Diagnosing Faulty HVAC Dampers
#1 Weak Air Flow
Dampers regulate air flow going through the home. When the air circulation is weak, this may indicate faulty HVAC dampers. The dampers may not be moving according to the specifications on the thermostat, or they may have visible damage that prevents them from delivering adequate air circulation into the room.
#2 Strange Sounds
Hearing strange sounds from your air ducts is never a good sign. You may have mechanical parts in need of lubrication, critters crawling through the ducts, or debris hitting the walls of the ducts. Because the HVAC dampers located within the ductwork, they can cause strange sounds when damaged or faulty as well.
#3 HVAC System Not Blowing Cool Air
If the HVAC system is working properly, but you don't feel airflow coming out of your ducts, then you may have a problem with the HVAC dampers. HVAC systems may have multiple dampers to regulate airflow, so check other rooms to see if there is hot or cold air coming out of the vents.
How to Replace an HVAC Damper Motor: A Step-by-step Guide
Step 1: Locate the Damper
First, locate your zone dampers. The damper should be found around your ductwork, so you may need to check the blueprints for your HVAC system. Once you locate the damper, you should notice the motor sitting right on the damper. The motor is typically connected to different wires.
Step 2: Disconnect the Wires to the Old Damper Motor
Take a photo of your old motor to use as a reference photo later on as you place the new unit into the ductwork. Disconnect the wires from the old motor, keeping track of the connections to the motor. Label the wires to avoid confusion.
Step 3: Unscrew the Old Unit
Unscrew the old unit from its perch. You may need a hex key or pliers to do this as damper motors are often tightly bolted in place. Make sure not to damage the rest of the air duct as you remove the old unit.
Step 4: Secure the Replacement Motor
Place the replacement motor where the old unit used to perch. Secure with duct tape for a temporary fix, then connect the wires to the new unit the same way the wires were connected to the old unit. Refer back to the photo you took to know the proper connections. Once the wires are secured, bolt down the new motor, and remove the tape holding it in place.
Step 5: Test the Damper Controls
Restore the power to your HVAC system, and test out the damper controls using the control panel. If the damper functions properly, then you've successfully replaced your damper motor. If not, then you may need to re-check the wiring connections of the replacement unit.
HVAC Damper Replacement Cost
HVAC dampers cost around $350 to replace for a motorized damper, while a manual damper costs around $100 on average. Overall, expect to pay around $100 to $600 to replace an HVAC damper, whether you have automatic dampers, mechanical dampers, motorized dampers, or manual dampers.
Where to Buy a Replacement HVAC Damper Motor
#1 Hardware Stores
Most hardware stores will have damper motor replacements, as well as replacements for other types of dampers. These are often located in sections that sell other air handler parts, or ductwork necessities. However, you will need to be familiar with your existing dampers to know the type of damper replacement to purchase.
#2 Air Conditioning Repair Companies
Air conditioning repair companies can assist in purchasing and replacing the faulty unit. Our technicians at Luce Aircon are more than happy to assist you with any issues regarding your HVAC system, so you can make the repairs and replacement stress-free. In need of a new damper? Our team can find the ideal damper for your unit, and install it too.
Contact us to know more on how to upkeep your air conditioning units!