Backdraft dampers allow air to flow efficiently through the ducts, preventing the influx of unwanted air inside while simultaneously optimizing energy efficiency. They are designed to overcome the limitations of a traditional volume control or butterfly damper. 

The quality of air in your home and workspace is essential to maintaining a good, healthy lifestyle. Backdraft dampers help accomplish this by working as a one-way-flow air valve, e.g. allowing exhaust to the outside and preventing the intake of unwanted air.

By acting as a safeguard in a residential HVAC system, backdraft dampers can help maintain a consistent temperature, causing less strain for heating and cooling systems.

In an industrial facility, backdraft dampers can prevent system backflow, reducing the potential for harmful chemicals or exhaust to re-enter the system.

Components of a Backdraft Damper


These close the gap between the damper and the frames and allow blades to move independently from the frames.


Seals are installed at the balancing piston of the damper and enhance the overall stability of a damper.

Blade Type

Blades are the centerpiece and most important part of a backdraft damper. They pivot and adjust their positioning to let air flow outwards while preventing unwanted air from entering the system. Many backdraft dampers operate using a single blade, while others built from multiple blades.

The Frame

The portion of the damper that houses damper blades, seals and linkages. The frames are what makes a damper sturdy.

Types of Backdraft Dampers

AWV makes various types of backdraft dampers, each designed with unique specifications to maximize their benefits. 

Aluminum Wall Vent Reversible Backdraft Damper 

  • Aluminum finish for additional strength 
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Mainly used to regulate air supply in exhaust systems (not applicable for dryer and laundry systems)
  • Unique angled hood design to maximize airflow
  • Comes with an insect screen installed inside the ducts to prevent small birds and insects from getting trapped inside the duct
  • Available in different sizes 

Butterfly Backdraft Damper 

  • Made from galvanized steel
  • Preferable for heat exhaust systems, solar heating systems, or exhaust applications where a powered damper is not required
  • Comes with a foam seal for minimizing any air leakages
  • Reduces energy loss
  • Available in different sizes according to your requirements

Galvanized Wall Vent Reversible Backdraft Damper 

  • Sturdily constructed from heavy-duty galvanized steel
  • Mainly used to regulate air supply in exhaust systems (not applicable for dryer and laundry systems)
  • Comes with a backdraft damper that can be used interchangeably inside the duct system
  • Angled design to maintain airflow and a balanced profile
  • Comes with an insect screen inside the duct

Residential Applications

Residential backdraft dampers are easy to install and are used in bathroom exhaust systems, clothes dryer vents, and pantry hoods to regulate airflow and provide better air ventilation. 

Regulation of Airflow

Maintaining the airflow system in your home is essential to keep out germs, bacteria and other pollutants that can enter your premises and put your health at risk. If you have family members who suffer from allergies or asthma, improper air regulation is likely to make these conditions worse. 

The best thing about backdraft dampers is that it lets you control the airflow in and out of the house, so you can stay warm during the winters by keeping cold bursts of wind outside. Similarly, during heavy wind storms or blizzards, backdraft dampers can prevent debris from coming inside the house.

Investing in high-quality backdraft dampers is a worthwhile investment for a healthy lifestyle. 

Improved Household Ventilation 

An effective ventilation system is essential for comfortable living. Whether it is to prevent the food odors from the kitchen from wafting across the building or keeping the attic’s dusty smell out of the living area, backdraft ventilation systems adjust airflow and help regulate clean air for you to breathe. 

You can install backdraft dampers in any ducts or opening across your building, with full confidence that they will work without noise or loud vibrations.

Commercial Applications

When used for commercial purposes, backdraft dampers act as both gravity dampers and control dampers.

When used as a gravity damper, it allows air to flow in only one direction, and when used as a control damper, for example, in wind propellers, it can prevent the wind from causing the fan to run backward which is powered through a motor.

For industrial uses, backdraft dampers use motor blades and counterbalancing weights to adjust the pressure of air control in your required system. 

Motor blades can help the dampers open and close without relying on a specific air pressure, and adjustable weights allow users a more precise way of decreasing the pressure. 

Some examples of industrial backdraft dampers include: 

  • Fan Accessory Industrial Backdraft Damper – Recommended for low temperatures and clean air applications like blower outlets for automatic isolation. The assisting springs and counterbalancing weights reduce the load on bearings and linkages. 
  • Relief Damper – Used to maintain a constant airflow at various air pressures. It automatically closes when there is a change in the differential pressure, such as built-up pressure in duct systems.
  • Barometric Relief Damper – Used for gravity ventilation and low-velocity systems, like stairwell and room pressurization.
Editorial Contributors
Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield

Matt Greenfield is an experienced writer specializing in home improvement topics. He has a passion for educating and empowering homeowners to make informed decisions about their properties. Matt's writing focuses on a range of topics, including windows, flooring, HVAC, and construction materials. With a background in construction and home renovation, Matt is well-versed in the latest trends and techniques in the industry. His articles offer practical advice and expert insights that help readers tackle their home improvement projects with confidence. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, Matt's writing is sure to provide valuable guidance and inspiration.

Learn More