What is an Air and Hydronic Test Balance

Improving efficiency is the number one goal when it comes to completing any goal (at home or in business). So, when installing any type of HVAC system, proper calibrations are necessary to achieve the highest degree of precision. Other systems that may need adjustments and balancing include:

  • Split system A/C units
  • Water utility plants (chilled and condenser)
  • Domestic and industrial water systems
  • Air delivery systems with constant and variable volume

How accurate the air and the hydronic system is balanced determines its performance.

What is Test and Balance?

Test and Balance is a process that tests, adjusts, and balances (TAB) the components of an HVAC system to achieve optimum performance. When a technician is checking the performance of the HVAC system, the aim is to ensure the components work as intended.

Some companies may hire general technicians who undergo basic air and hydronic testing, adjusting, and balancing training. This way, they‘ll have ready personnel for HVAC system problems of everyday operations. There are also companies with ready-for-hire services where highly experienced and certified TAB technicians are available.

Most commercial operators opt for TAB services specially offered by different companies. This is because it increases certainty concerning the attainment of HVAC system efficiency.


Technicians use special instruments that have unique calibrations to measure the following in HVAC systems:

  • Pressure
  • Velocity
  • Temperature
  • Rotational Speed
  • Water quantity
  • Air quantity


Adjustments to an HVAC system target things like the fan speeds or sizes of the pump impeller. A TAB technician will set balancing devices like valves or dampers to adjust the system. The automatic control devices of the system like pressure controllers as well as thermostats will also undergo adjustments. After adjusting the system, it should perform as it should under regular operation.


Balancing in HVAC systems involves regulating the flow of fluids helping in their operability. A technician follows set procedures to control how the water and air flow. According to the engineer’s drawing, one should proceed to identify the “low terminal” before searching for an open one for balancing. To attain optimal performance and efficiency at least one terminal must be wide open for regulation.

Circuit balancing valves undergo adjustments to be similar to the “low terminal.” The same is also done for diffusers or grilles to balance airflow.

Besides being a long systemic process, TAB is methodical, so it is tiresome. For system owners, this is beneficial since all the mechanical parts undergo testing for functionality. Balancing follows to make sure the electrical section, plumbing, controls, and the corresponding equipment perform optimally.

The main challenge with today’s technology is that HVAC systems are undergoing automation for more efficiency. As such, reliable TAB technical personnel should know about all the available system types and their operability. This knowhow will allow the technician to understand your automation system for proper adjustments.

Benefits of An Air and Hydronic Test

The installations of various systems in any residential or commercial aims to ease operations and make things simple. An accurate air and hydronic test should leave a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning system at its optimum performance level. This will:

  • Allow for the correction of system inconsistencies

The aim of conducting air and hydronic tests is to correct HVAC systems for the consistent flow of air and water. A technician has to set all the components as per the original calibrations to achieve the system intent.

If there’s a duct leak, the technician will immediately correct it to resume operation.

  • Improve comfort so that the property occupants can live happily.

You can find complex digital HVAC systems in commercial buildings like hotels since here, the comfort of occupants is paramount. Regulating the HVAC system will ensure water and air flow efficiently, therefore, keeping the indoor environment cool and comfy.

  • Increase energy efficiency since optimum performance means lower power consumption.

An air and hydronic test regulates HVAC systems to maximize operability and minimize consumption. TAB allows for energy efficiency since the system attains optimum performance.

The goal of every business is to maximize profitability and minimize cost. So, regulating your HVAC system is one way to achieve this.

Because of the thoroughness and degree of accuracy needed in air and hydronic tests, hiring a trustworthy professional will help. You want a technician that will access all components to assess their performance. The test can only be complete if the system reaches efficient heating, cooling, and air conditioning.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.