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Top 5 Negative Building Pressure Problems

9/26/18 8:00 AM / by Brent Morris

The difference between outside air supplied to a building and air removed from inside a building is the building pressure.  Typically, a slightly positive (or more air being supplied than taken out) building pressure is wanted for most buildings.  

Negative building pressure can cause many issues for customers from high energy costs to hot and cold spots in a building.  Here are the top five problems a building with negative pressure can experience:

 

#1 Difficulty Opening and Closing Doors

One of the first signs that a building is negatively pressurized is when the front door is not easily opened.  After finally opening the door to a negatively pressurized building, a large draft will be felt on your back as the door is slammed closed.  Because buildings are typically designed to be positively pressurized, you should feel a soft gust of air blowing outward when this is set properly.

 

#2 High Humidity

If your building is negatively pressurized, the building will pull in unconditioned outside air through all openings including doors, windows, and other leaks in the structure. This is very noticeable in the summertime when outside humidity is especially high.  This can cause mold or mildew in the building.

 

#3 High Energy Costs

Studies have shown that correcting negative building pressure can save a facility owner as much as 20% on their HVAC energy costs.  By ensuring your facility has a positive building pressure, you are avoiding unnecessary costs and maximizing comfort in the facility.

 

#4 Outside Debris

In a facility that is negatively pressurized, owners are more likely to see outside debris being pulled into the facility through various openings. These items include, leaves, bugs and dirt, as well as smells brought in from the outside. In many facilities, this could create major issues with production as the outside debris could be contaminating the products.

 

#5 Hot and Cold Spots

Another symptom commonly noticed in buildings with negative building pressure is noticeable hot and cold spots that are created by the disrupted airflow.  This could cause the customers to become angry because they can’t reach a comfortable temperature in the building.  In a restaurant, this could also cause food at the counter to become cold.

 

5 causes of Poor IAQ

 

Questions? Melink can help. Contact clenard@melinkcorp.com or call (513) 965-7300.

Tags: HVAC Test & Balance, Building Health

Brent Morris

Written by Brent Morris

Brent Morris currently serves as the Director of Sales. He is responsible for sales, strategy, and customer service within many of the largest hospitality, healthcare, and energy service companies in North America. Brent also manages Melink's international sales efforts in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India, and Europe.