Maintaining Balanced: Equilibrium in the Flow of Water
The hydronic system is to heating and cooling as the circulation system is to the body. Our heart valves control the pressure and flow of the body as balancing valves control the flow and pressure of water in an HVAC system; any kind of imbalance will create problems which will eventually result in an entire system malfunction.
It has been shown that most heating and cooling efficiency problems are not from faulty equipment, but from an imbalanced hydronic system. Quite often in an imbalanced system, one part of the circuitry will get favored over the other and the stronger side will steal the weaker side’s water flow. So in essence, one part of the building will be the desired temperature and the other will either be freezing cold in the winter or roasting hot in the summer. Not only is this uncomfortable, it’s also a waste of energy and very costly.
In order to achieve water flow balance, the system needs to have a design flow balancing valve at each terminal. Depending on what size system you have, you could need an SB valve, an automatic or a manual balance valve. The balancing valves are automation tools to measure and regulate the flow pressure and temperature at each terminal. By keeping the flow metered and regulated, water gets forced back through the weaker side of the circuitry and the whole building’ temperature becomes stabilized again. To find out which type of balancing valve your hydronic system requires, it is best to contact your local control valve suppliers.