This article does not cite any sources . (January 2021) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
HVAC Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) are the three major steps used to achieve proper operation of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. TAB usually refers to commercial building construction and the specialized contractors who employ personnel that perform this service.
In general, the TAB specialist performs air and hydronic measurements on the HVAC systems and adjusts the flows as required to achieve optimum performance of the building environmental equipment. The balancing is usually based upon the design flow values required by the Mechanical Engineer for the project, and the TAB contractor submits a written report which summarizes the testing and balancing and notes any deficiencies found during the TAB work. Many times facility managers will use a TAB contractor to assist in identifying preexisting or common issues with a facility. While not necessary to be a TAB contractor, many contractors tend to hold professional air balancing certifications.
Testing is the use of specialized and calibrated instruments to measure temperatures, pressures, rotational speeds, electrical characteristics, velocities, and air and water quantities for an evaluation of equipment and system performance.
Adjusting is the final setting of balancing devices such as dampers and valves, adjusting fan speeds and pump impeller sizes, in addition to automatic control devices such as thermostats and pressure controllers to achieve maximum specified system performance and efficiency during normal operation.
Balancing is the methodical regulation of system fluid flows (air or water) through the use of acceptable procedures to achieve the desired or specified design airflow or water flow. When beginning the balance of a system, you must locate the terminal with the least amount of flow in regards to the engineer's drawing. Once the "low" terminal has been located, you can then proceed to adjust all other diffusers/grilles (air) or circuit balancing valves (water) to proportionally match the original "low" terminal. There must be at least one terminal that is wide open to achieve optimum efficiency.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. Its goal is to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality. HVAC system design is a subdiscipline of mechanical engineering, based on the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. "Refrigeration" is sometimes added to the field's abbreviation, as HVAC&R or HVACR or "ventilation" is dropped, as in HACR.
A thermostat is a regulating device component which senses the temperature of a physical system and performs actions so that the system's temperature is maintained near a desired setpoint.
Engine tuning is the adjustment or modification of the internal combustion engine or Engine Control Unit (ECU) to yield optimal performance and increase the engine's power output, economy, or durability. These goals may be mutually exclusive; an engine may be de-tuned with respect to output power in exchange for better economy or longer engine life due to lessened stress on engine components.
HVAC equipment needs a control system to regulate the operation of a heating and/or air conditioning system. Usually a sensing device is used to compare the actual state with a target state. Then the control system draws a conclusion what action has to be taken.
An evaporative cooler is a device that cools air through the evaporation of water. Evaporative cooling differs from other air conditioning systems, which use vapor-compression or absorption refrigeration cycles. Evaporative cooling uses the fact that water will absorb a relatively large amount of heat in order to evaporate. The temperature of dry air can be dropped significantly through the phase transition of liquid water to water vapor (evaporation). This can cool air using much less energy than refrigeration. In extremely dry climates, evaporative cooling of air has the added benefit of conditioning the air with more moisture for the comfort of building occupants.
A damper is a valve or plate that stops or regulates the flow of air inside a duct, chimney, VAV box, air handler, or other air-handling equipment. A damper may be used to cut off central air conditioning to an unused room, or to regulate it for room-by-room temperature and climate control. Its operation can be manual or automatic. Manual dampers are turned by a handle on the outside of a duct. Automatic dampers are used to regulate airflow constantly and are operated by electric or pneumatic motors, in turn controlled by a thermostat or building automation system. Automatic or motorized dampers may also be controlled by a solenoid, and the degree of air-flow calibrated, perhaps according to signals from the thermostat going to the actuator of the damper in order to modulate the flow of air-conditioned air in order to effect climate control.
Hydronics is the use of liquid water or gaseous water (steam) or a water solution as heat-transfer medium in heating and cooling systems. The name differentiates such systems from oil and steam systems. Historically, in large-scale commercial buildings such as high-rise and campus facilities, a hydronic system may include both a chilled and a heated water loop, to provide for both heating and air conditioning. Chillers and cooling towers are used either separately or together as means to provide water cooling, while boilers heat water. A recent innovation is the chiller boiler system, which provides an efficient form of HVAC for homes and smaller commercial spaces.
