The HVAC sector and other companies that transport air or compressible gases for their processes frequently use dampers. A damper regulates airflow in a duct system to ensure that air or gas is distributed evenly.
It changes the shape and the size of the flow route, resulting in a change in flow capacity as a position function.
How much does an HVAC damper cost? HVAC zone dampers allow you to balance the system by adjusting the amount of air flowing into each room. The starting cost of HVAC dampers is $26. Depending on the number of zones, the initial cost can range from $2,000 to $3,300.
The number of residential and commercial buildings installing forced-air systems (zoning) for their benefit is increasing. Read through this article to understand what zoning is and know the cost of the most reliable dampers today.
Zoning System And Zone Damper
The technique of cooling and heating separate areas using varying temperature settings is known as HVAC zoning. You can, for example, create a multi-zoned environment in your home. You can set the master bedroom to a different temperature than the living room or kitchen.
Each zone has its thermostat, which used to necessitate a separate HVAC system. You can have many zones in your home while only using one HVAC system for zone dampers.
Some systems use multiple thermostats, which control heating and cooling via dampers located in the ductwork.
The damper to that zone is opened when a room requires additional air to increase or reduce the temperature. The HVAC system continues to work if the temperature in the first zone is attained but not in zone two.
However, the dampers will close to keep the temperature in the first zone while the other two cools.
With a zoning system, homeowners can witness an increase in their home’s energy efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, you can expect a 30 percent reduction in your energy expenses.
Also, you’ll notice a difference in the comfort of each area when you’re able to manage the temperature levels throughout your home.
If one of your family members is often cold at night, you can change the individual setting. It will keep their room warmer than the others.
Furthermore, because air does not have a constant movement throughout the house, a zoning system can extend the life of your HVAC system. It translates to fewer repairs and longer service life.
Zoning is also great in adapting the heating and cooling in your house to your preferences. Do you have a guest bedroom or a formal living room in the front of your home that you never use?
A zoning system allows you to alter the temperatures in these underused regions without affecting the rooms you use frequently.
However, because zoned systems require more equipment than a traditional system, they are more tricky to set up. Setting up the ductwork to balance the systems and functions is not easy.
You may want to hire an HVAC specialist who has worked with zoned systems before.
Your zoned system will also require more equipment to install and maintain. Expect higher installation costs than your regular HVAC system.
Furthermore, like most things, it can break down. Consider whether the cost of replacing the electronic dampers or other zoning equipment is worthwhile.
HVAC Zone Dampers
The Ecojoy SmartZone-2L control board kit costs $129.00 and is perfect for simple two-zone installations. You cut all the necessities for a bypass duct that collects moisture and grows mold with the 2nd stage lockout.
The board is less expensive than the X series, but you cannot combine this with other HVAC boards to add extra dampers.
If you have a single system with two zones, you’ll appreciate how simple this control board is. A push-button display allows you to cycle among troubleshooting, modes, and system statuses.
You’ll need to buy and install another control board if you need more than two dampers, but they won’t connect. Instead, many suggest opting for the better-equipped 2X or 4X HVAC boards.
The 2L, on the other hand, allows you to use any system, including gas, electric, and dual-fuel. 2 or 3-wire dampers can also be connected as long as they are 24v types.
This controller kit includes simple installation instructions that will have your zones heated and cooled in no time.
This control board is practically foolproof to install; all you have to do is push a wire into a connection hole. The guarantee, like other Ecojoy products, covers normal usage and wear & tear for five years.
Smartzone Round Zone Damper
SmartZone costs $129.50 and has the best-actuated damper on the market. They provide five different diameters to accommodate practically any installation. However, the 8-inch model is one of the most popular motorized power dampers on the market.
The circular dampers are available in sizes of 6, 8, 9, 10, and 16 inches. They should fit practically any business or residential application.
It has a 5-year warranty along with its durable design, but you won’t need it. The galvanized steel design will withstand seasonal temperature changes all year long. It will prevent drafts, air leaks, and other inefficient elements of a traditional HVAC system.
