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  1. #1
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    Shoulda contractor be expected to auto adjust dampers when they are installed.

    This does sound like a silly question but it just happened to me..yesterday so just wondered if I got singled out or if I should have added to the order.. "When you replace all my ducts with a new handy dandy damper be sure to set them all for optimal air flow.. please"?

    Heck it would be a rare home owner that even knows what a damper is and especially would not know to tell the contractor to adjust them for optimum air flow once installed.

    I asked the on site installer team leader the following: "Once these ducts with all the dampers are in place how will you set the air flow to optimum?, will you be using an anemometer or what?"

    His immediate response.. "No we don't have a manometer... "

    Oh lord...My response "You musta misheard me.. I said Anemometer.. not Manometer.. a manometer is used to read static pressure and we can get by without that as my Trane will give an end to end reading of static pressure just by pressing a button.. and even though a manometer would be nice to confirm the static press in more that one place the end to end statit reading that Trane has built in will suffice as it will have to since you just said you have no Manometer. Also for your information the manometer cannot measure airflow and is why I asked about the Anemometer used to measure air flow, as I do not want a wild guess by placing your hand in front of the grill.. to see if I got any air at all.

    Needless to say the lead tech left will all dampers in the full open position.. and since I am was originally sporting all 6" round flex ducts changed to 8" round flex ducts.. i absolutely need air balance set up .. and is the reason for the dampers in each duct... JEESH! why waste money to install dampers if they will not be set to balance the air flow...

    Not sure what I have got myself into an HVAC contractor without a manometer or anemometer and they have been doing HVAC for 30 years and have just opened up a new office... with 34 technicians..

    Maybe the lead tech just did not understand what my question was... and maybe they do have such mystical mandatory tools required even for a shade tree HVAC mechanic.. so will find out will find out Monday...... but meanwhile all my dampers are full flow. Heck I can get a decent Anemometer for 29.95 at amazon and for an additional 59.95 a Manometer.. but that is what I am paying for.. I should not need to do that.

    Can anyone help me best wordsmith my email to my contractor on Monday when they return.

    Now you know I can't just make this up and it must be hilliarious for all you professionals.

    Thanks in advance..
    Stop Laughing.. I can hear you... LOL.

  2. #2
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    I dont own an anemometer. Its very common not to.

    Was balancing the duct part of their bid?
    We leave it up to the homeowner. We either include a third party air balance, or we allow the customer to save money, and balance the dampers on their own.

    If they find a room is too warm, they turn it back, and vice versa.

    Are you having a problem with areas getting to hot or cold?
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

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  4. #3
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    If you want it done right I would see if you can get an actual balancing company to do it.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  5. #4
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    All installs would always get balancing dampners off the supply plenum to ensure even flow, but if a customer requested a room by room air balance we use a flow hood. I'm with you on this as I dont understand the mindset of putting in dampners if your not going to balance it professionally. In my experience the people that dont want to spend the money to balance room by room aren't going to pay to put dampners in for each room. I guess you needed to order the deluxe package

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    I dont own an anemometer. Its very common not to.

    Was balancing the duct part of their bid?
    We leave it up to the homeowner. We either include a third party air balance, or we allow the customer to save money, and balance the dampers on their own.

    If they find a room is too warm, they turn it back, and vice versa.

    Are you having a problem with areas getting to hot or cold?

    Are you finding many customers that even know what a damper is much less crawling around the attic or under the house looking for what they think might be a damper, especially when its a female that just had you put in a brand new unit will all new ducting? Also how many would even know which way to turn it... Why would a tech even put in a damper if they were not going to set it in the ballpark... or train the ladies.. where to look under the house and in the attic.

    Wow I have 19 branches with 7 dampers 12 under the house with no dampers and 6 in the hot attic with 6 dampers.
    Do you just not install dampers in branches or do you actually crawl under the house with the ladies.. I assumed you must have been talking about the a main damper not a branch damper. I don't have any main dampers.

    So you quote all bids for air balance as we know dang near none of the homeowners are going to have any idea where or how to adjust branch air dampers.. Correct? Or am I missing something. In my neck of the woods you would probably not get a bid by including air balance.. since with 11 rentals plus my home I have never seen anyone of my quotes come with air balance bid... or a statement do it yourself to save money. Many don't even put in dampers to begin with..

