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STANDARD HVAC TESTING

,
ADJUSTING, AND BALANCING
PROCEDURES

SOUND TEST PROCEDURE . AIR & HYDRONIC SYSTEM (with Cooling Tower) . SYSTEM READY TO BALANCE CHECKLIST . LIST OF INSTRUMENTS . VARIABLE AIR SYSTEM (DX) . CONSTANT AIR & HYDRONIC SYSTEM . CONSTANT AIR SYSTEM (DX) . SAMPLE FORMS . Table Of Contents . VARIABLE AIR & HYDRONIC SYSTEM .

CONSTANT AIR SYSTEM (DX) .

Instruments requiring calibration are checked prior to mobilization to ensure that the calibration expiration date has not passed and that the certificates are readily available when reporting to begin actual testing and balancing. 3. PREREQUISITES Prior to the proceeding with the testing activities. Construction related tests complete (pressure.4. 1998". 3. PROCEDURES These procedures cover the placing of the various HVAC systems into operation. INTRODUCTION Test procedures (in compliance with the project Specification) shall be performed in accordance with the latest NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL BALANCING BUREAU (NEBB) publication "Procedural Standards for Testing.) 3. adjusting and balancing fluid flows. the entire TAB process is organized and planned prior to reporting to site to commence actual testing. adjusting and balancing of HVAC system is accomplished using systematic procedures. leakage. Quality Control inspection is complete. record drawings (or as- built if available). etc. Specific procedures for each activity are provided hereunder. ADJUSTING & BALANCING PROCEDURES FOR AIR SYSTEM 1.2. All other test and reporting as required to confirm that the installation meets the specified conditions shall also be performed. Refer to “Attachment A” for the List of Instruments. 5. Procurement of Data.1. Planning and scheduling TAB field procedures. 3. PRELIMINARY OFFICE PROCEDURES Testing.1. and upon completion of the preceding tests. testing. conducting operational tests of the various systems to determine the actual system performances. APPLICABLE DOCUMENTS Documentation required prior to on-site testing consist of the technical specifications. 2.6. 3. 5. approved submittal data. the following prerequisites must be completed: 3. Applicable documents prepared and available. INSTRUMENTATION The list of test instruments that will be needed for the testing and balancing of the systems is compiled. and other documents as may be required.1. HVAC TESTING.Air System Page 1 of 11 . TAB preparatory work accomplished in the office is to be broken down into three (3) categories: 1. 2. Procurement of Data Standard TAB Procedure .5. Installation Verification checks successfully completed. System review and analysis include agenda and preliminary paperwork.1. Adjusting and Balancing of Environmental Systems.3. Procedures submitted and approved. 5. Installations are complete. 3. 3. 4.

Each system is identified i. are also identified and noted.e. whether primary and secondary systems are interconnected or interlocked with other systems.Air System Page 2 of 11 . B) Schematic Diagrams A schematic layout of duct system is prepared indicating all components that pertain to balancing of the system (e. noting such things as type and location of the areas served. breakers. balancing dampers. which indicate the sequence of operation of all HVAC systems. All addenda and revisions must be included. all manufacturers’ performance criteria. air terminals. Refer to “Attachment B” for sample of test report forms. operating curves. Equipment schedules. C) Submittal Data Obtain all applicable approved submittals for all items of HVAC equipment including. approved shop drawings and equipment submittals. where necessary. Obtain all applicable plans and contract documents including change orders. a study of each HVAC system is performed to identify any discrepancies in the data or drawings that may prevent the proper balancing and performance of the system. D) Agenda Standard TAB Procedure . in order to identify the precise data and tests which are required and what guidelines or balancing procedures are desired. including all temperature control system drawings.g. temperature control drawings and sequence of operation of control for each system is particularly reviewed in detail. types of systems. etc. Review and Analysis of the Systems After all preliminary data has been collected. etc. specifications and equipment data is performed for each system. etc.) All air terminals are identified with an appropriate numbering system that will be easily recognized and understood by both field personnel and the person who will ultimately review the report. project specifications. etc. C) Processing the Report Forms All the design data available from the approved drawings and submittals is entered on the relevant Test Report upon completion of the schematic diagrams and preliminary paperwork. B) Specifications Obtain the relevant technical specifications. A) Drawings Complete set of up-to-date drawings.2.1. including all the latest revisions and addenda will be obtained. 5. A) System Components and Types A review of plans. and to develop an agenda to establish the best approach for testing and balancing. Location of motor control centers.