The Bellimo motor’s strong torque takes only 1.5 watts to open or shut the blades. It blocks nearly all airflow when closed. Homeowners can use these dampers to create zones or to keep heat from escaping their vents during the winter.
They’ll work with any 24-volt control board that has a 3-wire mounting system. This damper is not only efficient but also reduces energy usage.
The blade’s full-seal gasket ensures minimal leakage and opens with 18 pounds of torque. In a breeze or a draft, it will not move.
Once installed, you’ll notice that your HVAC system is quiet. The damper also helps to reduce noise from your fan, attic vent, and other zones. The SmartZone for Ecojoy is the best option if you want the best round zone damper for your multi-zone HVAC system.
The SmartZone-2x is a dual-zone controller that costs $159.99, which homeowners can use in various applications. New installations, retrofits, upgrades, and replacements are all possible with this controller. Theoretically, there’s nothing you can’t do.
The controller works with all 24v dampers. It runs with a dedicated 24v line and features bright LEDs that indicate connection failures, status, and troubleshooting.
The controller powers two dampers per board. However, you can link it together to power up to 20 dampers in a single HVAC system.
You don’t need to be concerned about whether your system is compatible or not. Yes, it is. Any electrical, single-stage, gas, dual-fuel, multi-stage, or heat pump will function with this control board.
It also includes a temperature probe, which homeowners can use to replace any present system that requires one.
Your present thermostat will operate. And if you decide to replace it, the new one, including a smart thermostat or wireless programmable thermostats, will work as well.
You can take complete control of your new multi-zone dampers with the SmartZone-2x without worrying about compatibility or functionality.
The board also comes with a 5-year warranty. This warranty will give you peace of mind as you improve the efficiency of your system.
This damper costs $219.99. It is a universal board that homeowners can use for several applications. The SmartZone-4x is worth considering whether you’re installing a new multi-zone system or upgrading from a single-zone system.
Four separate dampers will be powered and monitored by this control board. You can use nearly any HVAC damper as long as it operates at 24 volts. This damper comprises connectors with two and three wires.
When it comes to thermostats, the 4x works with all major brands. This control board will allow you to add more than four dampers if necessary.
You may connect up to 5 4x control boards to the SmartLink BUS for a total of 20 dampers. The control board is easy to install and set up. This damper no longer requires screws, and all cables are push-tight locked without the use of set-screws.
The 4x control boards have the same 5-year warranty as the 2x. The standard warranty terms and conditions apply.
You can buy this HVAC damper for as low as $26.00. Homeowners can install this balance damper in a matter of minutes if you’re in a rush.
The structure is also sturdy. You can’t dent the collar or blade because they have a UV-resistant resin, and neither will rust.
What is good about it is that you won’t have to spend hours in the attic attempting to install them. The collar will attach to the ducting end with a few tugs with the Speedi-zip method. You can finish the entire installation in minutes.
Of course, there are certain disadvantages. There may be burrs or edges that need to be cut before installation, owing to the machine-molded plastic.
Also, because the blade and collar are plastic, you won’t achieve complete non-movement. You’ll have to re-adjust the balance at some point.
The balance is simple to achieve and will stay in place for a long time without adjustments. You will not experience disappointments as long as you don’t expect completely maintenance-free settings.
You also don’t have to risk your hands and arms by working with sharp edges or reaching within ducting. The Speedi-construction Collar’s and production method have allowed you to utilize it in a more permanent situation.
Fantech 9800012 RSK-10 Backdraft Damper
These backdraft dampers only cost $44.05 on Amazon. A galvanized steel collar and an aluminum blade make up the dampers. The spring-loaded closure requires at least 165 CFM to open, and the backdraft damper requires at least 165 CFM to open.
Unlike other kinds, these dampers will not slam shut, causing damage or shortening their lifespan. Instead, you get a sturdy design, sturdy construction, and years of worry-free running when paired with a Fantech fan.
The disadvantage is that there is no warranty. There isn’t much to warranty because there aren’t any electrical parts.
The springs will eventually wear out, but this is typical wear and tear that isn’t covered. If you buy through Amazon, though, you can return the dampers if they are defective.