    Problem with hot or cold? Not yet the new ducts were installed yesterday.. and I assumed since I was not getting sufficient cooling when the OAT is above 80 degrees.... the 6 6" flex even if you say each may carrry 100 cfm would still only carry 600 cfm to the rooms... and my 2 ton puts out not 800 but hi efficiency and 2 stage produces 900 cfm.. so I am not even using 300 cfm and the hope to increasing 4 flex from 6" to 8" might help but as we know 8" may allow more air than needed so dampers were installed.. and I thought they would make simple air out measurements and send the 900 cft to the correct points.. like throttle back the baths and give more to each 400 sqft bedroom... total sqft is approx 1000... I was not aware that the average tech does not measure the airflow just as a great troubleshooting practice.

    But as you said I have never seen a tech measure any airflow other than putting his hand so see if it seems to have some...and of course measure its temp... I guess as you say whether or not we get correct air flow is not thier business.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    If you want it done right I would see if you can get an actual balancing company to do it.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    I don't need it perfect.. just surprised that its not standard practice to following the Manual D duct design and paying for all new ducts and possibly dampers.. that the tech would not at least use something like a simple anemometer and make sure the air flow for the room that is called for by the Manual D is in fact going to those rooms.... Learning a lot each day.. so are you about to tell me that its also rare for a tech to do a Manual D before changing all the ducts? Like above its rare for a tech to check the air flow....after changing all the ducts..

    IF the tech will not set dampers after having you pay for them it should be a clear charge on the bid so much for balancing.. which my guess is if its 3rd party.. the ducts install might be 5-10k plus another 2-3k for balancing... seen tons of bids from the most trusted companies in my area and never seen a duct balancing add on to the duct change quote.. but it may just be another way to get the bid.. and not even bother to make sure proper air is being processed.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makeitcold View Post
    All installs would always get balancing dampners off the supply plenum to ensure even flow, but if a customer requested a room by room air balance we use a flow hood. I'm with you on this as I dont understand the mindset of putting in dampners if your not going to balance it professionally. In my experience the people that dont want to spend the money to balance room by room aren't going to pay to put dampners in for each room. I guess you needed to order the deluxe package
    Not sure a damper off the plenum would help as I only have one trunk off the plenum and it would control the entire airflow not any branches... the plenum flows to one single trunk... so would a plenum damper help me at all?

    So does the anemometer give a ball park air flow from each grill.. so that at least a rough flow could be set or is the anemometer totally worthless for that and a flow hood is required to get any idea of the air flow?

    Not looking for perfection on the airflow just ballpark.. then later they can be touched up if a room is colder or hotter than others.

    But my end to end static pressure never goes above a .4 and its usually down around .25 to .35

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by govtom View Post
    Are you finding many customers that even know what a damper is much less crawling around the attic or under the house looking for what they think might be a damper, especially when its a female that just had you put in a brand new unit will all new ducting? Also how many would even know which way to turn it... Why would a tech even put in a damper if they were not going to set it in the ballpark... or train the ladies.. where to look under the house and in the attic.

    Wow I have 19 branches with 7 dampers 12 under the house with no dampers and 6 in the hot attic with 6 dampers.
    Do you just not install dampers in branches or do you actually crawl under the house with the ladies.. I assumed you must have been talking about the a main damper not a branch damper. I don't have any main dampers.

    So you quote all bids for air balance as we know dang near none of the homeowners are going to have any idea where or how to adjust branch air dampers.. Correct? Or am I missing something. In my neck of the woods you would probably not get a bid by including air balance.. since with 11 rentals plus my home I have never seen anyone of my quotes come with air balance bid... or a statement do it yourself to save money. Many don't even put in dampers to begin with..

    Problem with hot or cold? Not yet the new ducts were installed yesterday.. and I assumed since I was not getting sufficient cooling when the OAT is above 80 degrees.... the 6 6" flex even if you say each may carrry 100 cfm would still only carry 600 cfm to the rooms... and my 2 ton puts out not 800 but hi efficiency and 2 stage produces 900 cfm.. so I am not even using 300 cfm and the hope to increasing 4 flex from 6" to 8" might help but as we know 8" may allow more air than needed so dampers were installed.. and I thought they would make simple air out measurements and send the 900 cft to the correct points.. like throttle back the baths and give more to each 400 sqft bedroom... total sqft is approx 1000... I was not aware that the average tech does not measure the airflow just as a great troubleshooting practice.

    But as you said I have never seen a tech measure any airflow other than putting his hand so see if it seems to have some...and of course measure its temp... I guess as you say whether or not we get correct air flow is not thier business.
    All ductwork jobs have an included price for having a third party balance the system.

    If a customer has a problem in a specific area, even after declining the air balance, we make a trip out to check the system out. Make some basic adjustments without the use of tools. Show the customer how to use the dampers.

    Then it’s on them.

