What is an Air Balance?

Have you heard a contractor mention air balance before? Did you know this is an important part of quality indoor comfort control systems? Heating and air conditioning is a modern technology that is taken for granted like most things — until it isn’t working correctly. Providing quality indoor comfort for a home or building is a complicated science, if you want the system to perform well.Air balancing, or an air balance, is the process of establishing proper comfort for each area of a home or building. Of course there is the simple way of walking from room to room and simply “feeling” the comfort level. An actual air balance goes a bit further.

Why Should I Even Mess With An Air Balance?

If you’re looking at the major purchase of a new system, or simply concerned about the performance and efficiency of your existing system, an air balance will test and adjust your heating and air conditioning system to operate better. An HVAC contractor with the right technical knowledge and tools can produce more performance and efficiency from an improperly balanced system.

*Be careful with HVAC contractors who simply want to replace equipment — even the finest equipment not installed correctly will have poor efficiency, performance and reliability.

A certified air balance involves highly detailed information like the CFM requirements for each supply, intake and ventilation opening. To conduct a certified air balance, the home or building must be completely closed (no open windows or doors). Modifications must be made to vents, filters replaced and a myriad of other tasks to ensure an accurate test.

Associated Air Balance Council (AABC)

One organization dedicated to air balancing is the Associated Air Balance Council or AABC. An AABC certified technician can perform a detailed analysis of your system. HVAC contractors cannot be AABC certified — it’s a rule of the organization. This doesn’t mean a contractor doesn’t know how to perform air balancing however, as AABC isn’t the only training and certification organization.

National Comfort Institute (NCI)

NCI is another organization built around HVAC diagnostics for air flow and combustion related topics. In contrast to AABC, an HVAC contractor can be NCI certified. NCI coined the phrase “Performance-Based Contracting™” which describes NCI’s unique approach that originated with delivering measured performance in HVAC systems to consumers. This term was later expanded to further describe how contractors manage their businesses through accountability and measurable results.


What is an air balance?

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What is an Air Balance?

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