March 4, 2024
AC System SEER Ratings in Foothill Ranch

If you’re a homeowner in Foothill Ranch, CA, there’s a good chance you’re interested in anything that can improve your HVAC efficiency. After all, electricity isn’t cheap, and the summers here are hot enough that air conditioning is a necessity. That’s a big reason why heat pumps are gaining traction here since they offer excellent energy efficiency all year. However, what you may not know is that there are ways you can improve your HVAC efficiency besides upgrading to a newer system. One of those ways is to have your HVAC system air-balanced. An imbalanced HVAC system will have difficulty reaching and holding the temperature you’ve set. That will force it to use more energy than it should and suffer unnecessary wear and tear. To elaborate, here is what air balancing is and how it affects your HVAC efficiency.

What Is Air Balancing?

If your home has a forced-air HVAC system, then there’s a good chance it relies on ductwork that dates back to the construction of your residence. As a result, you may have never given much thought to your home’s ductwork, let alone had it inspected. But years of regular use, wear and tear, and adjustments by technicians or DIY efforts all but guarantee that your ductwork has an air imbalance while your HVAC unit runs. Air balancing refers to the process an HVAC technician follows to measure the airflow in your house’s ductwork and adjust it to make sure every part of your home gets the conditioned air it needs.

If your HVAC installer did their job correctly, your home’s ductwork should have been rebalanced at the time of your last HVAC installation. After that, though, a variety of things could have altered the airflow through your ductwork, including:

  • Closed vents in your home
  • Adjusted ductwork dampers
  • Addition, subtraction, or alteration of interior walls
  • Changes to your house’s insulation
  • Replacement of windows or doors

Even adding additional large pieces of furniture to a room or moving furniture around can alter a room’s airflow needs. You may even experience airflow issues if you make a habit of closing all of your home’s interior doors. This can prevent your HVAC unit from pulling in enough air to maintain airflow in all of your closed rooms.

Symptoms of an Air Imbalance

In most cases, it should be fairly easy to tell when your HVAC is imbalanced. The most obvious sign is when you notice large temperature differences from room to room or between the floors of your house. That’s a clear indication that some parts of your home get more airflow than others. Specifically, you can look for the following symptoms of air imbalance in your home:

  • Temperature differences exceeding two or three degrees
  • Unusually high energy bills
  • Vents with obvious lack of airflow while open
  • Vents that make noise when you close them partially

How a Technician Air Balances an HVAC System

When you call White Mechanical, Inc. to have your home’s HVAC unit air balanced, we will send a technician over to carry out the work. They will begin by examining your system to record its specifications and sketch out the layout of your house’s ductwork. Next, they will examine the damper controls on your ductwork to note if they are open. If they are partially closed, then they will note their position to refer back to during testing.

With their documentation ready, the technician will turn on your HVAC unit to record a few statistics about its operation. They will look at your HVAC’s fan setting and measure the static pressure in your ductwork. That is a measure of how much resistance the air coming from your HVAC unit meets as it travels through your ductwork. They will also take a cubic feet per minute (CFM) reading to find out the volume of air your system produces while running.

Next, our technician will go to each vent in your home and measure its airflow. They do this to figure out what percent of your HVAC’s total output ends up reaching each vent. With this information, they can determine whether the system requires balancing and which ductwork branches require adjustments. They will then proceed to adjust your ductwork dampers to either add or remove airflow to put the system back in balance, taking additional airflow readings as needed.

How Air Balancing Affects HVAC Efficiency

Although your comfort is the most important reason you want your HVAC unit kept in proper balance, it’s not the only one. An HVAC that is imbalanced will also lose efficiency and cost you more in energy to operate. There are a few reasons for that. One is that a single-zone HVAC system operates using a single, centrally located thermostat. When you have an air balancing problem, there is no guarantee that conditions near your thermostat offer a realistic representation of conditions in your home. For example, if your thermostat is in an area with excess airflow, it will turn off your HVAC unit long before other parts of your house reach your desired temperature. This may lead you to adjust your thermostat’s temperature to compensate, which will make the area near your thermostat hotter or colder than you want it. Conversely, if your thermostat is in a spot with poor airflow, it will keep your HVAC unit running for too long and create hot and cold spots elsewhere in your home.

Additionally, ductwork with an air imbalance also tends to suffer from excess static pressure. This means your HVAC blower fan has extra resistance to overcome as it works to deliver conditioned air to where you need it. That guarantees you will waste energy whenever your HVAC unit runs. It also puts unnecessary strain on your equipment. Plus, excess static pressure can lead to air leaks in your ductwork, which will throw it even further out of balance over time. The problem with that is the fact that leaky ductwork creates an air imbalance that requires duct repair to rectify. So, when you keep operating your HVAC unit with an imbalance, you increase the odds that you will need duct repairs and air balancing to correct the problem.

Your Local Air Balancing Specialists

For over 20 years, White Mechanical, Inc. has been the go-to HVAC service provider in Orange County. We offer comprehensive HVAC services, including installation, maintenance, and repair. We also provide complete indoor air quality services and ductwork services, including ductwork cleaning.

We handle commercial systems, too, if you have a business in the area that needs a reliable HVAC firm. Plus, we are a Lennox Premier Dealer, which means you will get access to the latest HVAC technology and high-quality products when you work with us. We offer financing options on approved credit if you need help affording the HVAC system your home needs. If you believe that your home’s HVAC unit requires air balancing, call our team at White Mechanical, Inc. today.

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