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.
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.
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.