The importance of balanced heating and cooling

It has been proven many times that an uncomfortable working environment has an impact on team members’ ability to concentrate, negatively affecting productivity for the business. Temperature levels are an important part of maintaining the right level of comfort, and maintaining the balance between heating and cooling is essential.

The systems of heating and cooling technologies are depended upon to manage the temperature of a site, but many people don’t realise how essential these services are until it is too late and there is a fault developed. Not only beneficial for looking after staff and employees and protecting their basic functionality, specific heat conditions can also be crucial for protecting stock and produce. Different heating or cooling systems meet different requirements, but all are essential to good workplace activity.

Any comfort system for conditioning temperatures needs to be balanced so that the distribution rates of hot or cold air is in proportion to the loss or gain of temperature in each room. Correctly balanced systems are efficient and cater to individual preferences for warmth. Essentially a simple process, to balance the system all dampers in the building are opened and the thermostats set to a desirable temperature. Using a manual thermometer, the temperature of the rooms need to be measured until each one is satisfactory and no room is either being overly cooled or over-heated. Generally, this provides the appropriate setting for the season, which would only need reassessing going into the opposite time of year – from the ‘cooling’ period into the ‘heating’ period and vice versa.

Balanced systems are those in which the flow through the overall system – including all component terminal lines, distribution lines and central pipes – is perfectly aligned with the flow rates specified for each area of the system, creating the appropriate temperature outcome. When the systems are not in balance, flow is distributed unevenly, meaning some areas have surplus whilst others are lacking and creating unreliable heat or cooling facility. The balancing valves or dampers are the only way of ensuring proper distribution, although in the past it was believed that manipulating the pipe dimensions could have the same effect. Modern automatic balancing valves regulate the flow without being affected by any pressure changes elsewhere in the system.

Not only should good quality systems be installed for these needs, they also need regular maintenance to ensure they are working at their peak. Annual maintenance is recommended for most systems, especially in corporate or industrial locations. Wear and tear on the heating and cooling components can dramatically impede their efficiency.