Is There A Down Side By Installing A Barometric Damper?

I purchased a Riteway 37 wood/coal stove, est mfg 1985, that is not yet installed. For example at some building sites and depending on variables such as wind direction, nearby hills, chimney height, roof shape, height of chimney top above roof, chimney cap design, nearby trees or other obstructions (yep there are a lot of variables), wind blowing over the top of a chimney can actually increase the chimney draft to a too-high level, causing the barometric damper to open even if the oil burner is not running.

Regardless of whether the draft regulator is serving an oil fired heating boiler or an oil fired water heater, soot coming out of the barometric damper or out of the flue vent pipe, or the presence of soot and burn marks on the heater, or even noises: stumbling, rumbling, noisy oil burners, as well as odors, are examples of improper oil burner operation that need prompt service.

If the breech draft is too low the combustion process and venting process may be inadequate, and if the draft measured in the breech is lower than the draft measured over the fire, the oil burner and combustion chamber are operating under pressure – which is often a problem on residential heating systems since few of them are designed to work this way.

If you check all of these out and find that the installation is correct, the equipment is all operating normally, but that chimney and wind conditions are keeping the draft regulator open (and heat is thus wasted from your home), a solution could be the installation of an automatic flue vent damper that opens before the oil burner turns on and closes automatically when the oil burner has turned off.

My Harman, technically anyway, doesn’t require a barometric damper but it works SOOOOO much better with it. If you remember that, you might also remember the rush of people abandoning wood heating and the demise of many of the companies manufacturing those stoves. The important thing is the stove will burn efficiently and deliver a reliable steady heat source. I went to a wood stove (sells coal and a few models of coal stoves) dealer in the next town and asked if I needed a barometric damper for my coal stove. As chimney draft strength increases the damper opens to allow fresh air in to the flue, thereby reducing the draft strength at the appliance.