Learning About Residential Furnaces

Why Your Home Needs HVAC Dampers

Have you ever wished you had more precise control over how your HVAC system heats and cools your home? If your home doesn't have HVAC dampers, installing them could help you stay more comfortable in every room. Here is an overview of the function and benefits of HVAC dampers.

What Are HVAC Dampers?

An HVAC damper is a plate inside of an air duct that functions like a valve. When the damper is in the open position, air can flow freely through the duct. Closing the damper directs air to another part of your ductwork.

HVAC dampers are usually installed quite close to the central air handler in your home. Often they will be placed at the point where ducts separate off into branches that each send air to specific rooms. Because they are close to the air handler, dampers don't throw off your HVAC system's air pressure balance like closing vent registers.

Manual vs. Automatic Dampers

If you have an older home, you may have manual dampers or no dampers at all. New construction homes are often fitted with automatic dampers. The difference is that manual dampers have a lever on the outside of the duct that you must use to close and open them yourself. Automatic dampers have small motors that let them open and close on their own.

Homes with automatic dampers usually have smart thermostats that let you control them remotely. These systems often include sensors that monitor temperature and airflow so that you can set conditions on your thermostat, and the dampers respond appropriately.

Benefits of HVAC Dampers

HVAC dampers give you room-by-room temperature control that is otherwise impossible with central heating and air. One common use of dampers is adjusting for seasonal changes. During the summer months, you can close off dampers to the upper rooms of your home, since heat rises naturally. In the winter, you can close dampers to the lower levels. This will keep your entire home more evenly heated and cooled year-round.

Homes with HVAC dampers will use less energy if the dampers are utilized properly. Closing off branches of ductwork to rooms that are rarely used will redirect air so that it won't take as long to heat or cool the rest of the house. This lets you use your HVAC system less frequently and for shorter durations to reduce energy costs.

HVAC dampers are a simple but worthwhile add-on for central heating and air. Talk to a residential HVAC service about HVAC dampers if you are in need of more precise temperature control for your home.