    We’ve only had 2 people request the air balance. Which is fine.
    What I think you have to come to terms with is the variety of people out there.

    A lot of people are happy with a 3 degree difference between rooms.
    A lot of people aren’t.
    That’s why we give people choice.

    Why put the dampers in if I’m not going to adjust them? To allow others to adjust as necessary.


    In your 12 rentals have all of them performed an air balance?

  10. #9
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    Oh I never said what you are experiencing is correct or right.

    I only said, based on what you said about your contractor that did the install, that if you want it done right, then get a balancing company to do it.

    I would suspect most residential HVAC contractors don't have the first clue about properly balancing airflow.

    Even if they had an anemometer, would they know how to use it correctly and know its limitations.
    Quote Originally Posted by govtom View Post
    I don't need it perfect.. just surprised that its not standard practice to following the Manual D duct design and paying for all new ducts and possibly dampers.. that the tech would not at least use something like a simple anemometer and make sure the air flow for the room that is called for by the Manual D is in fact going to those rooms.... Learning a lot each day.. so are you about to tell me that its also rare for a tech to do a Manual D before changing all the ducts? Like above its rare for a tech to check the air flow....after changing all the ducts..

    IF the tech will not set dampers after having you pay for them it should be a clear charge on the bid so much for balancing.. which my guess is if its 3rd party.. the ducts install might be 5-10k plus another 2-3k for balancing... seen tons of bids from the most trusted companies in my area and never seen a duct balancing add on to the duct change quote.. but it may just be another way to get the bid.. and not even bother to make sure proper air is being processed.
    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  11. #10
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    Agree with the above, most companies just tell people in my area that the ductings fine because theres very little money being made installing ducting, it's all labor and because 50% of people will just assume your trying to screw them and toss the bid. Was a Manual J performed to determine how many cfm each room requires? Without that I'm guessing on setting airflow to each room, that has to be provided to whoever would balance the ducts, so sounds like a call to the salesperson is in order.

    The 'average' tech are salestechs, minimal training and understanding, they are there to condemn your system and sell you a new one. I've met lots of these, paid on commission, and many face termination if they dont make their sales qoutas. Good techs are hard to find and I'd estimate 5% of those will actually use airflow in their diagnostics. When you find one hold onto them.

  12. #11
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    Expect ~ 3'F Differential Temperature in Comparing Rooms
    on ONE level " as a standard".

    Homeowner would have to provide:
    1. Manual J room-by-room
    calculation

    2. Duct design
    3. Manual D calculation

    4. ACCA Standard 5 written in the contract.

    HVAC Quality Installation Specification (English)
    ANSI/ACCA 5 QI - 2015

    https://www.acca.org/communities/com...e-0ae579bfe24a

    .. ACCA 5 OBJECTIVE : +/- 15%
    _________ Paragraph 4.1.1.

    ___ 100 CFM : 85 - 115 CFM
    ___ 200 CFM : 170 - 230 CFM
    ___ ___ UNLESS another specific % is written.

    ____ Static Pressure:
    _ iii. EXAMPLE: 0.7" ESP +/- 25%: 0.53" to 0.88"
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Makeitcold View Post
    Agree with the above, most companies just tell people in my area that the ductings fine because theres very little money being made installing ducting, it's all labor and because 50% of people will just assume your trying to screw them and toss the bid. Was a Manual J performed to determine how many cfm each room requires? Without that I'm guessing on setting airflow to each room, that has to be provided to whoever would balance the ducts, so sounds like a call to the salesperson is in order.

    The 'average' tech are salestechs, minimal training and understanding, they are there to condemn your system and sell you a new one. I've met lots of these, paid on commission, and many face termination if they dont make their sales qoutas. Good techs are hard to find and I'd estimate 5% of those will actually use airflow in their diagnostics. When you find one hold onto them.
    In answer to another question:
    Yes my salestech was also the lead installer a few days later.. claiming he will be johnny on the spot to make sure my install is elite.. Right! He was fired 5 days later having botched up the install to the extreme..


    In answer to your question:
    No Manual J, No Manual S nor a Manual D... don't think my contractor has EVER done any of these ever.. as I said when this began I had no idea what questions to even ask the Contractor so I could have made a better selection. What I am finding is that most contractors have never done them and do not know how.. its all by guess.. much faster and makes a lot more money. And then cross your fingers and hope the original installer 30 years ago knows what they were doing.. and just try to duplicate it again...and pray.. and most times it won't be too far off.. thank god.


