Everything You Need to Know About Backdraft Dampers and Louvers

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At Lloyd Industries, we prioritize more than just helping you find the best fire protection products. It can be hard to keep your home or business safe if you aren’t sure what products work best for your particular situation. Increasing your knowledge of products such as our backdraft damper and louver can help make it easier to find the best set-up for your needs. This blog will explore the ins and outs of a louver and a backdraft damper, things to keep in mind when selecting a contractor for installation, and why it’s better to act rather than react when it comes to fire safety.

What Is a Backdraft Damper? 

A backdraft damper, also known as a gravity damper, is a piece of equipment that allows air to flow through in one direction while preventing air from entering the opposite side, also known as a backdraft. Backdraft dampers assist in the exhaust or intake of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.A backdraft damperhelps to reduceenergy loss in a building and also maintains a consistent pressure within the area.

Backdraft dampers can be mounted horizontally and vertically, although the mounting direction changes the type of damper that contractors must install. A contractor can install a motorized backdraft damper either horizontally or vertically, giving the contractor more versatility in the design of the space. If the damper is gravity operated, the contractor must install the damper vertically so that gravity can move the flaps open and closed.

Why Do I Need a Backdraft Damper? 

A backdraft damper is beneficial if you are looking to control and enhance the air quality of your home or office. Installing a damper keeps temperature-controlled or purified air within your space while simultaneously keeping outside air from coming in. A backdraft damper is useful in controlling temperature but can also be used to improve the ventilation of a space. Smells from cooking, painting, or other industrial processes can overwhelm a space and cause health problems to those with frequent exposure. A backdraft damper can ventilate an area to avoid toxic fumes from building up. These dampers can also help ventilate an attic, chimney, laundry room, furnace room, or any space that doesn’t receive adequate airflow.  

Cons of Backdraft Dampers

Although a backdraft damper is useful in keeping cold air outside during the winter, the damper doesn’t allow for control to prevent cold air from escaping during the warmer months. Also, a contractor must install a damper directly into the ventilation system. If you have to replace your home or office ventilation system, you will also need to replace your backdraft damper.

What Is a Louver? 

louver is similar to a backdraft damper. A louver allows for control of the way that air moves throughout a building. Unlike backdraft dampers that control exhaust, a louver provides fresh air intake while shutting out rain and other types of weather. A louver has thin slats or fins that adjust to allow air and light to flow into the space.

Metal, aluminum, wood, or glass are the most common materials used to construct a louver. At Lloyd Industries, we manufacture our louvers from high-quality aluminum at a certified manufacturing facility. In addition to being used in construction, a louver is a standard piece of equipment in other industries, including:

  • Infrastructure: To control floodwaters in homes and businesses that may see frequent water exposure.
  • Electronics: In a laptop to provide ventilation from overheating, particularly in gaming laptops.
  • Transportation: On traffic lights to prevent confusion between different lanes of traffic.

What Different Types of Louvers Are There? 

There are four different types of louvers that help to control airflow.

  • Adjustable: This type of louver features blades that can move to fit the precise need of the space.
  • Stationary: These louvers feature angled or airfoil-style slats that help protect against weather and sound.
  • Combination: These louvers have blades that open based on the amount of static pressure. This style louver may also incorporate a backdraft damper.
  • Air measuring: These louvers have carefully placed vertical slats to prevent water from entering the space.

How to Choose a Backdraft Damper and Louver

There are a variety of things to consider when selecting a damper for installation. 

  • Environment: A contractor must consider the amount of wind and rain, as well as the climate of the building before selecting the appropriate louver or damper. 
  • Pressure: Different products perform in different ranges of pressure. A contractor should carefully examine the situations that the HVAC system will experience before purchasing the correct product. 
  • Hazardous materials: If the building will be utilizing hazardous materials, choosing the appropriate backdraft damper and louver is essential to keep employees safe. Double-check the amount of airflow and how the system will operate in an emergency to design a plan that is proactive rather than reactive. 

Proper Installation of Dampers and Louvers

As with any piece of equipment, a trained contractor must be responsible for installing the appropriate HVAC accessories. An improperly installed addition to your HVAC systems, such as a louver or backdraft damper, can void any type of warranty for your system as well as anything that may be damaged inside your home or office if something goes wrong. Before selecting the piece of equipment, discuss the concerns you have with your contractor, as well as any specific needs or desires you want to be incorporated into your project. Having these discussions before installation will help provide clarity as well as ensure you are happy with the finished product. Need help finding a trained professional? Contact the Lloyd Industries reps today for assistance!

Lloyd Industries has over 35 years of experience in manufacturing access doors, fire and smoke dampers, louvers, and other HVAC products. Our team takes pride in offering comprehensive installation guides for every single piece of equipment we sell. Also, our customer service staff is expertly trained to assist you in finding the best type of louver or backdraft damper for your project. Whether you’re installing one damper or one thousand, Lloyd Industries offers a variety of products that you need to make a knowledgeable decision. 

Visit the Lloyd Industries website today to learn more about how we can help you create the most efficient HVAC system possible.