The Illinois-SMARTA Test and Balance Program

The Illinois-SMARTA Test and Balance Program provides training and certification of union Sheetmetal workers to become Testing and Balancing technicians having skills for testing, adjusting, and balancing Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The SMARTA program is recognized and certified by the Illinois Chapter of Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA).

The program covers training of both air and water systems and includes yearly seminars on the instruments used, how to use them, how to record the findings, and how to develop a final operational report of HVAC equipment and distribution systems. These seminars include training the Testing and Balancing technicians on how to use mathematical equations and formulas that will enable them to understand their initial recordings, and provide final adjustments, needed to place them into their specified design performance.

Our member contractors employ Union Sheetmetal workers that are certified and educated by SMARTA-established standards to balance and maintain new and existing HVAC systems.

Balanced air and water systems are vital to having a comfortable, healthy and efficient environment for our homes and workspace.

SMARTA technicians undergo rigid training through their local union apprenticeship and journeymen programs. They are required to participate in Illinois SMACNA’s continuing education programs administered yearly to maintain their certifications.

Contractor members who employ SMARTA technicians are provided a stamp to apply to their balancing reports in order to certify these reports to building owners and their architects and engineers.

Our Board of Directors currently includes 3 contractor members and 1 licensed professional engineer. The SMARTA program is administered by 2 executive directors.

Definition of SMARTA

The above definition titles define the word “SMARTA”. It is a way to describe the reasons for developing a Testing and Balancing program designed to train and certify union sheet metal journeymen in the ability to start, test and balance Air and Water systems that are installed in new and existing buildings.

Specific The activity of testing and balancing centers on designed and specified specific mechanical pieces of equipment and associated ducted air systems and piped water systems including specialized related devices.

Measurement The operating performance of mechanical equipment, including its attached air and water distribution systems, are measured, adjusted, and balanced to perform in accordance with their published design parameters.

Attainable The ability of the mechanical equipment and its associated air and water systems to perform as designed and specified, is proven by the testing, adjusting, and balancing procedure.

Relevant The testing and balancing activity confirms that the total system (equipment, airside and waterside systems) meet the specified design operating criteria and perform in an efficient manner.

Trackable The operation of the mechanical equipment and its related systems must continue to operate at the final conditions attained by the testing and balancing activity and provide repeatable output performance when tested at future times.

Accessible During the testing and balancing activity the technician is tasked to observe the installation of the mechanical equipment and its related air and water systems to determine if all essential measurement and adjustment points are easily available for future service, and maintenance. When poor or difficult points are discovered they need to be reported to, and corrected by the Installation Contractor during the construction phase of the project.