Understanding airflow is key to managing energy efficiency in your home. When your air is balanced, you can achieve these benefits:
- Control moisture in the home.
- Boost comfort of the home’s occupants, avoiding hot and cold spots.
- Increase efficiency, so that you pay less on utilities, and cause less wear on your HVAC system.
Achieving Balanced Flow of Air
The air that is taken in and distributed by your HVAC system is ideally balanced. Air will attempt to equalize between higher and lower pressure areas. Whenever there is a pathway, such as a crack in the wall’s exterior or the ceiling, air will move through that pathway. Conditioned air may be finding its way out, or unconditioned air (and moisture) may be finding its way in through gaps and cracks around your windows and doors, recessed lighting, and through the holes in exterior walls for plumbing, cables and wiring.
The home’s air pressure is also affected through leaky air ducts, and minute cracks in walls, floors and ceilings.
Ideally, the building materials used in your home should block airflow to the outdoors, and be installed correctly so that even small gaps are eliminated.
The amount of air removed from your home through an exhaust system or the return to the HVAC should equal the amount of air supplied to that space. Negative pressure is created when more air is removed than added, causing the home to take in air through infiltration. In our climate, a slightly positive pressure is preferred.
Avoiding Practices That Impede Airflow
Closing doors to rooms that have supply registers but no return grilles creates positive pressure in the room and negative pressure near the return grilled. Doors should be left slightly open to avoid imbalances.
Also to be avoided is closing vents in an effort to save money on energy. This creates a pressure imbalance, and will actually cause the system to work harder, negating any savings.
For more on understanding airflow, or to schedule HVAC maintenance, repairs and upgrades, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We serve Yuma and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.