HVAC System Pressure Relief

July/August 2006
A version of this article appears in the July/August 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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July 01, 2006
Correcting pressure imbalances in your HVAC system can result in a healthier, more efficient home.
        Without central air conditioning, the South wouldn’t be what it is today. Central air conditioning has made living in the South year-round a real pleasure, but it has also created its own set of problems—including the subtle but critical problem of pressures that differ from room to room.         To keep the installed costs of air conditioning down, it became common practice to put supplies into each room and use a central return, eliminating individual return runs. Rooms can serve as ducts as long as all the doors in the house stay open. As soon as doors, working as dampers, start to close, the system changes. Uneven pressures are created, and system performance and comfort are compromised causing the occupants to compensate by running the system longer or at a lower set point.         Complicating this problem is the fact that some rooms are pressurized and some rooms are depressurized. Air will seek to leak out of a pressurized room and leak into a depressurized room. Even though air has always leaked into and out of houses, this poses a ...

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