    MakeIt cold...THank you...
    You are right on with what I am finding out from most companies.. as I got a dozen quotes when bidding for my twin geo thermals.. and still ended up with a total no load company... but it did cost them a bundle trying to get it right but they never did.. they just had no idea how to do it...as some mentioned above that most do not even have basic air flow equipment.. heck my guess is most have never used a manometer let alone ever owning or using an anemometer. As you can see from my comment above the LEAD tech had never heard of an anemometer but he had heard of a Manometer and let me know that they don't have that either. JEESH! But I guess its ok not to have it as you won't know how to use it and that could be more dangerous.. I certainly would not want someone like that drilling holes in my casing.. especially with a regular drill bit.. makes me shudder.

    But maybe you can answer a question I asked but no one wanted to answer... since IAW hvacVegas its totally normal for his clients to crawl the attic and under the house to adjust dampers.. then I assume its also ok for a homeowner to buy one of those 29.95 anemometers at Amazon and even though they may not be that accurate would be much better than having 6 8" flex hose dampers setting wide open... my thought before I buy it is to find out if that simple tool can do at least a very rough measure of air flow to allow me to best use what I have a two ton 800cfm split geo to divide the air that I have with like 500cfm into the master br with 3 ducts and maybe 400cfm total into the smaller bedroom with less windows and only one wall facing outside... as the master has a hot attic above, more windows, larger bath, and attics on 2 of 3 walls with one wall to outside.

    I am sure i can find more than sufficient web instructions that will allow me to understand it.. and plus all i am looking for is a very rough ball park area.. as I can tweak the temp a little at a time once its working in the ball park... besides that would be pretty quick where is the check room temp may take a few days with 6 ducts.. tweaking one and watching the temp for a few hours then moving on the the next... so since i surely will not be able to get a hood.. just want a confirmation as to whether or not a hand held anemometer will give rough air flow from each grill... I know the rules you cannot walk me thru troubleshooting... so not asking.. just asking if you or anyone has used this equipment to at least roughly test air flow?

    I am having a hard time believing the you lady home owners or the old 75 year old home owners are climbing under the house or into the attic adjusting dampers... wow how dangerous.. as my dampers are on the trunk stretching across the 130 degree attic and at any damper a dummy 75 year old or a 90 year old grandmother or a 26 year old young woman could fall thru the ceiling... it should be illegal to show anyone in that cat where and how to adjust dampers.. so since most do not opt for the air balance company.. my guess an extra 2 grand + just have to live with what ever the tech leaves you with in my case 6 fully open dampers doing absolutely nothing for my comfort they they cost thousands to install...

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    Expect ~ 3'F Differential Temperature in Comparing Rooms
    on ONE level " as a standard".

    Homeowner would have to provide:
    1. Manual J room-by-room
    calculation

    2. Duct design
    3. Manual D calculation

    4. ACCA Standard 5 written in the contract.

    HVAC Quality Installation Specification (English)
    ANSI/ACCA 5 QI - 2015

    https://www.acca.org/communities/com...e-0ae579bfe24a

    .. ACCA 5 OBJECTIVE : +/- 15%
    _________ Paragraph 4.1.1.

    ___ 100 CFM : 85 - 115 CFM
    ___ 200 CFM : 170 - 230 CFM
    ___ ___ UNLESS another specific % is written.

    ____ Static Pressure:
    _ iii. EXAMPLE: 0.7" ESP +/- 25%: 0.53" to 0.88"

    Thanks Dan SW
    No manual anything J, S or D.
    So here is my question.. to prevent starting all over from scratch.. I hope to assume that the equipment selection is close to right.. as most likely a 2 ton 2 stage trane can handle a thousand square feet.. unless it has a lot of unusaual load.

    So here is the plan before going back to square one with lots of new expenses... lets assume the 800 cfm of air flow that should be available to me is ballpark.. actually they claim i have 900cfm due to the efficiency...

    The existing system does pretty well except at the hottest part of the day above 80 degrees... and one bedroom is approx 500 sqft and the other is 400 sq ft.. so I want to divert more to the big room than the smaller room... and once they are ballpark i can tweak by room temp diff on future micromanagement testing.. and touch up the dampers..

    So why would it not make sense to initially set the dampers to provide 500 cflm to one side and 400 cfm to the smaller side and see how it goes... I just do not think i need an expensive air balance to get into the ballpark... makes sense.. and I am not understanding why a basic company would not take quick air flow measures at each grill and teeek the dampers into the ball park... leaving it for me to fine tune as time goes on....

    That is why I keep asking "Does anyone know if the anemometer can be used for ball park air flow.. or the only way to even come close is a hood.. which is probably expensive.. anemometer is less than 30 bucks..


    Thanks for any thoughts....

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