Solving Excessive Negative Building Pressure
Excessive negative building pressure was defined in Part 1 of this series. In Part 2 of this series, we discussed why excessive negative pressure can be a particular challenge in metal buildings. In Part 3, we will discuss strategies for solving excessive negative building pressure.
No matter how a building is constructed, the key to minimizing excessive negative pressure (and mitigating leaks in the roof, walls and other components of the building envelope) is the proper design and control of a building’s HVAC system. Professional engineering of a building’s HVAC system may be more expensive and add some additional time to the construction process on the front end of a project, but the benefits of a properly designed and installed HVAC system are well worth the up-front time and money.
However, if excessive negative pressure is causing problems in an existing building, manipulating the HVAC system to balance the interior pressure can greatly reduce excessive negative pressure, thereby reducing the potential of building envelope leaks. If you are experiencing the symptoms of excessive negative building pressure as defined in Part 1 of this series, one simple way to ensure the proper balance of airflow within a building is to be sure that all individual HVAC vents in all rooms of a building are fully open. If too many vents of a particular system are partially or fully closed, it can create an excess negative pressure condition—where more air is being taken in by the system through the return vent than can efficiently “exit” the system through the air supply vents. If all vents are fully open and there are still excessive negative pressure issues, additional supply vents may need to be added or return vents may need to be resized.
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