How to balance ventilation systems

Updated April 17, 2017

Ventilation systems circulate, heat, or cool the air in a room. Often, they do all three tasks. An unbalanced system can result in a temperature that is too hot or cold. It would also result in stale air that can be unpleasant for breathing. This is a result of too much air reaching some rooms and not enough in others. For example, in a heating system, the hot air flow could be stronger in your living room than in your kitchen. This will make your living room warmer and your kitchen cooler. A properly balanced ventilation system will provide a comfortable atmosphere. It can also save money by preventing the heating and cooling cycle from overworking and using energy.

Replace or clean all of the filters in the ventilation system. Dirt and dust build-up on filters can alter the temperature that is being sensed by the thermostats of the ventilation system. A closed loop ventilation system uses the temperature of the room to determine if it needs to turn on a heating or cooling device. Dirty filters can prevent the sensors of the system from registering the actual room temperature.

Open the vents in every room of your home or building. Shift the lever on the vents so that the slats are open and allowing air to flow freely through them. Move away any furniture or other objects that may block the vents.

Turn on or up your heat so that it is sure to remain on for at least 30 minutes. Walk around your home or other building. Monitor the feel of each room and notice if one room is warmer or colder than the others. Determine which room feels the warmest.

Close the vent in the warmest room to about the halfway point. Move the lever on the vent to adjust the slats so that they block some of the heat in the room. The vent does not need to be closed all the way. Closing the vent completely will make the room too cold. You may have to adjust the vent slats more if the room still feels too warm.

Open the vent all the way in the coldest room. Adjust the lever on the vent so that the slats are open to their widest point.

Walk around all the rooms again. Monitor the temperature in each room. Make adjustments to the vents in each room if you notice rooms that are too hot or cold.

Repeat this entire process for your air conditioning ventilation system if one exists.

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About the Author

Kim Sarah has been a writer since 2000. Her work has appeared on NECN, WCTR-TV3 and in the "Torch" university newspaper, among other publications. Sarah received a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Worcester State University and a Master of Arts in journalism from Roosevelt University. She is also studying nursing and computer science at Indiana State University.