What are HVAC Dampers

When cooling or heating your home or office, everything boils down to the flow of air in these spaces.

However, when we talk of HVAC systems, what mostly comes into our minds are components like the compressor, evaporator coils, or condenser. Rarely do people think of one crucial component that helps regulate airflow – HVAC dampers.

So, what are dampers in HVAC systems? How do they work, and how are they important in the cooling or heating of your home? This article will discuss what these components are and why you should not ignore them.

What are Dampers in HVAC Systems?

HVAC dampers are components attached to an HVAC unit, chimney, or duct, which help to regulate airflow in the required spaces. Dampers in HVAC systems control the cooling or heating of a specific room or space.

Generally, dampers are plate-shaped components that help homeowners restrict airflow to certain spots within the home. By doing so, homeowners are able to control or balance the temperatures in those spaces throughout the season.

Usually, this HVAC feature is quite helpful in large homes or multi-story buildings. While they work in the same way as floor registers, by helping shut off airflow to a certain room, dampers are more effective and can restrict airflow to an entire area.

Additionally, HVAC dampers do more than just regulate your home’s cooling or heating process. They also help to regulate the air getting in and out. In companies where employees work with hazardous materials, dampers are quite essential in maintaining the proper airflow in such areas.

Where are Dampers Located?

One thing you should note is that not all homes have dampers fitted in their HVAC systems. However, for those that do, these components are mostly located inside the air ducts. And for this reason, it means that you won’t be able to spot the dampers by just looking at your HVAC system.

So, how do you locate an HVAC damper?

First, the easiest way to locate a damper is by finding your system’s main supply trunk. And if your HVAC system contains several supply ducts, this means that you might also have several dampers (one in each). The dampers will usually be located near the HVAC’s main supply trunk.

Additionally, if your house has a second floor, the system will mostly have a damper on the air duct that goes to the upstairs space.

The good thing is that whenever there is a damper along the supply duct, you will notice a screw or a handle that helps you to make any adjustments to the dampers. In some systems, the dampers are even marked.

Types of HVAC Dampers

We have answered the main question, “What are dampers in HVAC systems?” Now, it’s time to discuss the different types of dampers.
Generally, there are several types of dampers one can choose from. The most popular ones include:

  • Air control dampers or zone control dampers
  • Fire and smoke dampers
  • Backdraft dampers

While all these dampers have different working mechanisms, their ultimate goal is to control airflow in the house. They will come in different sizes and shapes, each with a unique function.

Let’s take a look at each of these types of HVAC dampers:

1. Air Control HVAC Dampers

These ones are also referred to as volume balancing dampers. And, they assist in controlling airflow in and out of various spaces or rooms in a house or building.

They have actuated blades that help restrict or regulate the air flowing inside a unit or duct. These blades are instrumental in helping you determine the amount of air you want flowing to certain spaces. In addition, they can help to withhold or change the direction of airflow within the unit.

Since HVAC dampers are mostly located near the central openings of the airflow sources, this makes controlling airflow quite easy. You can reduce your energy bills by keeping heating and cooling waste significantly low.

Air control HVAC dampers are present in two versions: manual and automatic. With manual dampers, you control the airflow using a lever that helps you turn the blades into closed or open positions.

On the other hand, automatic dampers do not require manual adjustments to control air flow. They rely on other components such as the thermostat to automatically regulate airflow to certain spaces.

2. Fire and Smoke Dampers

These are two crucial components of your HVAC system that work to passively protect your home or office against fire and smoke. They are located within the system to help stop any flames, heat, or smoke from spreading throughout the space.

This means that if there is any fire or smoke within the system or certain room, the dampers prevent its spread to other areas.

3. Backdraft Dampers

Backdraft dampers are crucial components when it comes to maintaining quality air in the house. This part of the HVAC system is designed to allow airflow in only one direction, hindering air flow to the opposite direction. The process helps to prevent backdraft.

A backdraft damper helps to move contaminated air from inside the house to the outside environment and prevents it from coming back. They are useful in eliminating bad odors or stale air that may linger inside your house or office.

Key Takeaway

Installing the right HVAC dampers is crucial in maintaining quality airflow in your home or building. Since there are numerous types and brands of HVAC dampers, having the correct information can greatly help you choose the ideal dampers.

At Direct Air, we have just the right experts to help you with this. Our qualified technicians are available to answer any inquiry about HVAC system installation, maintenance, or repair. Reach us through our website or call us at (786) 460-4974.

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