1. A review of the project drawings. The Installing Contractor is responsible for setting the equipment into proper operation.) and the mode of operation in which the system should be placed for testing and balancing. 5. An agenda is prepared. PRELIMINARY FIELD PROCEDURES 5. the balancing procedure to be used is decided. etc. and all proposed balancing procedures.2. (2) System Capacity Review A check of the total flow requirements of all system terminal units in comparison to the fan capacities is performed to insure compatibility of the equipment and system. in writing. This plan shall be agreed to with all parties involved with the testing and balancing prior to start of test. (3) Location of Flow Measuring Devices Desired location for the measurement of airflow quantities are identified. schematics and details is made to insure all necessary balancing dampers are provided to facilitate the balancing work. (1) Balancing Devices A review of the project drawings. Readiness Check When all preliminary TAB work in the office has been completed. prior to mobilization. The steps listed below shall be systematically followed to determine the status of each system. which includes a preliminary report identifying any discrepancies that would prevent the proper testing and balancing of the systems. (5) Proposed Balancing Procedure After identification of the type of system.Air System Page 3 of 11 . Planning TAB Field Procedures A schedule and plan for the testing and balancing is prepared in accordance with the main program to permit manpower allocations to be made. schematics and details is made to insure all necessary balancing devices are provided to facilitate the balancing work. Any deficiencies that will cause delays will be promptly reported to the proper authority. (4) Sequence of Operation Temperature control system diagrams are examined to determine the method to be used to set the HVAC system components (ATC dampers.3. and provisions of flow measurement devices are confirmed if applicable. Forms are provided as “Attachment C” to these procedures. a site inspection will be performed upon mobilization.2. 5.2. 5.1. A preliminary systems check will be conducted by the HVAC Contractor to verify that the building and its system are ready for TAB work. Air System Inspections Standard TAB Procedure . a description of each system and its operation.2. Every system is slightly different and some modification may be necessary to the standard procedure to permit accurate testing and balancing in some situations.

using a good straightedge or a string line. these shall be checked for proper adjustment. If they are stretched tight. Any interlocked equipment and circuit interrupting equipment such as freezestats and firestats. f) All setscrews on the wheel. Standard TAB Procedure . The electrical disconnect switch for the fan will be OFF and tagged or locked. motors. and it shall be ensured that the correct filters for the system operation are installed. i) The fan impellers shall be hand-turned and checked for any rubbing of the wheel or the drives. (Sometimes different filters are used temporarily during start-up and construction). where possible. d) The alignment of the drives in belt driven equipment is checked. If there are any abnormalities. h) Lubrication of fan and motor shall be verified. e) The fan wheel shall be inspected for the proper alignment and clearance in the housing. FANS a) Electric starter. b) The availability of the electrical power available for start-up and testing shall be determined and that the voltage and equipment needs are compatible. g) All mounting bolts shall be checked for tightness on the fans. If the rotation is incorrect.) Rotation arrows are furnished on many fans. etc. disconnect switches and main circuit breakers will be located and identified. shall be inspected for any debris that might get into the fan and cause damage when the fan is started. collapsed spring coils. Therefore. sealer. etc. bearings. belt guards (if applicable). it shall be verified that the correct isolators have been furnished and are installed in the right locations.Air System Page 4 of 11 . A) Air Handling Units/ Built-up Units 1. etc. mud. shall also be identified. (Note that many fans will continue to move air even when running backwards. Thermal and electrical overload devices such as fuses and heater coils will be checked to ensure they are of the correct size for the equipment load. and that the equipment is leveled. rotation must be visibly checked. Investigation shall also be made for any foreign items on the wheel such as plaster. j) If vibration isolators or bases are used. Before touching any equipment. If the fan and the motor shafts are not parallel. the motor will be repositioned and the belts adjusted to the proper tension. it will be determined that it is safely locked out while being checked. c) The inside of the fan and associated ductwork. These items can cause unbalance and vibration. drives and bearings shall be checked to ensure they are tight. If it is not in alignment. k) The alignment and tightness of the flexible connections with the ducting shall be checked. duct connections. it will need to be reversed before proceeding. This is done jointly with the electrician. they may be damaged when the fan is started and should be replaced with connections with sufficient flexibility. 2. fan performance will be affected. FILTERS a) The correct size and type of filters shall be checked. l) The motor shall be "bumped” to determine the rotation direction.

