Chimneys offer a path to the outdoors. During the cold weather, heated air can pass through the chimney and make your house appear colder than it actually is. As a result, you need to increase the temperature in your property. The opposite is also true as warm air from the outside seeps through raising inside temperatures; you need to kick up the air conditioner.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t do you any favors in the energy bill department. If you have a masonry fireplace and want to help create a more comfortable home without the exorbitant energy cost, consider investing in a top-sealing damper.
Fireplace Dampers Help Maintain Temperature Control
So, what is a damper? A chimney damper is a mechanism that controls the air flow and smoke going through the chimney flue when your fireplace is in use. And when your fireplace isn’t running and the damper is closed, it keeps the outside air out and the interior air in.
Traditional dampers are located in the throat of the fireplace directly above the firebox. Over time, they can warp or rust making them unable to provide that airtight seal you’re hoping for. This then allows cool or warm air (depending on the season) from inside the home to escape through the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. This not only affects the ambiance of your space, but ups your energy bills, as well.
A top-sealing damper seals the chimney flue at the top of your chimney instead of the bottom. It performs the same as the throat damper but is more efficient in a number ways…
Top vs. Throat: Why Is a Top-Sealing Chimney Damper Better?
So, how exactly are top-sealing dampers better than throat fireplace dampers? Here’s what you need to know:
- Airtight Seal: A top-sealing damper has a rubber gasket that ensures it creates an airtight and watertight seal. Since throat dampers were made using older technology, they do not have this advantage.
- Easy Operation: Top-sealing dampers are incredibly easy to open and close because of their accessibility. The damper is a basic metal plate that can be locked into place by simply pulling a cable mechanism located in the firebox.
- Save More on Energy: Top-sealing dampers help save energy with better temperature control. This is because the top-style closes the entire length of the fireplace, including the neck, or flue. As a result, there is zero air (which can affect the interior temperature of the house) moving through the chimney. In contrast, a throat damper has a lower seal. Because of this, exterior air can linger directly above the firebox, then eventually leak into the living space. With top-sealing dampers, you can save on your energy costs by preventing heat loss during the colder months and cold air loss during the hot months of the year.
- Prevents Interior Damage: Perhaps the best thing about a top-sealing chimney damper is that it creates a watertight seal at the top of your chimney. You’re closing the pipeline from the very top, thereby protecting the flue system from outside elements when not in use. Keeping water out of your chimney is very important. If water gets in, metal parts and the interior chimney can deteriorate causing costly repairs.
- Improves Life Expectancy: As stated before, if your flue is exposed to the elements, the fireplace flue system can be easily damaged. Having a top-sealing damper is one way to improve the life of your chimney and avoid costly repairs down the road. We also recommend yearly chimney inspections in order to maintain the safety and performance of your chimney.
When To Switch to a Top-Sealing Fireplace Damper
If you have an older home, chances are you have a throat-sealing damper. If you’re having the chimney repaired or even cleaned, this may also be the perfect time to make the switch from a throat damper to a top sealing damper. Creating the change isn’t that hard or time-consuming, and can be easily integrated during normal maintenance procedures. Ask your chimney professional about having yours installed today!
English Sweep Chimney: Contact Us Today for a Consultation!
We are a trusted chimney maintenance company located in St. Louis, MO. Manned by only experienced professionals in the field, we’ve had the privilege of serving hundreds of St. Louis homeowners who want to have a more energy-efficient home – especially during the summer season.
With energy prices continuously rising, we understand the value of producing top-quality work that helps achieve energy efficiency goals for every household. We’re committed to helping you achieve results through quick, quality, and reasonably-priced work. Contact us today for a consultation! Simply dial 636-225-3340 or reach out online now.