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How to Turn Off the Fresh Air Intake on an Air Conditioner

NexGen How to Turn Off the Fresh Air Intake on an Air Conditioner

At NexGen, we lead the way in air conditioning and heating as well as indoor air quality services in Southern California. But with all the air quality testing and air purification system installations we handle, how you use your ACs intake is still important. Fresh air intakes help improve system performance and efficiency. But many people don’t know they can be opened and closed. Here, we’ll explain how to turn off the fresh air intake on an air conditioner.

Locate Your Fresh Air Intake

The air intake is typically an open duct that leads to a vent on a wall outside your home or the attic. There’s a small filter inside the vent so it can deliver clean air. This also lessens the demand on other HVAC filters. Depending on your home, it may have multiple fresh air intakes. The indoor side of an intake usually looks like a grilled vent. It’s often near furnaces or other gas appliances.

Closing A Fresh Air Damper

A damper is a device that allows, blocks, and/or adjusts the flow of air. It typically contains a frame and a blade that moves in and out of the frame using a spring-loaded mechanism. Some dampers can be adjusted in increments to manage the amount of air entering a building. There are different types of dampers, including:

To close the damper in your air intake, and block the supply of outside air, follow the system’s owner’s manual. It may require:

If manually operating the damper, slide the damper cover over the opening. Do not use a rag, curtain, or article of clothing to block it. You could end up causing damage. 

Should I Turn Off My Fresh Air Intake?

Fresh air can prevent the unit from overheating. It also improves circulation which helps your AC remove heat and humidity. Closing the damper forces the air conditioner to redirect air, which can have a variety of effects. But it may be the best option if there is a wildfire or other type of fire nearby, as this prevents smoke, particles, and toxins from getting into your home. Close all windows, doors, and other openings as well.

In addition to blocking harmful substances, turning off the fresh air intake at the right time can:

But in general, opening both the dampers and vents will help your HVAC system reach the desired temperature more quickly and consume less energy, especially in colder outdoor temperatures.

Contact NexGen to Learn More

NexGen provides heating and air conditioning installation, repair, and maintenance throughout Southern California. We offer duct cleaning and other air quality services as well. If you have additional questions on how to turn off the fresh air intake on an air conditioner or wish to schedule service, book an appointment online or call 833-729-9735 now.

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