What does Damper Mean?

Definition of Damper in Construction
Component of a chimney / flue system that is designed to close and open from the interior of the structure.

The damper for a fireplace will shut off the upward draft within the fireplace, and eliminate the loss of heating and cooling up the fireplace flue. The damper is important to maintain and is critical to open when using the fireplace. Dampers are used elsewhere in construction and they refer to any mechanism that will dampen the air flow within a system, either by shutting if off, or slowing the flow by partially blocking the airway. Dampers are used in multi zoned heating and cooling systems to control the amount of air that is being distributed to specific areas of the structure. The use of mechanical dampers to manually control air within a flue is an old solution to heating and cooling control. Now electronic controls that are automatic and connected to sophisticated thermostats control many of the dampers installed in contemporary projects. In many instances, the damper is hinged in the middle of the ductwork or flue and simply swings around to control the air flow.