etc. partitions. DAMPERS All unit and related dampers and their sequence of operation including fire and smoke dampers. 2. reheat coils. Any leaks will be corrected. If dampers are closed. and that there are no openings in the ductwork or end caps missing. All air terminals. b) If the permanent filters are to be used.Air System Page 5 of 11 . Any leaks shall be sealed prior to commencement of testing and balancing. All access doors shall be closed and secure tight. UNIT CASING The entire unit and the internal components shall be checked for proper air sealing. The installation matches the plan. Checks shall be particularly made around the pipes and panel holes. 5. possible moisture carry-over and short-circuiting of the air. they will be replaced before starting the TAB work. 3. 5. Note: Running unit without filters is not recommended. 4. The following checks shall be made: 1. housing and ductwork. such as doors. b) All piping connections shall be inspected and confirmed as correct. The ductwork is complete and installed correctly. restricting the airflow. c) The filters shall be checked for cleanliness. B) Duct System a) The system shall be inspected from the fan on out to the last terminal. etc. d) It shall be confirmed that the filters and the filter frames are properly installed and are airtight. COILS a) The coils will be checked for cleanliness and straightness of the fins. Standard TAB Procedure . It shall also be verified that they are wide open and that adequate access has been provided. shall be checked. This work will be done in conjunction with a temperature control technician during start-up to insure that the ATC dampers are positioned properly. are installed. it shall be confirmed that they are the correct size and type of filter by comparing them with the submitted data and the TAB Test Report Form. b) It shall be confirmed that adequate balancing dampers have been provided and that all volume dampers are installed at the correct location. If they are dirty. Leaks will cause whistling. e) If the unit has been running with no filters or very dirty filters. 3. The system is in fact fully ready for balancing. c) It shall be confirmed that the condensate drains from the cooling coil drain pans have been provided and that they are properly trapped and functioning. all coils downstream of the filters shall be checked for dirt or blockage of air passage. flooding and moisture carry-over. ceiling and ceiling plenums. serious damage can be done to casing. All necessary architectural items are installed. 4. Improper drain traps are a common cause of leakage. Proper damper position during start-up and TAB work is very critical.

a) All previously prepared paperwork. Constant Air Volume System 1.3. particularly on the larger and more complex systems. drawings. SAFETY TAGGING Before touching any equipment. c) It shall be verified that all terminal devices are installed and that their dampers are open. TEST. e) It shall be confirmed that any openings between partitions. have been installed and are open to insure proper air passage.e. 2. If the Standard TAB Procedure .4. C) Refrigeration Equipment a) The nameplate data shall be compared with the manufacturer's submittal data and design requirements. ADJUST AND BALANCE PROCEDURES 5. Refrigeration equipment should not be started until crankcase heaters have been in operation at least 24 hours. e) It shall be confirmed that all compressor crankcase heaters are in operation. etc. c) If the initial start-up on the equipment is to be performed. It shall be confirmed that any specified sealing has been done correctly. c) It shall be confirmed that the setting of all operational and safety controls for both temperature and pressure are correct. Fan Startup a) Fan rotation shall be verified by "bumping" the motor i.Air System Page 6 of 11 . flexible duct and terminal connections. manufacturer's data should be checked for recommended heater operation prior to refrigeration start-up. Larger system may require more time. d) The system shall be checked for leakage. the temperature control technician and an electrician should work with the test engineer if possible. duct connection. d) It shall be confirmed that the provisions are available for the required temperature and pressure measurements.4. Any discrepancies shall be noted. Specially check access doors and hardwares. it will be determined that it is safely locked out while being checked. for the system that you are starting on will be assembled. The electrical disconnect switch will be OFF and tagged or locked. coils. the actual TAB work in the field may proceed. etc. 5. Verify that the terminals are of the same size and type as specified. b) It will be verified that all preliminary procedures have been performed. the motor is energized for a fraction of a second and the fan shaft is observed to determine rotation direction.1. b) It shall be verified that the equipment has been started and tested for proper and safe operation in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. 5. Preparation Upon completion by the Installing Contractor of the inspection procedures detailed previously.

