How to Balance Your Forced Air System


If your forced air system includes air conditioning, you may need to do so some between seasons tweaking. Heated air and cooled air mix and move differently but are carried through duct work that treats them pretty much the same. Tweaking your system’s duct dampers gets air moving in the right direction and balances the indoor climate. This exercise takes a little time on the first go-round (usually a day or so), but once you’ve selected and marked the optimum damper settings for the season, you’ll be good to go at the start of winter and summer every year afterward. Here’s what to do:

  1. Set up a temperature monitoring scheme by assembling a set of identical tabletop thermometers. Place one in each room of your house.
  2. Open all the duct dampers and registers in your forced air system, then set the thermostat to 68 degrees and fire up the furnace.
  3. After half an hour, check your thermometer readings and partially close the dampers in the warmest rooms in the house. Readjust those dampers and the dampers in all other rooms until you’ve achieved the desired temperature throughout the house.
  4. Use a permanent marker to mark the final handle position you’ve set on each damper, noting “W” or “winter” next to the mark you’ve made. When you do a pre-summer balancing run, note an “S” or “summer” next to that season’s marks. You’re set now, no matter what the season.

Boosting your ducts. If one room stays much cooler than the rest of the house when the heat’s on full blast, and adjusting the damper doesn’t help, consider having a duct booster fan installed in the spot in your duct work system that’s closest to the chilly room. The fan can either be wired to a manual switch or connected to the furnace’s blower fan, which will power it up simultaneously.

Temperatures to set your programmable thermostat too.

If you have any questions, concerns or require additional information please feel free to contact us at any of the sources provided. info@hoggmechanical.com, 519.579.5330, Twitter @HoggMechanical, Facebook Hogg Heating & Air Conditioning

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