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Air Balancing is Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing commercial air conditioning and ventilation systems. There are not just a few words that describe it. Balancing first came in need in the early 80s when new and more advanced A/C systems were being installed. As these systems began to get more complex the need for balancing increased. A very expensive and complex system was not complete without an independent balance company doing the TAB work. We are mostly recognized for setting up the amount of airflow that would be distributed from each air diffuser.
Air Balancing requires the following: (1) Measure total airflow on all A/C and exhaust systems, (2) Balance airflow on each supply and exhaust grille, (3) Measure volts, amps, statics, RPM's, temperatures, and set minimum outside air requirements on all A/C units, (4) Balance water flow on all pumps, cooling towers, chillers, boilers, and air handling unit coils, (5) Analyze sound and vibration if required, and (6) Air quality measurements if required. Example Air Test and Balance Procedure: (1) List and identify size, type and manufacturer of all diffusers, grilles, registers and all tested equipment. Use equipment manufacturer ratings to make any required calculations, (2) Identify each grille, diffuser and register with a number that is referenced on an accompanying sketch, (3) If the system is variable air volume (VAV), adjust all the terminal unit flow rate regulators to the required minimum and maximum CFM while monitoring and recording duct static pressure. If the system is constant volume (CV), proceed to step #5, (4) Set enough VAVs to maximum CFM and minimum CFM to equal the rated cooling coil CFM, (5) Test and adjust system for design percentage of outside air, (6) Test and record motor load amperes, (7) Make pitot tube traverse of main supply ducts, where possible, to determine total supply CFM, (8) Test and adjust blower RPM as necessary to achieve design CFM, (9) If the system is constant volume, adjust all zones to proper design CFM, supply and return, (10) Test and adjust each diffuser, register and grille to within plus or minus 10% of design requirements. Care should be taken to minimize drafts whenever possible, (11) Test and record re-circulated air flow rate (CFM), (12) Test and record system static pressures, suction and discharge, (13) Temporarily set water flows and temperatures to design conditions for temperature tests, (14) Test and record entering air temperatures. (D.B. heating and cooling), (15) Test and record entering air temperatures. (W.B. cooling), (16) Test and record leaving air temperatures. (D.B. heating and cooling), (17) Test and record leaving air temperatures. (W.B. cooling), (18) List test data for all diffusers, grilles and registers, including design CFM and test resultant CFM after adjustment. When Direct Reading Flow Hoods cannot be used, applicable Ak factor, design velocity and test resultant velocity shall be shown, (19) Test and record required information pertaining to other equipment included in the HVAC contract such as electric duct heaters, exhaust fans, computer room units, (20) The Mechanical Contractor shall be responsible for making any changes in the pulleys, belts and dampers or adding dampers as recommended by the air balance agency to achieve correct air balance.
Balancing airflow throughout a building takes lots of time and practice. A design airflow is given for each individual air device and a balancing damper is used to decrease the airflow on outlets that are over there design flow. Closing down high volume grilles will increase or push airflow to other outlets that are low on airflow. The tricky part is getting that airflow to go where you want it to without increasing those grilles you have already turned down. Many things can influence airflow travel through a duct. Airflow will always take the easiest path, however the easiest path does not always leave a proportioned grille balance. That is why dampers are installed. When using dampers, you should always use branch and zone dampers first. When all your duct branches have design airflow then you would use grille dampers.
We work closely with the contracting officer or inspector and make sure that notifications are prompt and accurate.
We adjust all zones to proper design, CFM, supply, return and exhaust.
We check to ensure all duct work is complete. We verify that all dampers (SFD & VD) are open.
We verify that all volume dampers are open. We ensure that floor covering activities are completed. We test and record system static pressures, suction and discharge. We take pitot tube traverse of main supply ducts and obtain design CFM at fans. We ensure that floor covering activities are completed.
We test and adjust blower RPM to design requirements. We test and adjust systems for design CFM outside air. We check to ensure that all deficiencies are repaired.
We test and record entering air temperatures, dry bulb, wet bulb heating and cooling coils. We test and record leaving air temperatures - D.B. heating a cooling coils.
We test and record leaving air temperatures - D.B. W.B. heating a cooling coils. We ensure that all equipment is installed We ensure the building will be clean and free of dirt and dust. We check to ensure that registers and grilles are installed. We test and adjust each VAV box, diffuser, grille, and register to within +/- 10% of design requirements.
Example Balance Procedure: Set space thermostats to either full heating or full cooling, as required to satisfy the design diversity factor. Example Balance Procedure: Operate all associated fans (supply, return and exhaust) at the appropriate speeds. Example Balance Procedure: Select thermostats to simulate, as nearly as practical, the manner in which the system will respond to the building's cooing load shift.
Example Balance Procedure: Set space thermostats to either full heating or full cooling, as required to satisfy the design diversity factor. Example Balance Procedure: Set space thermostats to either full heating or full cooling, as required to satisfy the design diversity factor.
We will need the plans, specifications, and approved equipment submittals as soon as they are available and at least three weeks prior to commencing the test and balance procedures. Energy Technologies offers a wide range of consulting services. Tap into our resources in the energy and environmental field, we can show you how to be energy wise and environmentally sound while saving money all at the same time!
Building ventilation is the process of bringing outdoor air into a building, circulating it, and later purging it to the environment. The main purpose of ventilation is to provide acceptable indoor air quality by diluting and removing contaminants from the indoor air. Building ventilation is achieved by natural or mechanical means, or by a combination of the two.
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