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Article contributed by Michael Hadt.  You can reach Mike at mhadt@rletech.com.

Building pressure is the difference between the outside air supplied to a building and the air removed from inside a building.  Typically, facilities managers are trying to achieve a building with slight positive building pressure, meaning more air is supplied to the building than is removed from the building.

Negative Pressure Indicators

Negative building pressure means outside air is constantly being drawn into a building.  This can cause discomfort to inhabitants, but worse, negative pressure can also pull airborne particles in to places you don’t want them.  How do you know if your building has negative pressure? If you’re not currently using sensors to monitor your facility there are some environmental indicators that point toward negative building pressure:

  1. Difficulty Opening Doors: Difficulty opening doors is a leading indicator of negative pressure in a building.  If you have to use extra muscle to wrench open doors, you may have a negative pressure issue.
  2. High Humidity: A negatively pressurized building will pull unconditioned outside air in through any possible opening, which can lead to condensation and mold, especially in the summer months when humidity is high.
  3. Outside Contamination: Negatively pressurized facilities are more likely to collect outside debris.  Bugs, leaves and even smells can pollute a negatively pressured indoor environment.
  4. Hot / Cold Spots: The collision and separation of building pressures can create hot or cold spots based on how the air is being forced to behave.
  5. High Energy Costs: If negative pressure is pulling outside air into your facility, you’re constantly using energy to condition incoming air.

Monitoring to Track Positive Pressure

At RLE, we believe monitoring facility pressure shouldn’t be left to guesswork.  That’s why we’ve expanded our wireless WiNG monitoring platform to include the WiNG-DAP, a differential air pressure sensor that can be deployed anywhere in a building to help optimize building system operation.  Leverage the WiNG-MGR, WiNG-DAP, and our complete suite of wireless WiNG sensors and transmitters for facility monitoring and reporting, or integrate them into a BMS for additional controls opportunities.

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