Introduction to Psychrometrics w/ Eugene Silberstein

Eugene Silberstein, a co-author of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology (RACT manual), joins the podcast to give us an introduction to psychrometrics. Psychrometrics focuses on the properties of air and its contents, especially as they relate to human comfort.

To understand psychrometrics, we need to be able to quantify air: its weight, humidity, pressure, etc. We can do a better job as technicians if we figure out the air’s content and see how it relates to the CFM and overall unit performance. That way, we can have a more holistic view of HVAC performance instead of just focusing on adding or recovering refrigerant to improve performance.

The psychrometrics chart helps us understand the conditions of the air based on quantities like water vapor, dew point, and more. The chart may intimidate techs, but it contains a wealth of information that can help technicians understand the air and the customer’s comfort better.

Basic psychrometrics can also help us grasp why furnaces don’t actually dry out air; they pull the moisture out of the air and pull it back in, so the absolute humidity stays close to the same. However, we commonly add humidifiers because the relative humidity drops with the temperature rise.

Eugene and Bryan also discuss:

  • How air filters and blower motors interact with the air
  • Things that affect the weight of air per cubic foot
  • Humidifying air and its effect on the density of air
  • High-pressure air moving to an area of lower pressure
  • How latent heat works
  • Pressure and the atmosphere
  • Absolute vs. relative humidity


Learn about ESCO’s e-learning network at and Psychrometrics Without Tears HERE. ESCO also holds the HVAC Excellence Conference; learn more about that HERE.

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