A zone damper is a device installed in your HVAC system ductwork that is designed to regulate where the air goes within your home. A closed damper will prevent air from going to a certain room of the home, and open dampers allow air to pass through.
Utilizing your dampers will not only prevent cooling rooms that are not utilized, but will create a balanced air distribution effect in the other rooms. Overall, you'll find that your air conditioner doesn't work as hard to cool down your home, and it will see less wear and tear over the years as a result. Understand how dampers work to prolong your AC's lifespan.
Each room in your home is not cooled down equally. The distance that the air must travel to reach a room will determine how cool the room is and how long your air conditioner must run. Long stretches of ductwork can cause rooms at the opposite end to feel warmer and uncomfortable in comparison to the rest of your home.
One way homeowners attempt to correct the temperature in these rooms is by lowering the temperature settings on the thermostat. As a result, rooms closer to the blower get even colder, and your air conditioner works longer and harder to reach that lower temperature.
By closing the damper going to rooms you don't use, air will more easily flow into the other rooms that you do use. It will help your home feel more balanced and cause your air conditioner to not work as hard to meet demand.
Zone Dampers vs Vent Covers
Dampers are quite different from the covers located at the vent in each room. Dampers are placed earlier in the stretch of ductwork and will cut off airflow to the entire branch. In order to operate them, you will actually need to go into your basement or crawlspace and turn the knob on the damper. It is quite a bit more work, but the end result is more effective.
A closed vent cover still allows air to travel down the HVAC ducts and reach the closed vent. It's an inefficient way of cooling down your home, since the force of the air is wasted by traveling to a place it is not needed.
The next time you have a new air conditioner installed, consider utilizing your dampers so that you can prolong the life of the condenser and blower. Contact an HVAC company like Pristine Air Conditioning Corp to learn additional ways to extend the life of your air conditioner.