Your Homes Air Intake Damper
An air intake damper is essentially an accessory to air vents that are designed to regulate or stop the flow of air that is able to enter your home. These types of dampers come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, suited to fit any application. Typically, in order to resist oxidation, intake dampers are made of aluminum.
The primary function of an air intake damper is to draw in air for the HVAC system to either cool or heat, which is then circulated throughout the house. When the system turns on, the damper will open, allowing the air to enter.
The damper is controlled by thermometers and a thermostat. When the house needs to be either heated or cooled, the thermometers will tell the thermostat, and it will then open the dampers and the system will get the house back to the desired temperature.
By using multiple thermostats, along with other vent dampers, you can section your home off into different zones. This will allow your HVAC system to concentrate the air only to the specific zones of the house that are being used. This prevents the system from working too hard, which can improve the life and prevent some otherwise routine maintenance.
Using multiple zones will also limit the amount of air that is brought in by the intake damper so that hot air coming into your home in the summer, or cold in the winter, is kept to a minimum.
Fresh air is brought in through the intake vents, heated or cooled, and circulated throughout the house. While the system is not running the damper will close to prevent excess air from entering the system.
A common type of intake damper to find in your home vents is a butterfly damper. Essentially, this type of damper is controlled by a motor and when the system needs more air to be cooled, it will open the damper allowing air in.
A butterfly damper is much like a valve, which has a blade or blades, and when turned, opens to allow flow. When it is closed the air flow is restricted.
Another popular air intake damper is a louver damper. This type of damper consists of parallel blades across a duct with centralized pivot shafts on a frame. They are all linked together and controlled by a arm, usually with a motor.
These dampers are very useful in that they are typically very lightweight, can be customized to fit most applications, they are very fast acting and allow for very little leakage. Typically these can be found on the outside walls of the home for a passive air flow system in your attic.
Air intake dampers are necessary in any home HVAC system. Without restricted airflow the system would have to work much harder in order to properly heat and cool the home. Since there are many different types, shapes and sizes it is easy to find one to fit your specific needs for your home HVAC system.