Air Conditioning 101: What Does a HVAC Damper Do?

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The entire HVAC system consists of different parts and components that are rarely seen by homeowners. The majority of AC components work behind the scenes to provide cooled air to different parts of the home. A duct damper is one of these components that help facilitate airflow throughout the AC zones.

What are HVAC Dampers?

HVAC dampers are moving plates located by the ductwork of an HVAC system. Air dampers enable homeowners to adjust the air circulating around various rooms. Because hot air rises, and cold air sinks, HVAC systems can maintain different room temperatures in various zones by adjusting the HVAC dampers.

These are often hollow cylindrical tubes with a moving valve that opens and closes to regulate airflow around the heating and cooling system. These HVAC dampers are responsible for air circulation, and for redirecting air to different AC zones in the home.

There are multiple different types of dampers used in HVAC systems. HVAC dampers located in the ductwork can be programmable (automatic dampers) or adjustable (manual dampers). the different types of dampers are used for various applications, and an HVAC system may have multiple dampers in the ductwork, where each particular damper has a purpose.

Types of dampers include:

  • Inlet vane dampers or Variable inlet vanes
  • Louver dampers
  • Blade dampers or Opposed blade dampers
  • Butterfly flat dish dampers
  • Guillotine dampers
  • Parallel blade dampers
  • Etc.

The Importance of HVAC Dampers

HVAC dampers are important to the ductwork system of your home as they regulate the flow of air through different zones and rooms. Dampers are especially useful in ducted or centralized HVAC systems, where homeowners can adjust the flow of air in different rooms despite having a centralized system.

For instance, users can adjust the dampers to increase air flowing in a high-traffic zoning system, such as the living room, hallway, or bedroom, while limiting the airflow in an idle or unoccupied zoning system like bathrooms, kitchens, and more.

Diagnosing a Faulty HVAC Damper

#1 Weak Airflow

Faulty HVAC dampers cannot properly regulate airflow around the home, leading to weak or inadequate airflow in select rooms. The valve may have gotten stuck, has debris blocking the air, or the damper is in need of maintenance to keep it operating smoothly. Repairs are often simple, but require the assistance of a licensed professional if the air dampers are located within the ductwork.

#2 Loud Noises

Dampers are made to be quiet, despite the number of moving parts they operate with. If there are loud, mechanical noises coming from your vents, then you may have a faulty HVAC damper that needs repairs.

Alternatively, there may be large pieces of debris hitting the valves as the damper adjusts its panels. These can cause loud noises to come from your ductwork, and will need to be removed before it can damage the dampers.

#3 Dampers Won't Adjust

If the dampers won't adjust, there may be a problem with the connection of the damper to the rest of the HVAC unit. The damper may have loose or damaged wires, or may have debris stuck to the valve that prevents it from functioning properly. You will need to have an HVAC technician inspect it to know whether or not it needs replacement.

HVAC System Damper Maintenance

#1 Regular Duct Cleaning

More often than not, dirt and debris will cause the dampers to break down faster. Having the ducts cleaned on a routine basis will help prevent dust accumulation, blockages, and debris from damaging your air conditioner dampers. Doing so will also help your air conditioner deliver clean air into the rooms.

#2 Regular Air Conditioner Maintenance

Regular aircon maintenance is a must for any HVAC system. Air conditioners should be professionally cleaned once every 4-6 months, with general maintenance and upkeep twice a year. Always scout for a reputable aircon service company to do your general maintenance, repairs, and cleaning.

Look no further than Luce Aircon for all your air conditioning needs! Our experienced HVAC technicians can help you with any air conditioning problem you may have, and provide you with care tips to properly maintain your air conditioner system.

Give us a call, or send us an email with your inquiry, and we can schedule an appointment at your next available time! 

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