c) Static Pressure (SP) Standard TAB Procedure . an observer shall watch for any possible mishaps such as throwing off belts. either digital or mechanical. Immediately if it becomes apparent that there is a fault in the operation of the fan it shall be switched off. d) If everything is operating correctly. The fan rpm shall also be checked mathematically by using the following equation: Fan rpm = motor rpm x motor pulley pitch diameter Fan pulley pitch diameter For most of the fans. "No-load" conditions shall be achieved by removing the fan belts and running the motor disconnected from the fan pulley. any associated equipment related to or interlocked with this unit shall be started so that the complete system is in operation and ready to balance. However in some instances. the fan will be started. b) If the fan rotation is correct. and there should be a very little difference in voltage and amperage between each leg on three phase motors. Amperage should not exceed the nameplate ratings. Motor "no-load" amps may also be measured if necessary. Fan Tests The following tests shall apply to all fans: a) Amperage The amperage shall be measured using a clamp-on ammeter. e) Each automatic damper will be inspected to confirm that the damper is being controlled automatically and is in the correct position.Air System Page 7 of 11 . Voltage should be within 10 percent of the motor nameplate rating. Any deviation from specified amperage shall be noted and if more than motor full load. rotation is incorrect. this will not be necessary. On larger built-up systems. If a direct contact tachometer cannot be used. 3. Readings shall be taken at the motor junction box for greater accuracy. amperage and voltage of the motor will be measured. calculation may be the only method available to obtain the fan rpm. If the amperage is high. excessive fan movement. then an electronic photo-tachometer shall be used. then the fan shall be stopped and tests suspended until the cause of the problem is identified and necessary remedial work is completed to ensure proper operation. duct bulging and any unusual noises indicating possible mechanical problems. the fan will be stopped immediately. b) Fan and Motor Speed Fan and motor speed shall be measured using a direct contact tachometer. c) After the fan is started. The electrician to eliminate the possibility of the TAB technician being held responsible for any possible damage to the motor or equipment will do this. Care shall be taken when removing and replacing the belts to ensure that no damage occurs. it will be noted and the electrician responsible for the HVAC equipment shall be advised to correct the fault.

