They help regulate circulation, maintain comfortable temperatures, and even keep harmful gasses from entering the house.
If you want to fully understand your home’s air circulation, you need to understand the importance of dampers, including dampers for whole house fans.
Let’s take a closer look at dampers so you understand what they are and how they work. We’ll also explore how much they cost and what it takes to install them properly.
With this information, you’ll be better equipped to create healthy, comfortable air in your home!
What is a Damper Box?To regulate the flow of air, many duct and ventilation systems have a component called a damper. This damper is a valve or plate that can stop or slow the flow of air, and they can be found in ductwork, chimneys, and just about any place where air flows from one point to another.
One of the most common uses for a damper, and one that you may be familiar with, is to cut off air conditioning flow to a room that is unoccupied. By closing the grate, you keep warm or cool air from entering a room that doesn’t need temperature control, which reduces energy use.
A damper box is simply a component holding a damper that can be installed in various vents or air flow systems. It can be a standard part of the air flow system, or it can be installed as an after-market product.
Dampers and damper boxes serve other purposes beyond temperature control. For example, backdraft (caused by wind blowing air into the home) is often a concern for gas fireplaces and stove hoods. To reduce the risk of a backdraft, many systems have electronic dampers that automatically seal the air passage.
Damper Boxes in Whole House FansSome whole house fans come equipped with dampers for many of the same reasons. The goal of these fan systems is to move air upwards, slowly pulling warm air into the attic via an attic power ventilator and out the attic vents while cooler outdoor air seeps into the home at lower levels.
This creates a mild circulation that can have many benefits, including greater comfort and better air quality.
Circulation and roof venting in a home is very important. Having proper ventilation helps in cold climates, as it maintains a cold roof temperature to help avoid roof dams, which are created by snow and melting ice. In warm climates, circulation helps remove hot attic air, reducing the buildings overall cooling costs.
Most of these fans are made with a self-closing damper that will close with gravity but is able to open when air is pushed up. These dampers ensure that the flow of air is always upward; if the flow is downward (or if there is no flow) the damper will close.
These dampers don’t just provide protection against backdrafts, they can help stop debris or rodents from entering the home.
Dampers don’t just have to be on up-and-down vents; they can also be part of vents that flow horizontally.
Benefits of a Damper BoxThe main benefit of a damper box in your whole-house fan is that it controls the flow of air and ensures it only travels in one direction. If air can flow backwards, it can create many different problems.
First, the general circulation will be disrupted and the cooling effect of the fan will not be realized. To provide cool air, the flow must be upward, but if the flow is downward, warm attic air will be forced into the home.
While it’s not as much of a concern for whole-house fans, damper boxes also provide a measure of safety. Gas fireplaces are the perfect example here. If air can flow inward through the fireplace, it will push dangerous heating gases, specifically carbon monoxide, into the home. With damper boxes, a backdraft cannot occur, which brings better safety to the home.
While not as much of a safety concern, a damper box in a whole house fan could result in stopping dust or other airborne particles in the attic from entering the living space.
Drawbacks of a Damper BoxThe main drawback of a damper box is no insulation. These units are generally made from metal, and they need to be light enough to be mounted on ceiling joists, so the metal is relatively thin.
They simply don’t provide a high level of insulation, so during cold winter months you may have to insulate the box to keep warm air from escaping.
Installing a Damper Box The process of installing a damper box in your whole house fan is relatively easy, but if you need help it might be wise to hire a professional who can make sure everything is installed correctly.
Many damper boxes are installed inside ductwork. To complete the installation, simply disconnect the duct at the joint where you want to place the damper box and move it outward so you have access to the inside of the duct. Insert the damper into the duct, positioning it so it is facing the right direction. Depending on the product you have chosen, you may have to drill holes to keep the box in place.
What’s the Price of a New Damper Box?The cost of a damper box is relatively affordable, especially when you consider the purpose it serves. If you look at home depot’s online inventory of damper boxes, you’ll find that most of the mid-range products are priced in the $20 to $30 range. You can, however, find items as low as $9.00 and as high as $90.00. (Prices from Nov. 2017.)
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Contact our team today and we’ll help you choose the right purifier for your specific needs. From activated carbon to UV-C lights and true HEPA filters, our air purifiers help create a cleaner, healthier home!