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  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    Question Balancing at Registers vs Plenum Dampeners

    I have heard conflicting opinions on this subject so I'd like to hear what the community has to say about it. I am in Houston so we deal with high heat, high humidity. What is the proper way to adjust air flow? Pinching back registers or pinching back dampeners at the plenum?

    I have heard that if you pinch back at the registers then this creates a potential for mold growth in the duct. Any truth to this?

  2. #2
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    At the take offs.

    At the registers causes noise.

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  4. #3
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    At the take offs.

    At the registers causes noise.

  5. #4
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    Oct 2015
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    I agree with pecmsg
    There is only one truly right way to do something, but there are thousands of wrong ways to varying degrees to do it.
    So the question is: If you don't do it right, then how wrong is it going to be???

  6. #5
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    Thread Starter
    Is noise the only issue?

    My main concern is if there is a higher chance for forming mold if airflow is restricted at the registers?

  7. #6
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    The mold angle is bogus. There are two reasons in residential to balance at the plenum the biggest one being they will hold set point because nobody can mess with them. The other reason is noise potential but that is rarely a problem in residential. Most residential systems are low on airflow and if not the static pressure at the diffusers is almost always below 0.1 inch.

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  9. #7
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    Bellevue, Washington, United States
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    It's always best to balance using dampers. If you close off registers it greatly increases your noise level in the space. Also someone else can easily adjust it again and negate the work you just did.

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  11. #8
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    Making the adjustments at the take off, also will reduce duct losses in the branch runs on systems that are less then perfectly sealed


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  13. #9
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    Feb 2004
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    Look at a grill/register/diffuser air flow profile and how they entrain room air. They are on manufactuer's sites. By closing them the profile will be less than idea.
    I don't remember a mold issue before this. If condensation is forming at the terminal you might need to increase the fan speed so the air is a bit warmer or find the supply duct problem.
    I should have played the g'tar on the MTV. MK

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

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  15. #10
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    Mar 2015
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    I start with the Volume dampers, then the branch dampers, then complete it with the Register Dampers, in order to balance the Air flow through out the building.
    Now, in many cases, where the Installation, was never Inspected, &/or was older than 20 years, .... I've seen many a Residential Installation with out any damper control, other than the Registers.

    Another point, is that in a Mobile Home/ Modular, & RV,... The Only Damper Control is always the Registers.

    As far as "Mold Growth"? That can largely be cured with the Building Owner having the Equipment Tuned & Cleaned on a Regular Basis, (with Evap. Pan Treatment, & Condensate Drain cleaning if required.) as well as the Contractor informing the H.O., about properly inspecting & changing the Filters.
    Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you may be no priest to me. Because you have forgotten your God’s law, I will also forget your children.


    "You've got to Stand for Something or You'll fall for anything" (A. Tippin)


    We are on a "Man-made Highway to Hell", Our so called "Leaders", Political & Religious, are encouraging The Mushroom like Sheeple to go faster.

    (AC-DC Lyrics)

  16. #11
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    David, like you I have also worked with systems that were not adjustable. I consider a system with just a terminal adjustment to be in that class. Of course when that's all you have that's what you adjust. Even when the terminal is adjusted the flow pattern
    is in many cases a wreak. There are combo grills like the Barber Coleman that has a volume damper directly in back of the grill that has a 4 way pattern adjustment. Pricey though but good results.

    Forget mold. If condensation is an issue tweaking a grill won't fix it. The supply air is too cold or wet air is being introduced is another way. The A/C should be able to stabilize the humidity in a short time unless there is a problem.
    The air discharge should be what the supply duct is delivering.
    There was a job on Johnson Island. It's in the middle of the Pacific and I'm told is the farthest away from everywhere. They had diffusers sweating but it was because the engineer didn't spec insulation on the outside of them. The RH there is often near 100%. Try to find the source of the humidity.
    It's the room air that was humid and the condensation was on the outside.
    I should have played the g'tar on the MTV. MK

    You can be anything you want......As long as you don't suck at it.

    USAF 98 Bomb Wing 1960-66 SMW Lu49

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  18. #12
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    May 2018
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    Deatsvills, Alabama
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    I prefer at adjust at the takeoff instead of the register. If there is not a damper at takeoff then you have no other choice.

  19. #13
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    I don't know who instructed you that mold growth will magically appear when cutting at the diffuser.....but I've never seen it...and I'm in Houston too! Cutting at the spin in to the main trunk will also yield less leakage than cutting at the diffuser (your building static in less duct work). Last but not least, cutting at the diffuser is noisey. Exactly what type of system is this?

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