dampers while closing the R. they will be used in conjunction with the other test data to make a determination of actual airflow. When the readings are not steady and uniform. uniform airflow through the duct is necessary to obtain accurate measurement. filters. with the combination the above reading. which will open the O.) dampers shall be closed.A. If either actual cfm test is not possible. transitions. etc. d) Airflow Total airflow of the fan shall be measured where practical by a pitot tube traverse of the main duct of the system being tested. additional readings shall also be taken further downstream. an investigation to try to find the reason for deviation shall be made. Adjustment will be made at the controller. damper adjustment.A.A. Static and total pressure readings shall be taken at the fan discharge and inlet. Readings shall be taken in all instances in a location as far as possible from any elbows. system shall be started with minimum O.A. Most systems use just one O. damper. and mixed air temperatures and use the following formula: Tm = XoTo + XrTr 100 Where: Tm = Temperature of mixed air (ºF) Xo = Percentage of outside air To = Temperature of outside air (ºF) Xr = Percentage of return air Tr = Temperature of return air (ºF) f) System Deficiencies If the fan airflow is not within 10% of design requirements.. The fan curve and the fan speed data. The procedure for setting the outside air quantities will depend on the system and damper scheme. Reasonably. shall be tested making a traverse of the O.A.) dampers open.A. Nevertheless. the amount of O. The airflow adjustment will be made by fan speed changes or minimum O. e) Outside Air Most system is designed to operate with the minimum amount of outside air whenever the building is occupied.A. heaters. The accuracy of the pitot tube traverse will be determined by the availability of a satisfactory location to perform the traverse. will be calculated by subtracting the actual return air cfm from the actual supply air cfm. The pressure drop across the duct system components (such as coils.) shall be measured and checked against the Standard TAB Procedure . duct where possible.A. Where separate minimum and maximum outside air dampers are provided. Otherwise. dampers and return air (R. however. The maximum O.A. The temperature control technician will assist if possible during all setting of these dampers. The quantities of O.A.A. should the readings obtained be obviously inaccurate due to the turbulence at these locations. it will be possible to make a reasonable determination of the performance of the fan. etc. and E.A. the temperature method shall be used by taking the O.Air System Page 8 of 11 . dampers and exhaust air (E. when used with the calculated brake horsepower can also be used to confirm field readings. It should be noted that static pressure will be the least accurate field readings.A.A. This will be done next to the flexible connections. preferably in a section of straight ductwork. depending on how and where they are taken. to reduce the possibility of excessive turbulence marring the test readings. R. dampers. damper in conjunction with a minimum position controller.

If the rotating vane anemometer is utilized the manufacturer's published Ak factors shall be used to determine the air volume from the measured velocity. If there are no obvious deficiencies. the Ak factor will be different. The locations of the required traverses will be determined and properly recorded in the drawings when the initial paperwork is set up in the office. If the airflow is low. a pitot tube traverse shall be taken in the same manner as the main duct traverse.Air System Page 9 of 11 . or a rotating vane anemometer. manufacturer's ratings. Air terminals shall be measured using either a direct reading hood. these will be reported to the appropriate persons. If any sizable upward change is to be made. A direct reading hood will eliminate the need for Ak factors. and special procedures. Balancing of the duct systems consist of measuring and adjusting the airflow to the desired rate of each terminal device. Duct system noted and compared with the contract drawings. the fan will be slowed down by adjusting the drives or making any necessary drive changes. and corrections are needed. etc. the fan speed will be increased. If any radical changes were made to duct system layout during installation which are detrimental to the operation of the system. 4. If the horsepower and static pressure are available and the fan speed can be increased. Pitot Tube Traverses To determine the airflow in every major branch duct. The static pressure at each pitot tube traverse shall be measured and recorded for future use in setting major branch dampers and for possible trouble shooting. and the airflow is high. it will be determined if there is adequate motor horsepower available. g) Data Entry Once all the fans in the HVAC system and related systems are operating and set up to the design airflow. Standard TAB Procedure . The process will require adjustment of the volume dampers and the possible readjustment of the fan speeds. then the adjustment of the drives to obtain the desired cfm shall be made. Unless the direct reading hood is being used. The balancing dampers in the ductwork. The following procedure will allow the balancing of the air terminals: a) The necessary design information shall be recorded on the NEBB Test Report Forms with all terminals located and numbered. the fan manufacturer's data will be checked for the maximum allowable rpm for the fan and its bearings. shall be used for all balancing. Using the terminal dampers can result in excess noise as the damper is closed down. it will be necessary to make absolutely sure that the manufacturer's published Ak and measurement procedures are being used. all data recorded should be entered on the NEBB Test Report Forms.) will only be used for minor "fine tuning" of the systems. The new airflow-horsepower relationship will be determined by the used of the fan laws. 5. registers. The necessary design airflow data will then be ready on the appropriate NEBB Test Report Forms. Before doing this. where provided. Any face dampers that are furnished as part of the terminals (diffusers. If not. The size and type of terminal will be verified to ensure that the installed terminal is what was specified. Air Terminal Balancing The previous fan tests are made to determine that the system has the proper airflow and pressure available to continue with the system balancing and that all HVAC units and fans are operating properly.

