LA – Where Everyone’s Cool. Thanks to Electro-Balance®

Los Angeles has found the solution to keeping building occupants cool and comfortable: Metropolitan Air Technology’s Remotely Controlled Battery-Powered Airflow Balancing Dampers. And sales are heating up.

The city of angels has embraced the latest in airflow management technology to ensure occupants of the city’s buildings stay cool: Remotely Controlled Battery-Powered Airflow Balancing Dampers.

We’ve all experienced it. It’s been the subject of water cooler conversations for decades. Someone’s freezing in their office, while someone just down the hall is experiencing no heat relief. The fact is, we all know regulating occupant comfort is a constant challenge in most buildings, and it’s a never ending battle for maintenance personnel and those adventurous enough to attempt their own remedies (think cardboard and tape).

Enter Metropolitan Air Technology (MAT). Based out of Chicago, MAT has been manufacturing the manual version of their remotely operated balancing dampers for decades. They can be found in prominent buildings around the world. Balancing dampers are used to fine tune the airflow into a conditioned space. They are adjusted to specified airflows during HVAC system commissioning.

Why Remote Controlled?

The adjustment of standard balancing dampers require access, usually through a panel located on a wall or ceiling. If there isn’t a panel, sometimes ceilings must be damaged in order to gain access to the damper. Architectural features could be at risk.

Manually operated remotely controlled balancing dampers avoid these issues by allowing adjustment via a rotary actuation cable that is secured to the damper and routed inside or outside of the ductwork to a termination point in a wall or ceiling.

Why Battery-Powered?

It’s MAT’s more recent development of battery-powered airflow balancing dampers that’s taking the west coast market by storm. Plenum rated wiring can be routed inside or outside the airstream like the manual model, or even to a central control room – avoiding visible termination points in common areas altogether. However, routing the wiring is simpler and faster. In addition, snap fit wiring connections easily fit into ceiling or wall surface terminations and eliminate the need for any wire crimping. No hard wiring is required. Dampers ship with motorized damper drives already mounted. Installation requires only three simple steps. Damper adjustments are made with a hand-held remote control that runs on a 9 volt battery. Wire runs can be up to 1000 ft.

“The design allows us to address the comfort needs of individual tenants by adjusting airflow within their space. And the best part is we can do it all remotely – from our mechanical room. No more going from office to office and dragging a ladder back and forth. The efficiencies are priceless.”

Who’s Buying Them?

This simple product solves problems for many different groups involved in building construction and management. Architects appreciate the elimination of unsightly access panels and the assurance that architectural features won’t be damaged to gain access to ducts. Contractors are impressed with the complete product kits and ease of installation. Building Managers and Mechanical Engineers prize the ease of use and time savings when balancing or rebalancing airflow.

The LA market has been purchasing these dampers in larger and larger numbers according to MAT. “We are seeing a steady increase in sales from LA to Canada. We expect this to continue as more and more architects, contractors and building operators see the value,” shared Elaine Malliaras, MAT Sales Manager.

How It Works

Remotely controlled battery-powered airflow balancing dampers can be adjusted at a wall or ceiling access point near the air outlet or from a remote mechanical room (as shown above), avoiding visible termination points in common areas altogether. Common wall mount hardware can be used to gang the wire terminations for up to 8 dampers.


There are many product benefits

  • Simplifies airflow adjustment
  • Allows for remote airflow adjustment
  • Avoids need for unsightly access panels
  • Avoids possible damage to ceilings
  • Can be routed to central location
  • Terminations for one damper or multiple dampers
  • Preassembled/Easy to install
  • Great for retrofit or new construction
  • Various damper models
  • Manual and Battery-Powered
  • Many size options
  • Available in stainless steel, galvanized steel and aluminum
  • Can be used with round or rectangular dampers

Want to stay cool on the West Coast? Here’s some of the locations where MAT dampers are installed:

  • Amgen – Thousand Oaks
  • Soboba Casino – San Jacinto
  • Limbach Holdings – Los Angeles
  • University of California – San Francisco
  • Lake Louise Visitor Center – Alberta