Draft is the term for the difference in pressure between a boiler’s exhaust gases and the ambient air around the boiler stacks. Ideally, draft should be slightly negative to draw the exhaust away from the boiler and prevent back pressure from developing.
If there’s too much back pressure, exhaust gases won’t be able to escape and the boiler won’t be able to fire efficiently. This can cause inconsistent performance, and increased fuel costs. However, there is a simple, intuitive way to keep the pressure in the stacks negative, and keep exhaust gases flowing at the ideal rate.
Barometric draft controls, also called barometric dampers, help maintain consistent airflow through the stacks to maintain the ideal level of negative pressure the burner requires. Because every boiler is different, draft specifications will vary from unit to unit. However, once you know the ideal draft for a burner, the barometric draft control can be fine-tuned to preserve ideal firing conditions.
Barometric dampers operate by opening and closing a butterfly valve in the stacks to restrict or increase the flow of exhaust gases. The valve itself is unevenly weighted, and will try to stay fully open. However, adding small weights to the actuating lever of the butterfly valve allows the valve position to be precisely adjusted to create the desired draft. It’s a simple, reliable way to create the best draft for your boiler based on the conditions around you.
WARE has the skill and expertise to install, service, and optimize barometric draft controllers for any boiler system. We’ll help you keep the gases flowing, and keep the heat right where it needs to be.