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TAB (Testing, Adjusting, and Balancing) servicing is just one of our specialties here at HVAC Engineering. But what is TAB, and why is it so important to hire the right expert?

The testing of an HVAC system is key to determining the parameters for the adjustments and balancing which will ensue. There are several different procedures for testing HVAC systems; some key methods are Energy Efficiency testing, Acoustical and Airflow testing, and Air Cleaner testing1. In short, the goal of performing these tests is to ensure that the HVAC system is optimizing energy use and occupant comfort correctly, that there are no significant leaks or flaws impacting the good functioning of the system, and that the air being recirculated into the building is being appropriately filtered and sanitized.

This last point is especially key given the prevalence of Sick Building Syndrome, which is when air quality can adversely affect health outcomes for building occupants or day-users. A technician will asses the situation and determine which tests are necessary, based on the installation date of the system, any anomalous events that may signify damage, and any input from the client. Some HVAC testing methods are discussed in more detail on this blog, such as Duct Leakage Testing.

Once the state of the system has been assessed, the adjustments can be made. Adjustments can consist not only of the reconfiguration of digital controllers such as thermostats, but also the setting of analog components such as valves. Some of these are user-interfacing components, while some are buried deep in the infrastructure, so the possible causes of poor adjustment can vary from manufacturing defects to user error. In some cases, newer models of existing system components might be suggested if components are outdated or worn. The adjusting stage consists of taking a close look at the settings of individual system attributes,

In contrast, in the balancing stage the technician will take a wide view of the system as a whole, consulting engineering drawings and manufacturer guidelines in order to examine the airflow through the system- and compare it to the ideal. Airflow balancing involves not only calculations of fluid dynamics, but also an understanding of architectural layout and use patterns. Balancing, interestingly enough, also involves some “adjusting” of its own; valves and grilles must be manipulated based on the calculations in order to achieve the optimized airflow patterns intended for the system. Balancing is the most intricate step of the process; since fluids behave very differently from their ideal simulations, the technician will need to understand the specifics of your building such as humidity levels and envelope construction in order to perform the best possible service for you.

Given the above, it’s clear that TAB services require a qualified contractor that is skilled in many areas, from hands-on maintenance to theoretical calculations. This is why it’s so key to choose a provider with experienced technicians, a good reputation, and a special focus on TAB services. At HVAC Engineering, we can assist you through the whole process- making a complex service stress-free for you, the client.

-Nicole P.

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