An air handler, or air handling unit, is a device used to regulate and circulate air as part of a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. An air handler is usually a large metal box containing a blower, heating or cooling elements, filter racks or chambers, sound attenuators, and dampers. Air handlers usually connect to a ductwork ventilation system that distributes the conditioned air through the building and returns it to the AHU. Sometimes AHUs discharge (supply) and admit (return) air directly to and from the space served without ductwork
An engine control unit (ECU), also commonly called an engine control module (ECM) is a type of electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance. It does this by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps, and adjusting the engine actuators. Before ECUs, air–fuel mixture, ignition timing, and idle speed were mechanically set and dynamically controlled by mechanical and pneumatic means.
Building automation is the automatic centralized control of a building's HVAC, electrical, lighting, shading, Access Control, Security Systems, and other interrelated systems through a Building Management System (BMS) or Building Automation System (BAS). The objectives of building automation are improved occupant comfort, efficient operation of building systems, reduction in energy consumption, reduced operating and maintaining costs, increased security, historical performance documentation, remote access/control/operation, and improved life cycle of equipment and related utilities.
Ducts are conduits or passages used in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to deliver and remove air. The needed airflows include, for example, supply air, return air, and exhaust air. Ducts commonly also deliver ventilation air as part of the supply air. As such, air ducts are one method of ensuring acceptable indoor air quality as well as thermal comfort.
The Air Movement and Control Association International, Inc. (AMCA) is a long-established American trade body that sets standards for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment. It is best known for its ratings in fan balance and vibration, aerodynamic performance, air density, speed and efficiency.
Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA; the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) is an international association certifying firms and qualifying supervisors and technicians in the following disciplines: Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing (TAB) of HVAC systems; Building Systems Commissioning (BSC); Sound and Vibration Measurement (S&V); Retro-commissioning (RCX); Fumehood Testing (FHT); and Cleanroom Performance Testing (CPT). NEBB also establishes and maintains industry standards, procedures, and work specifications for these disciplines.
Building commissioning (Cx) is an integrated, systematic process to ensure, through documented verification, that all building systems perform interactively according to the "Design Intent". The commissioning process establishes and documents the "Owner's Project Requirements (OPR)" criteria for system function, performance expectations, maintainability; verify and document compliance with these criteria throughout all phases of the project. Commissioning procedures require a collaborative team effort and 'should' begin during the pre-design or planning phase of the project, continue through the design and construction phases, initial occupancy phase, training of operations and maintenance (O&M) staff, and into occupancy.
Refrigerant reclamation is the act of processing used refrigerant gas which has previously been used in some type of refrigeration loop such that it meets specifications for new refrigerant gas. In the United States, the Clean Air Act of 1990 requires that used refrigerant be processed by a certified reclaimer, which must be licensed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the material must be recovered and delivered to the reclaimer by EPA-certified technicians.
HVAC is a major subdiscipline of mechanical engineering. The goal of HVAC design is to balance indoor environmental comfort with other factors such as installation cost, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency. The discipline of HVAC includes a large number of specialized terms and acronyms, many of which are summarized in this glossary.
Hydronic balancing, also called hydraulic balancing, is the process of optimising the distribution of water in a building's hydronic heating or cooling system by equalizing the system pressure so it provides the intended indoor climate at optimum energy efficiency and minimal operating cost.
Automatic balancing valves are utilised in central heating and cooling systems that rely on flow of water through the system. They use the latest flow technology to ensure that the design flow rate is achieved at all times irrespective of any pressure changes within the system.
A duct leakage tester is a diagnostic tool designed to measure the airtightness of forced air heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. A duct leakage tester consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and fan flow measurements are used to determine the ductwork airtightness. The airtightness of ductwork is useful knowledge when trying to improve energy conservation.
In building services engineering and HVAC, an air-mixing plenum is used for mixing air from different ductwork systems.