or your technician find out an effective solution for them.
Some of the HVAC problems that air balancing can help diagnose include:
- Any blockages
- Damage or perforation in the air ducts
- Loose duct joints
- Ducts that are undersized
- Ductwork that is exceptionally long
- Ductwork that has sharp turns
Hence, depending on the problem, you can find the solution.
Tips for Balancing Air Conditioning Vents
So, if you are tired of having uneven temperatures and airflow inside your own house, it is time to start balancing air conditioning vents. Now, how to do it, and can you do it yourself, or do you need to call up a professional?
Well, you can follow the below tips to balance air conditioning vents. Keep in mind that some of them you can do by yourself whereas, for some, you may require professional help.
Tip 1: Make Some Changes With Your Register
One of the easiest ways to balance air conditioning vents is by either opening or closing your register.
Here’s what you have to do: During the warmer months, consider opening the upper story’s register whereas partially close the registers located on the first floor or your basement. During the colder months, you have to reverse the whole thing.
Tip 2: Set the Ideal Temperature
In this case, you need to make some minor changes to the temperature to find the desired one. Given below is a proper step-by-step process of how you can do it:
- Change your settings of the thermostat between 76 to 78 degrees.
- Keep the temperature between 76 to 78 degrees for at least 24 hours.
- Now, in the areas that you find get too cold, adjust the vents such that there’s less airflow there. Make sure you do it slowly to find which setting works the best.
- Then, after 24 hours, don’t forget to re-check the adjustments and whether or not you’ve reached the proper temperature.
- If not, then continue till you find the proper temperature.
Tip 3: Go For Two Degree Offset
This tip can work only for those living in a two-story house with two thermostats.
Here, what you have to do is set the thermostat of both the stories at a two-degree difference. For instance, set the upper story’s temperature around 74 degrees, whereas you can set it around 72 for the first floor.
This can rule out the uneven temperature problem!
Tip 4: Keep Your Filters Clean
It is imperative to keep your filters clean. When they get dirty or clogged due to the accumulation of dirt, they can block the air from flowing properly. Thus, causing reduced or uneven airflow.
Moreover, keeping filters clean can also increase your HVAC system’s lifespan, along with reducing the energy bills.
So, ensure that you clean the filters at least once or twice a month.
Tip 5: Consider Investing In Window Coverings and Inspect Any Drafts
If you haven’t thought of it before, you may want to think about investing in window coverings.
It is because windows having window coverings can reduce the amount of heat that enters your room. This can help in preventing the entry of heat before the thermostat even starts working properly.
Along with that, window coverings can provide extreme comfort to you by reducing the heat significantly. They can also make your home quite energy efficient in the long run.
In addition to this, ensure that the doors and windows are adequately sealed as they are mainly responsible for cold spots in your house.
Tip 6: Keep Electronic Equipment Away From Thermostat
When you have a lot of electronic equipment in your house, you can expect them to release some heat. Hence, you need to adjust the vents accordingly to reduce the heat in your room.
Moreover, ensure that you keep all the electronic equipment away from the thermostat to catch the heat and cause issues in the air conditioning system.
Tip 7: Adjusting Ceiling Fans Can Help Increase Airflow
If you have a ceiling fan in your home, you need to adjust it properly to increase your house’s overall airflow.
The process is quite simple. During the warm summer months, make sure that you change the fan settings to counterclockwise. This can facilitate a cooling airflow throughout the room.
However, it is better to keep them clockwise and at a low speed during the colder months. This will help in distributing the warm air quite evenly.
Tip 8: Don’t Restrict the Airflow
Are you confused about what we mean by this? Well, you might already be familiar with the fact that keeping furniture in front of the register can restrict proper airflow. This can lead to uneven distribution of air.
Hence, to avoid this, keep in mind that vents require at least 18 inches of space and rearrange furniture accordingly. If you can’t, you can go for magnetic air deflectors to redirect the airflow to provide proper circulation.
Tip 9: Repair the Ductwork
If nothing works, you might want to take the help of a professional to repair the ductwork to balance air conditioning vents.
Keep in mind that if there’s an issue with the ductwork, it can cause less or more heating or cool in different rooms. This can lead to uneven distribution of air. So, there are three things that you can do:
- Sealing or insulating ductwork
- Look out for ductwork having sharp turns
- Consider repairing loose duct joints either by junction sealing or refitting
If you cannot do these, you can always contact a professional.
Tip 10: Change the Speed of the Blower Fan
You can also try out changing the speed of the blower fan to see effective results. Given below is a step-by-step process of how you can do it:
Step 1: Firstly, disconnect the power
Step 2: Then, locate the blower motor and check the wiring
Step 3: Try to identify the speed wires
Step 4: Change the active speed wire
Step 5: Lastly, test your HVAC system and see whether it is working properly or not
If you are unaware of how to do it, consider checking out some tutorials or seeking help from a professional.
Tip 11: Understand the Size of Your HVAC System
Lastly, it is necessary to understand your HVAC system’s size as it needs to be per your house’s size. It is because it can cause problems if the furnace is too small or even too large.
So, to find the correct size, you need to consult a professional HVAC contractor that can evaluate your house and, accordingly, recommend a proper HVAC size.
To conclude, air balancing has plenty of benefits for you, your house, as well as the longevity of your HVAC system.
So, consider following any of the tips mentioned above or consult a professional to balance air conditioning vents properly!