etc. If properly executed balancing results in noisy or other unsatisfactory conditions. it may not be possible to balance the system properly. d) The final pass shall be readings only. Standard TAB Procedure . most system should be in good balance. no satisfactory response is obtained. Also a recheck for open access doors. with no adjustments. If. unless there are conditions beyond control of the TAB firm. the TAB technician shall notify the proper people. An additional pass may be necessary to "trim" the system. If the readings indicate a system loss of more than 10%. final reading shall be taken. and that those near the end of the line are low on the airflow. shall be calculated. A review of the readings to determine and select terminals that are high on cfm will be made. and the required design cfm shall be made. and rpm of the supply air fan. another pass through the entire zone or system shall be made. the total of the readings. then the quantity and location of any such dampers shall be recommended. and these readings will be recorded in the final column of the NEBB Air Outlet Test Report. an investigation of the duct joints and connections will be made to identify any air leakage. A comparison of the terminal totals against the comparable zones duct traverse duct readings. holes in the ducts. it will be found that the terminal closest to the fan are high on airflow. 6. If this is the case. on a zone by zone basis. The system will be considered balanced when the airflow of each terminal is plus or minus 10% of the design airflow. Final Tests: After all balancing adjustments have been completed. the TAB work shall proceed. In particular the terminal connections and the plenums for the linear diffusers will be checked. Each terminal shall be adjusted to the specified airflow when sufficient air is available. voltage. This will allow for the possible build-up in the other terminals as adjustments are made. At this point. If additional dampers are needed. c) Since the air will go first to the points of least resistance. When it is determine that sufficient air is available in the system and at the terminals. the highest terminals shall be throttled to about 10% under design cfm.Air System Page 10 of 11 . during the balancing process. Attempting to balance the system with leaks will results in wasted time and unsatisfactory results. These results will be submitted and shall represent the exact condition of the system when the TAB technician completed the job. all the dampers shall be marked for ease of resetting in the event of tampering. b) Preliminary measurements shall be taken at every terminal and after measuring and recording all the terminals. static pressure. and it is not too late to install them. it will be necessary to speed up the fan to overcome this loss in cfm. After two adjusting passes. shall be conducted and the contractor notified to have the leaks corrected. the problem shall be noted on the Test Report Forms. The result of the preliminary readings will tell exactly what the system is doing and where the air is going. Operation of automatic controls shall be checked and verified. This will include a retest of amperage. the balancing results in an increase in the system static pressure to the extent that the airflow is reduced to where it is more than 10% below design. Final terminal readings will already have been taken. If after notification. After reducing the high airflow terminals. On the first "adjusting pass” through the system. Closing their branch dampers shall reduce any that are excessively high. All deficiencies shall be outlined on the report.

INSPECTION AND ACCEPTANCE All final tests and inspection required for acceptance of the aforementioned work shall be done and rechecked in the presence of the Client's representative at random selections of data recorded on the reports. This will be noted on the Tests Report if after notifications. PERFORMANCE TESTS After the aforementioned air system balancing is complete.5. as provided. c) Return air temperature. and obvious mal- operation and/or design. shall be adjusted to eliminate any non-uniform room conditions. dry bulb and wet bulb. the deflectors or diffuser cones. all temperatures shall be measured and recorded on the relevant NEBB Test Report Forms. FINAL TEST. 6. All reports shall contain all relevant data obtained during the testing of the systems. Temperatures to be recorded include the following: a) Air temperature entering and leaving all cooling coils. 7. dry bulb and wet bulb. no satisfactory response is obtained. 5. The report will conspicuously identify items not conforming from contract requirements. Standard TAB Procedure . b) Ambient air temperature. If there are any obvious air drafts or complaints of it exist. three (3) copies of the certified reports will be submitted to the client after the final tests and inspection. Specified air patterns from all terminals shall be preferred.Air System Page 11 of 11 . CERTIFIED REPORTS Upon completion of the aforementioned tests.