How To Balance Air Conditioning Vents
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There’s no denying that air balancing will enhance the overall performance of your heating system, boost energy efficiency, and elevate air circulation. For most homeowners, that entails delivering just the right amount of cold or hot air to each room for optimum comfort.
When it comes down to balancing air conditioning vents, air balancing for an HVAC professional involves testing and adjusting your system using their expertise. Once they assess your intake and output, they make the necessary tweaks.
Without further ado, let’s delve into a few ways on how to balance air conditioning vents for comfort. After all, a comfortable balance is as simple as checking whether a room feels comfortably conditioned.
What Is Air Balancing?
Air balancing entails tweaking your existing HVAC system to ensure the uniform distribution of air throughout your home. Given that all zones will have the right amount of heat transfer, you’ll want all the moving parts of your HVAC system to function harmoniously.
Tips On Balancing The Temperatures In Your Home
There’s no better time than now to avoid those pesky cold/hot spots or uneven temperatures. Therefore, we’ve broken it down into straightforward, DIY tips and options that may require some skill or may require you roping in an expert.
1. Open or Close Your Register
As a simple yet effective method, you have free rein to move the damper blade to restrict HVAC airflow in the room. However, don’t entirely close the vents, as doing so might wreak havoc on your HVAC system.
During warm weather, open the register on your upper floor. Then, partly close the register in your basement and/or the first floor, and when the harsh winters or cold season rolls around, that’s your cue to perform the reverse.
To open or close your register, follow the steps below:
- Set your thermostat to an ideal testing range of 76 to 78- degrees Fahrenheit
- Do not change the temperature for 24 to 48 hours
- In overly cool areas, alter the vents to usher in less HVAC airflow
- Alter in small increments to get a feel of what works for your optimum comfort
- Re-assess your adjustments to know whether or not you’ve reached the desired temperature
- Continue tweaking until you reach the perfect temperature
2. Try a Two-Degree Offset
If you live in a two-story home with two thermostats, we recommend setting the temperatures to have a two-degree offset. That entails setting the thermostat at a two-degree difference for the floors. For instance, you can set downstairs to 72°F and upstairs to 74°F. Doing so will strike an air balance between the uneven temperatures.
3. Check Air Filter for Cleanliness
Here are a few reasons you should keep your air filter spick and span.
Boosts Indoor Air Quality
Cleaning the debris that builds up on your filters over time will facilitate improved airflow and improve indoor air quality in the home.
Elevates the Efficiency of Your Furnace
Diminished airflow via your cooling and heating system can result in your heat exchange overheating and shutting off rapidly. Therefore, cleaning the filter frequently will boost the efficiency of your furnace.
Increases the Longevity of Your HVAC System
Although you may not realize, the most common reason for an HVAC system malfunction is a dirty filter. It causes your system to work harder and, in turn, overheat.
Cut Down Your Energy Costs
There’s no denying that heating your home consumes more energy and costs more money compared to other systems in your home. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that energy costs account for 42% of your utility bill.
If your filter isn’t clogged, it’s a no-brainer that your system will operate smoothly and with utmost efficiency, in turn cutting down your energy costs by up to 15%. It’s as simple as frequently changing your filter.
4. Avoid Placing Electronics Near the Thermostat
It’s no secret that electronic equipment generates immense heat, positively impacting your level of comfort. Nowadays, with the addition of computers and large TVs, heat distribution in the room can vary, calling for necessary tweaks to your vents.
That’s usually noticeable if you have a room air conditioner. The thermostat can pick up heat from any appliance, causing your AC to operate longer.
5. Install Window Coverings to Prevent Heat
Your windows will affect the level of comfort in each room. Windows that lack shades, drapes, or blinds, can heat a room quicker compared to a thermostat that has the time to turn on and provide relief.
Window coverings can make a difference in the overall comfort level and appeal. Furthermore, they also boost efficiency. In the cooler months, up to 76% of the sunlight that falls on double-pane windows seeps through to become heat.
6. Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Drafts
You’ll want to ensure that your doors and windows are properly sealed to prevent cold spots in your home.
7. Adjust Ceiling Fans
Altering the directional settings of a fan can have a profound impact on air circulation. Your ceiling fans should function in a counterclockwise motion in the warmer season to generate downward airflow.
Likewise, it should operate at a low speed in a clockwise motion when the colder season rolls around for the uniform distribution of warm air.
8. Curb Airflow Restrictions
Avoid covering registers with items or furniture that can restrict airflow. It’s worth noting that blocking a vent with furniture forces your system to work harder. After all, vents provide free airflow.
As a tip, your vents require 18 inches of room. Therefore, hem your curtains and rearrange your furniture, allowing them to provide the airflow required. A magnetic air deflector will be a worthwhile investment if your options are limited as it blows the air away from nearby furniture. Deflectors can redirect the airflow for optimum air circulation.
9. Set the Thermostat Fan to ‘On’
Your fan setting can impact your comfort level and indoor air quality. Most systems have two fan settings, ‘Auto’ and ‘On.’ By utilizing the latter, your fan will operate continuously to filter and replace indoor air.
As a result, it will keep the air steady. Activating the ‘Auto’ feature means your air can become more stagnant. Although both functions have their strengths and drawbacks, you may notice a spike in your utility bill with the’ On’ setting.
10. Fix the Duct
While you may not realize it, defects with the ductwork can trigger uneven distribution. If the duct airflow system is imbalanced, you’ll quickly realize that some rooms are not cool enough, whereas others are insufficiently warm when heating.
Likewise, in air conditioning mode, you’ll notice that some rooms are overly warm, whereas others are inadequately cool. Depending on your expertise, you could:
- Keep your eyes peeled for ductwork with sharp turns
- Seal or insulate the ducts
- Repair loose duct joints by sealing and refitting the point of intersection
Nonetheless, when in doubt, rope in an HVAC expert.
11. Assess and Alter the System’s Blower Fan Speed
Switching your air conditioning vent fan speed can be a piece of cake if you know what you’re doing. To get started:
- Disconnect the power
- Locate the wiring and blower motor
- Identify the speed wires
- Alter the active speed wire
- Test your HVAC system
Armed with some tips on how to balance air conditioning vents, there’s no reason why you can’t get started today. After all, knowledge is power. Nevertheless, when in doubt, we recommend getting a professional opinion or seeking the expertise of a qualified HVAC technician.