What are HVAC Dampers, and how do they work?

Regardless of the weather, hot or cold, most households have invested in an HVAC system. However, not many homeowners know what components make up the system. As long as the system is cooling or heating their place, they are good to go.

Dampers are one of those crucial HVAC components that most of us don’t even know they exist in our systems. And, those of us who know about them don’t know how exactly they function.

So, what are dampers in HVAC systems? Are they important? And how do they work?

These are questions that most homeowners will have. Don’t worry if you’re not sure about this critical component. This guide will answer all these questions and more.

What are HVAC Dampers?

A damper is a component in charge of controlling the airflow in an HVAC system. It also helps in adjusting your room temperature. It could be compared to a dam, in that, when a damper is closed, it stops the air from going through it. This is the same mechanism that a dam on a river uses.

HVAC Dampers for air ducts are usually located between the main trunk line and the round supply duct. They are like valves, which play a vital role in your zoning system.

Usually, they are plate-like components that help close parts of your ducts system while keeping others open. This way, if you want to prevent airflow to a certain zone or room, you can easily use the dampers to do so.

How do they Work?

As mentioned above, HVAC dampers are like valves. They are tasked with deciding the amount of cooled or heated air that goes to different places in your ductwork. The ductwork will, in turn, raise or lower your zone’s temperature to the required level.

By closing the dampers, you will be directing the airflow in another direction. This way, if you want a certain area cooled or heated, these components work to achieve that.

Unlike closing the vents, dampers are located relatively closer to the air source, meaning that they are more effective in redirecting the airflow.

Types of Air Conditioning Dampers

The types of dampers differ in terms of purposes, sizes, and shapes. The control methodology is also different, involving automatic or manual controls.

An automatic damper in an HVAC: These ones require a motor to open or close the plates and the valves, and you can control them remotely. Also, you don’t need to worry about any changing weather as they can self-regulate themselves.

A manual damper in an HVAC: On the other hand, these ones are managed by the valves found outside the ducts. You only need to move them up and down when opening and closing a certain damper. When it comes to maintenance, they are low cost, as compared to their automatic counterparts.

Looking at the different types of dampers will help us further answer this question – what are dampers in HVAC systems?

Butterfly Flat Dish

These types of dampers are made up of a round blade, a seal, and a central hinge. The blade takes care of the airflow when put in line with the ducts. The seal joins the circumference of the duct with the blade’s edges. It prevents any material from gaining access into the ductwork.

This type of HVAC duct damper acts as a fire-preventive measure. It protects the backdraft by controlling any airflow in one direction.

For better functionality, blend this damper with the round ducts. Their sealing capability is commendable when compared to the others.

Additionally, they produce very little to no noise whatsoever.

Blade Dampers

The component to look out for in this damper is the metal plates. They control the airflow via the chimneys or ducts.

The dampers come in two types; parallel and opposed blade dampers. The parallel ones consist of blades that move in the same direction, while the opposed ones move in the opposite direction.

When it comes to maintaining the airflow, go for parallel blade dampers. The opposed ones take the medal when it comes to directing the airflow.

Guillotine Dampers

If you need positive isolation, look for this damper. This is because of its high-ranking sealing ability. However, you can only use them temporarily when maintaining your HVAC system to regulate airflow.

Louver Dampers

They are the most routinely used air conditioning dampers in HVAC systems. Users love them because of their high quality and ability to match with any duct size. Their powerful air blocking element has made them the best choice for many homeowners.

Inlet Vane Dampers

Vane dampers are also known as internal vane controls or variable inlet vanes. They are mostly used in equipment where volume control for regulating airflow and fan shut-off is necessary.

They are designed to modulate the relationship between airflow and pressure of the inlet side’s blower.

Generally, these dampers use fan properties to affect the flow of air entering the fan, thus reducing the fan pressure while maintaining the speed.

If you want to better control airflow in your building, then this is the damper for air ducts that you need.

The Merits of HVAC Dampers

The final crucial bit that we shall look at is what advantages HVAC dampers bring to the table. The most notable one is its ability to manage your general home temperature. This is extremely significant for families with several members and rooms that need conditioning.

For example, you can alter your kitchen’s temperature without interfering with your home’s entire temperature using an HVAC damper.

Secondly, HVAC dampers reduce the burden of paying high energy bills. Whenever you limit the airflow, the HVAC system is usually on low energy when operating. This way, you will minimize your expenditure on air conditioning as a long-term plan.

The bottom line is that you totally understand what are dampers in HVAC systems. Do not just settle for any damper that comes your way. Get to know its functions and the advantages it will bring when controlling your home’s temperature.

It can be unfortunate if you invest in an HVAC system that is not functioning properly due to inadequate information. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision when sourcing a good HVAC damper for your home.

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