What HVAC Dampers Are and How They Work

June 14, 2022

If you’re looking for ways to improve the effectiveness of your home’s heating and cooling and reduce your energy costs, a zone control HVAC system is definitely a great option. This type of system uses what is known as an HVAC damper to control and direct the airflow to those areas where it is currently needed most. To help you better understand how this works, here is a full overview of HVAC dampers, how they work and the benefits that they can provide.

What Does a Damper Do?

There are numerous different types of HVAC dampers, but they all essentially work in the same way to seal off parts of the duct system. The most basic type of damper is essentially a metal plate that can be opened or closed to control airflow to certain parts of the duct system. Depending on the type of damper, this can be done automatically, or you may have to manually open and close the damper.

Closing a damper is similar to closing a vent in that it blocks airflow from reaching that area. The primary difference is that closing a vent only blocks the airflow from reaching that room whereas a damper completely seals off that entire section of ductwork to reduce the load on your HVAC system. If you’re only closing a vent, the conditioned air will still travel through that section of ductwork instead of being directed to where it is actually needed.

Dampers are primarily used in zone control systems as they allow the ductwork to be split up into smaller sections, or zones. Instead of heating or cooling the entire home, you can direct the conditioned air to only those zones where it is needed simply by opening or closing the dampers. Most zone control systems have two zones, such as the upper and lower level or living and sleeping areas. However, there are also systems that allow you to create up to four different zones.

Depending on the type of system that you have, each zone may have its own thermostat, or they may all be controlled from a central programmable or smart thermostat. If the system uses one thermostat, then each zone will also have a separate temperature sensor so that you can tell how hot or cool each zone is.

Benefits of a Zone Control HVAC System

Installing a zone control HVAC system can provide a wide range of benefits. One such benefit is that it makes it easy to eliminate hot or cold spots caused by uneven heating or cooling. For instance, if your basement always stays much colder, you can use dampers to direct more heat to that area during the winter or close the damper so that you’re not cooling the area during the summer.

Zoning can also reduce the wear and tear on your heating and cooling equipment and potentially extend their lifespan. Since the zone control system makes it so you don’t have to heat and cool the entire house at one time, it can greatly reduce the amount of time that your furnace or AC has to run.

As you might imagine, this same benefit can also greatly reduce the amount of energy used to heat and cool your home. In fact, this is probably the biggest benefit of a zone control system. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a zone control system installed along with a programmable thermostat should be able to reduce your annual heating and cooling costs by approximately 35% on average. Considering that the average American home spends around $900 a year for heating and cooling, this can add up to thousands of dollars of savings over the life of your HVAC system.

Professional HVAC Systems and Services

If you’re considering upgrading your home to a zone control HVAC system, the expert team at Jeffries Heating & Air + Plumbing is ready to help. We offer a full range of HVAC services and can handle every aspect of your home’s heating and cooling from installation to maintenance and repairs. We also specialize in air duct cleaning and offer a range of indoor air quality services and equipment. Our company is locally owned and operated, and we are proud to have an A+ rating from the BBB. We are also HomeAdvisor screened and approved and received the 2021 Best Of HomeAdvisor award. We have two locations in Somerset, on Main Street and Highway 1247, and we serve residential customers throughout the surrounding areas. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, give us a call today.

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