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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    163

    Air Balancing Careers

    How many of you out there do strictly air balancing? I just started with a new company and that's all they do. I like the work but am wondering what the outlook is if I ever want to leave this company.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    17
    You can make a career out of it , I have seen it many times and have a couple techs in that position now.

    Your best bet if you decide to persue that field is to work towards getting credentials in one of the leaders of the TAB field ie: Associated Air Balance Council , National Environmental Balancing Bureau . There are offshoots as well but these are the most highly recognized in my opinion.

    We have certified Supervisors and techs through the NEBB .
    Of course there is commisioning that can be strongly tied to TAB wich is also very good work .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,326
    why not just do it like a lot of guys and sit in your truck writing the reports until you get laid off, then go to the next contractor. i cant tell you how many balancers around here think it is okay for a motor to be 100% efficient on paper.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    163
    Quote Originally Posted by flange View Post
    why not just do it like a lot of guys and sit in your truck writing the reports until you get laid off, then go to the next contractor. i cant tell you how many balancers around here think it is okay for a motor to be 100% efficient on paper.
    Yeah i've seen that side too while I was doing controls. But the company that I'm at is very reputable and makes sure that things are done better than required.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    104
    We call that a Good Ole' drive by balance in MI! unfortunately that happens....
    If it aint broke dont fix it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,110
    Quote Originally Posted by Big Unit View Post
    How many of you out there do strictly air balancing? I just started with a new company and that's all they do. I like the work but am wondering what the outlook is if I ever want to leave this company.
    I don't do strictly air balancing anymore, but I do it enough to know what it is about. The actual balancing work is fine, maybe a little boring at times, but overall it is rewarding. The problem with balancing is you have to rely on a lot of other trades to have done their job correctly before you can do yours. A lot of mechanical contractors will tell you the job is ready to be balanced and when you get there only half the equipment is running, the other half that are running were never checked for rotation, the controls aren't operational, the filters are plugged, someone decided to help you out by closing half the dampers, and the general is telling you the job is behind so you need to be done tomorrow to make up for it. Some of the engineers and contractors you will deal with have no idea how balancing works, or even the basic concept of balancing, so you will get jobs that are basically impossible to do. Like balance half a system without affecting the other half and setting up pumps on a system with all the control valves closed, and no way to open them.

    I think some of the guys that deal with these frustrations for many years eventually get so jaded and fed up that they start to make stuff up as Flange mentions, but I do think these guys are the minority, and I take offense to the people that think all balancers are con artists that make up the reports.

    Now, after my little rant, if you do decide to get in to (or go back to) service work, you will have a much better understanding of airflow and how static pressure affects a system than the average tech. You will be able to diagnose and repair comfort complaints and airflow problems easier because of your balancing experience. Good luck.

  7. #7
    If you are thinking of checking out some other hiring opportunities aside from air balancing check out this website: www.jobsinhvac.com some good stuff on there.

  8. #8
    I do commercial estimating in south florida and we are always pricing air balancing for office buildings. We recently decided to abandon balancing residential units because tenants usually just mess with the grilles on there own anyway.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    45
    Im finally taking balancing classes this fall/spring
    im taking the air balancing class first (16 weeks) then the water balancing (16 weeks) is this the best way to take them?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    256

    Balancers

    Quote Originally Posted by flange View Post
    why not just do it like a lot of guys and sit in your truck writing the reports until you get laid off, then go to the next contractor. i cant tell you how many balancers around here think it is okay for a motor to be 100% efficient on paper.
    No, No you got it all wrong.
    First they show up at the job, no need to unload their tools they will find some reason not to do the job, like a screw is missing in the duct work on the 17th floor (I have no idea how this affects the water system) . Then when they come back its only after they bill you for not being able to work when they showed up the first time.
    The good one's don't do the balance in their trucks, the go to Denny's.

    G

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    Don't you have to be a degreed engineer to own and operate a testing and balancing company?


    http://www.aabc.com/certifications/engineer.aspx
    Always here

  12. #12
    The good one's don't do the balance in their trucks, the go to Denny's.
    Unfortunately there are some bad apples out there. The bad ones give all of us a bad name. It drives me crazy because I refuse to write up a report.

    I have been doing air and water balancing for companies that only do testing and balancing for 14 years. There is no reason you cannot make a career out of it.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    FL Tampa Area
    Posts
    48
    You can make a career out of it no problem. Nobody likes the balancer, last ones in and as mentioned they always need it done yesterday. The fact the mechanical contractor forgot to add dampers to an entire system shouldn't affect me completing my work on time.

    It is hard for people not in the TAB field to understand that inorder to properly balance a building all systems need to be operating correctly. There are some pencil whipping balancers out there, which is usually encouraged by the GC or Mechanical contractor. Mechanicals get back charged all the time becuase they say something is ready but its not and then argue about the charge. I'll tell you though I'd make a lot better profit if I never needed to back charge anyone.

    I like the 100% efficient motor, thats an easy way to get caught cheating.

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