Q:

What is a barometric damper on an oil furnace?

A:

Quick Answer

A barometric damper regulates how quickly the draft, or heated air and combustion gases, moves within an oil furnace. A barometric damper is installed between the furnace exhaust pipe and chimney in order to also block backdrafts of outside air into the heating element.

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Full Answer

Barometric dampers, which are also called draft regulators, are designed to make oil furnaces more efficient. A draft that is too slow leads to incomplete combustion, increases soot buildup and does not effectively purge carbon monoxide out of the system. A draft that moves too quickly vents more heated air outside instead, allowing for it to transfer into the building. This can also cause hot chimneys, a major fire hazard.

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