Everything You Need to Know About Combination Louvers and Air Control Dampers

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Learning about the best combination louver and air control damper products is an essential part of every person’s education. Except usually, it isn’t. Unless you have training in the installation of heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) systems, or commercial construction, it’s reasonable to assume that these terms aren’t a part of your typical vocabulary. However, it’s still essential to have some basic knowledge about the systems that keep you safe. Thankfully, the team at Lloyd Industries has you covered.

What Is an Air Control Damper? 

Before we talk about a combination louver/air control damper, it’s crucial to learn what each piece is by itself. Let’s start with an air control damper. According to the Lloyd Industries website, an air control damper, also known as a volume balancing damper, is used to control airflow inside an air conditioning or heating duct, air handler, chimney, VAV box, or other pieces of air-handling equipment. These dampers provide precise control of the airflow into, out of, or within a space.

There are two primary styles of air control damper blades: parallel and opposed. Contractors use a parallel blade air control damper when the space needs great control near the top end of the damper, or in situations where the system requires position operation, either for fully opened or fully closed. According to Lloyd Industries, contractors install an opposed blade system when there is a need to “maintain an even distribution of air downstream from the damper.”

An air control damper is typically motorized or able to have its flow adjusted manually. Dampers are beneficial in situations when there is a need to moderate air or gas flow, create a detour or diversion of flow between systems, or isolate a process for repair or inspection.

What Is a Louver? 

According to Dictionary.com, a louver is “any of a series of narrow openings framed at their longer edges with slanting, overlapping fins, or slats, adjustable for admitting light and air while shutting out rain.” A louver is a type of damper and is beneficial in protecting ventilation systems from the elements while still allowing air to be pushed in or pulled out, depending on the need of the HVAC system. Louvers are versatile, lightweight, compact, and don’t usually cause air leakage.

Lloyd Industries, one of the leading combination louver manufacturers, has a variety of combination louver options available:

Although louvers have a variety of positives, there are also some downsides to be aware of. Louvers tend to promote a flutter due to their long and thin blades. In dirty atmospheres, louvers may also exhibit sealing problems, as well as have a higher pressure drop if the mechanism’s blades obstruct the flow of air.

What Is a Combination Louver? 

A combination louver is precisely what it sounds like: a combination between a louver and an air control damper. Contractors typically install these products in industrial warehouses or large spaces. Installing a separate louver and an air control damper can be expensive, especially considering the size of the areas these products typically service. By installing a combination louver, building companies can reduce the cost of installation by 50 percent.

The design of a combination louver brings together the moving and nonmoving blades of a louver into one device. Visually, the product appears to mimic that of a traditional louver with its horizontal stationary blades. However, combination louvers can adjust their rear blades for additional control.

A combination louver can be operated in two ways: either manually or through the use of an actuator. Combination louvers help to maintain a uniform look to the outside appearance of the building while still providing control of the airflow behind the louver. If a company is concerned about the outward appearance of its structure, installing a combination louver helps create a more appealing visual.

Combination Louver Uses

In addition to helping provide control over airflow, a combination louver can also protect against penetration from the elements. Two specific types that protect against weather are hurricane louvers and wind-driven rain louvers.

Hurricane louvers protect against the pressure generated by high winds, the impact of flying debris, and high-velocity rain caused by wind. Many cities and states have different standards by which they judge a combination louver that will be installed, so it’s vital to ensure that your products meet the specifications necessary. These standards help safeguard your home or business against additional damage from harsh weather conditions.

If you’ve ever lived in an area that is prone to strong thunderstorms, you’ve probably seen the ways that rain can make its way into a space. Unfortunately, rain doesn’t always fall straight down. When the wind blows, rain can be blown into ventilation openings and cause damage to the air ducts and electrical equipment inside. Wind-driven rain louvers feature drainable heads and rain-resistant blades to help block precipitation. The blades are placed either horizontally or vertically, depending on the customer’s need and the weather conditions expected in the area where the combination louver will be installed.

In addition to the two primary types of weather-rated louvers, there are a variety of specialty louver and air control damper products that assist in other areas.

  • Small space ventilation
  • Building appearance and protection
  • Thinner walls
  • Protection from wind-driven sand
  • Storm shelters and safe rooms

Installing a Combination Louver/Air Control Damper

In addition to purchasing the best product for your specific needs, it’s also crucial that you ensure your contractor installs your combination louver/air control damper correctly. If a contractor does not mount and secure the product successfully, the amount of money you’ve spent on creating the safest building possible is pointless. At Lloyd Industries, not only are our products certified, but we also have trained staff members on hand to ensure that you’re selecting the right product for your needs. Also, we can help navigate you through any challenging questions you may have about installation and inspection standards.

Contact the Lloyd Industries team today to find the perfect products for all of your combination louver/air control damper needs!