What Are HVAC Dampers?

HVAC Dampers in Palm Desert, CA

HVAC dampers are devices found in your HVAC ductwork that control the flow of warm or cool air. Though vents can also regulate the airflow in a room, dampers installed in your ducts are much more efficient. They can be adjusted so that the air flows into one area of your house and not into others. HVAC dampers are used in zoned systems. In a zoned system, you might not want warm or cooled air in a room or area of your home that’s not being used. Instead, you might want the airflow directed to a room that’s being inhabited.

Different Dampers

HVAC dampers are usually installed between 4 and 6 feet from the main trunk of the ductwork and near the opening of the pipe that pushes air into the ductwork. This means that, unlike vents, they can prevent air from entering the ducts in the first place.

There are different types of HVAC dampers. They include:

  • Butterfly flat dish
  • Guillotine
  • Louvers
  • Blade type

The butterfly flat dish type looks like a plate on a hinge. It also has a seal that can stop material from getting into the ducts. Its shape makes it ideal for round ducts. Guillotine type dampers are the ideal choice when it comes to sealing off a duct, but they are best used temporarily, such as when your HVAC system is undergoing maintenance. Louvers, as their name says, have hinged blades. Blade dampers are made of metal plates and can be parallel or opposed. Parallel dampers help to support the flow of air, while opposed dampers direct it. They are also very good at sealing the ducts.

There are also types of damper systems besides zoned dampers. One is the backdraft, or gravity damper. In order to prevent backdraft, this lets air flow in one direction only. Because it uses gravity to work, professionals need to install backdraft dampers vertically. Economizer dampers save money because they pull outdoor air into the ductwork if the temperature and humidity of the outside air is lower than the temperature and humidity inside the building. This means you won’t have to run your air conditioning as much. Face bypass dampers can be arranged next to each other or on top of each other, and they contain cooling coils. This makes them especially versatile when it comes to controlling the flow of air.

How to Operate Dampers

Though it’s possible to have manually operated dampers and many homeowners still do, these are not as efficient as those that are automatic. Manual dampers can also be a chore to even access. You may, for example, have to go into your crawlspace, open up all the dampers, and then go back and close the ones you want to shut off. If you have a multistory home, you may have ducts in your ceiling. If you do want to manually operate your dampers, you need to find the levers. These are easily located right on the dampers. To open them, you need to turn them in the direction of the duct. To close them, turn them in the opposite direction.

Automatic HVAC dampers come with components that allow you to control them remotely, and dampers aren’t the only components you can manipulate in this way. The same applies to smart thermostats that control the temperature in zoned rooms and to built-in temperature sensors. With programming, these dampers are even able to open and close as the weather changes.

One bit of advice that our technicians at Breeze Air Conditioning give our customers is to avoid closing or opening a damper all the way. Instead, adjust the damper enough to make the room comfortable.

Breeze Air Conditioning has been serving customers in the Palm Desert area for over 40 years. As HVAC specialists, we have the skills to install both manual and automatic dampers in a customer’s ductwork. Also, we can evaluate how well the dampers and ducts are functioning. The good news is that HVAC dampers are among the easiest components of your system to fix when something goes wrong. Indeed, manually operated dampers are all but free of maintenance.

We are a factory-authorized dealer of Carrier products and our NATE-certified professionals can deal with all makes and models. Along with HVAC damper service, we also install, maintain and repair air conditioners, heating units, indoor air quality equipment, and outdoor fireplaces. We pride ourselves on our punctuality, tidiness, and the courtesy we extend to both new and long-term customers.

If you think that HVAC dampers are right for your home, don’t hesitate to call today and make an appointment with one of our HVAC experts.