In some cases, barometric dampers are vital for the safe and efficient use of coal boilers, stoves, and furnaces. A barometric damper controls draft and air pressure in coal boilers, stoves, or furnaces by fitting into their flue pipes. The primary aim is to stop drafty conditions. Too much draft can cause heat loss, increase fuel usage, and safety issues. This helps improve their efficiency, make them safer, and reduce energy expenses. 

When do I Need a Barometric Dampers

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If the manufacturer’s instructions tell you you must install a barometric damper, then you must. On our boiler and stoves, it is optional. We recommend installing your unit and starting a fire that will warm up the flue and chimney. Check the draft with a gauge once the chimney is good and warm. A perfect draft is more than -0.04inWC and less than -0.1 inWC. You do not need a barometric damper if you have this or less. If your chimney measures more than -0.1inWC, you will need a barometric damper installed in the stove pipe.

Types Of Barometric Dampers 

There are two main types of barometric dampers: 

  • Weighted barometric: Weighted barometric dampers use a weighted arm to balance out the force of the draft. The weight can be adjusted to control the damper’s opening and closing.
  • Spring-loaded barometric dampers: They use a spring to control their position. The tension of the spring can be adjusted to regulate the draft.

How Barometric Dampers Work 

Barometric dampers sense the draft pressure in the flue pipe. They adjust automatically to keep the air pressure consistent. If the draft pressure gets too high, the damper opens up. This lets air from the room come into the flue pipe, which lowers the draft pressure in the coal boiler/stove. When the draft pressure is too low, the damper closes. This stops room air from entering the flue pipe and keeps the desired draft level. 

The Role of Barometric Dampers in Coal Boilers, Stoves, or Furnaces 

Proper draft control is essential for efficient coal combustion. Keeping a steady airflow to the coal makes it burn more completely and decreases emissions. Barometric dampers regulate the draft in the flue pipe. 

How To Install And Tune A Barometric Damper In Coal Boilers, Stoves, Or Furnaces 

  • Select the appropriate type and size of barometric damper for your appliance. It needs to be the same size as the unit’s outlet.
  • Install the damper in the flue pipe, following the manufacturer’s instructions. You will install it between the unit and the chimney.
  • Adjust the weight or spring tension to achieve the desired draft level, typically measured using a draft gauge.
  • Monitor the damper’s performance and adjust it as necessary to keep the correct draft. 

Factors Affecting Barometric Damper Performance 

Several factors can influence the performance of a barometric damper: 

  • Temperature changes affect the flue’s draft, so the damper may need adjusting. 
  • Wind affects draft pressure and can impact a damper’s ability to maintain a stable draft.

Maintaining and Troubleshooting Barometric Dampers 

  • Regular cleaning and inspection: To ensure optimal performance, regularly clean and inspect your barometric damper for signs of wear, damage, or blockages. Remove any accumulated soot or debris and ensure that the damper moves freely.
  • Common issues and how to fix them: If the damper doesn’t open or close correctly, check for blockages or damage. Then adjust the weight or spring tension as required.
  • Inconsistent draft: Verify that the damper is installed correctly and adjusted. Factors like temperature, wind, and altitude could affect the draft.
  • Excessive noise: Inspect the damper for loose or damaged components and tighten or replace them as necessary.