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4 Types of Dampers That Can Benefit Your Home or Business

7/30/2013 5:57:52 PM | by Tiffany Olson

Dampers

When buying a home or business, there are many, many things to consider and there will probably be parts of the construction process (such as the installation of dampers) that many people never think to ask about. There are most likely several home and business owners that don't even realize what dampers are or how they can control the temperature and level of comfort felt in a room by guiding the flow of cool and warm air. Air flow for the entire structure can also be balanced by dampers when they are installed and adjusted in the chimney, air ducts or other air handling equipment. Contractors experienced at putting these plates or valves into position will be able to offer customers a variety of types depending on their air flow needs. Be sure to do your homework before you choose a contractor to help you with your damper projects. Not all contractors are created equal and choosing someone who is professional and has extensive experience with different types of dampers is key to a succesful and beneficial damper installation. 

 

Backdraft
Backdraft dampers are made to use in a ventilation system that requires air to flow in only one direction. This works when air from something like an exhaust duct needs to filter out of a building while keeping outside air from filtering in through the same passageway. Backdrafts are generally used in areas like roof, sidewall and in-duct ventilation.

 

Manual
Manual dampers are adjusted by hand with a control lever that can open or close the blades of the damper to regulate air flow into the building. This not only provides a way to control room temperatures, but also creates a more efficient and cost-effective HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system since air can be directly routed specifically to rooms that are in use and shut off to those that are unoccupied. Manual dampers are also often seen installed in chimney flues as a way to keep out inclement weather, debris, birds, etc. when the blades are closed and keep in cooler air during the summer.

 

Motorized
A motorized damper works much like a manual one but is electrically powered with a motor. When installed, motorized dampers will be set up to automatically open or close based on the needs of the building. Desired room temperatures are selected and preset and the damper will maintain these throughout the day. This is also known as zone control. Motorized dampers are designed in either normally opened (when the motor is running the damper will stay closed until the power is shut off, causing it to spring back open) or normally closed (the operation is reversed) form. This type of damper is also commonly used in areas such as greenhouses, garages or buildings that deal with combustible and hazardous gases so that air can be pushed in or out immediately.

 

Butterfly
Butterfly dampers are a straightforward open and close system, can be installed for either manual or motorized use and are designed to fit into circular ductwork frames. Instead of using them for more specific climate control purposes, they are usually chosen when a structure needs to isolate gases within the ventilation system and achieve a near-complete air flow closure.

 

If you have difficulty keeping rooms in your home or business at just the right temperature or have problems with all around climate control, having dampers installed could be the solution. There are many different reasons to use dampers in a duct system, and your contractor can help advise which type would be the best fit for your needs. And we can't highlight enough the importance of finding a trusted and experienced contractor for your damper evaluation and install.

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