When mounting, pay attention to the blade direction. Instead of horizontal blades, the homeowner should install these dampers with vertical blades. It will aid in a correct closing as well as a smoother opening.
You can choose from a variety of sizes. It includes 1-inch variations ranging from 4 to 8 inches and 2-inch variations ranging from 10 to 16 inches. With eight sizes to pick from, finding your perfect fit is as easy as placing an order.
Choosing A High-Quality HVAC Damper
The size and distance of your ducts are one of the most critical things to know. If you’re doing a retrofit, you could need more dampers than if you’re doing a new installation. However, you must know the size of your main branches and the number of lesser branches.
A damper will be used solely in the main ducting in many systems. However, more dampers in the smaller service branches of the ductwork may be necessary for more precise control.
The rate of airflow is in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This measurement indicates how much air is moved in a given space or the system’s capacity. When it comes to zoned systems, the CFM is usually divided into two parts.
The total CFM is the first. Total CFM is a measurement of how much air the system can move in total. It is the system’s overall capacity, assuming no dampers are closed.
There’s also the Zone CFM. It is the maximum reading or capacity that the system can move per zone. More air is transported as the numbers rise, resulting in faster cooling or heating.
If your system is rated too high for the room, you may miss some of the benefits. Similarly, if your CFM is insufficient, the system will run longer, resulting in higher energy use.
There are a variety of damper sizes to choose from as well. Some are only best for “full operation.” It means they’ll either fully open or close.
Modulated dampers will open and close to different widths to better manage airflow and cooling in their control zones.
Modulated dampers are expensive, but they will improve the system’s efficiency. You must also purchase dampers that are the same size as your ducting for the system to function correctly.
Compatible Zone Control Panel
The computer boards that take information from the thermostats and sensors to manage the airflow are known as zone control panels. In most circumstances, a single control panel controls the complete system.
You’ll need a supplementary control panel if you still have numerous HVAC systems or more zones than the control panel can handle.
The control systems and dampers are hardwired to the control panels. The thermostats and some sensors, on the other hand, can be wireless—more on that below.
All HVAC zoned systems will include thermostats. Everything will be OK if you install these to function seamlessly with your system. However, the thermostats that come with the package might not be the best fit for your system.
Each zone requires its thermostat and control system. You are not restricted to the thermostats that come standard with your new HVAC system. However, there are other possibilities.
Some manufacturers produce thermostats that can regulate numerous zones from a single interface.
If you desire flexibility, these thermostats can also be wireless. However, you have an option – the cost will vary depending on your choices.
Room sensors are another initial cost consideration. Room sensors may be necessary depending on the type of control board and thermostat. The temperature in the room will be reported to the control board and thermostat through sensors.
The temperature is solely measured at the thermostat in a typical setup. It means you can set the thermostat to 75 degrees (F), and the system will turn off when it reaches that temperature.
The device will not operate even if the bedroom temperature is barely 70 degrees.
By reporting the precise temperature across the zone, sensors help to prevent this. While they aren’t necessary, they will help your new system run more efficiently.
Your ductwork’s material will also have a role. Galvanized steel or aluminum are the most prevalent materials.
HVAC ductwork has around a dozen different materials. Fiberboard, pre-insulated polyurethane, fiberglass, and even PVC are alternatives.
Some dampers won’t work or won’t be able to sell certain materials. You must not only know what sort of ducting material you have, but you must also understand the damper restrictions.
Finally, you should consider the warranty provided by the equipment you choose. The dampers, thermostats, and sensors should all be covered under warranty. Other aspects that influence the term includes:
- The type of installation
- The system type to which the zonal setup is added
- Whether it is a repair or a brand-new installation
In most circumstances, you’ll need to take further actions to activate the warranty. It could be as simple as registering your goods online.
You could be required to provide evidence of purchase, which could be in the form of expert installation or other criteria. Before you buy, be sure you read all of the fine print.
Setting an HVAC system to attain the perfect temperature for everyone can be difficult. A zoned HVAC system is the best option for some homeowners. The lists and tips written above should help you choose the best damper for your HVAC system.