Understanding Backdraft Dampers | Kitchen Ventilation Guide – Canada



Understanding Backdraft Dampers: Essential for Your Kitchen Ventilation

When it comes to kitchen ventilation, backdraft dampers play a critical role. These components are designed to prevent outside air and debris from entering your kitchen, functioning like a one-way valve for your ventilation system. They contribute to temperature control and insulation, energy savings, and maintaining a consistent, powerful flow of range hood air pressure. Whether you're in a cold, hot, or moderate climate, understanding the importance of backdraft dampers, their types, and how to choose the right one can significantly impact the performance of your range hood.

Skip to the Good Stuff:

Understanding Backdraft Dampers: Essential for Your Kitchen Ventilation. Photo showing a man installing a range hood duct

What is a Backdraft Damper?

A range hood damper, also known as a backdraft damper or exhaust damper, is a component installed within a range hood ventilation system. This component is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and functionality of the range hood. Its primary purpose is to control the flow of air regardless of whether the range hood is in use, or turned off. The internal damper is typically located within the ductwork of the range hood. An external damper can be used for extra control and may be preferred in areas that experience cold climates.

The Role of Backdraft Dampers in Kitchen Ventilation

Backdraft dampers help control airflow in your kitchen. They open when needed, allowing smoke and fumes to escape, and close when the range hood is off (preventing outside air, bugs, and debris from coming in). This mechanism aids in maintaining a comfortable kitchen environment. It can also contribute to energy savings, especially in extreme weather conditions.

Understanding Backdraft Dampers: Essential for Your Kitchen Ventilation. photo showing a man installing a range hood duct up close

Damper Construction and Types

The construction of dampers varies, but typically, they consist of a frame with adjustable blades. These can be rectangular, square, oval, or round, fitting various duct shapes in your kitchen. Damper blades adjust their angle to control airflow, opening fully for maximum ventilation and sealing tightly when closed.

Backdraft and Other Dampers:

  • Backdraft Dampers: Ideal for range hoods, these allow unidirectional airflow and prevent reverse flow.
  • Balancing Dampers: These level out air pressure differences in buildings with centralized ventilation.
  • Control Dampers: Used to regulate airflow in ventilation systems, often featuring manual, pneumatic, or electric mechanisms.
  • Safety Dampers: Designed to shut off in emergencies such as fire, requiring safety certifications.

Types of Damper Actuators:

The functionality of dampers is further defined by their actuator mechanism:

  • Manual Dampers: Adjusted manually, suitable for systems requiring infrequent changes.
  • Gravity Dampers: Rely on gravity and air pressure, commonly used as backdraft dampers.
  • Spring Dampers: Similar to gravity dampers but use spring tension for closing action.
  • Electric Dampers: Controlled by electric motors, versatile for various applications.

Range Hoods with Internal Dampers


Shop Now

Choosing the Right Backdraft Damper for Your Home

Selecting a backdraft damper involves considering several factors:

  • Function: Beyond preventing backdraft, consider other needs like temperature insulation or noise reduction.
  • Size and Shape: Match the damper to your ductwork's dimensions and shape.
  • Maximum Pressure: Ensure the damper can handle the pressure exerted by your range hood and other appliances.
  • Duct Velocity: Choose a damper to accommodate the airflow speed in your ducts without damage.
  • Pressure Drops and Leakage: Consider the damper's impact on energy efficiency and indoor comfort.
  • Material: Decide between metal and plastic based on durability, size availability, and thermal insulation.

Hauslane Range Hoods and Your Ventilation System

All Hauslane range hoods include an internal damper with the duct adapter. To protect against external elements, you can install an external damper for enhanced efficiency. This additional step ensures that your kitchen remains free of drafts and external pollutants, enhancing the overall functionality of your Hauslane range hood.