The Advantages of a Top-Sealing Chimney Damper
Every fireplace needs a damper. Dampers keep your house’s heating and air conditioning from escaping. It ensures that the chimney stays closed when there is not a fire in the fireplace. While there are several different types of chimney dampers available, and top-sealing dampers have several unique advantages.
More Efficient Heating and Cooling
It’s common to think that a top-sealing damper isn’t needed because there is already a throat damper in the chimney. However, throat dampers are not as effective as top-sealing dampers. Though they do function in a similar manner, there are benefits to installing a top damper in addition to the internal one. The most important function of a top-sealing damper is that it keeps cold air out of the house in the winter and warm air out in the summer. When air from outside enters your home, it affects the thermostat. Either the heating or air conditioning system in your home will be forced to work extra hard. Not only is this a waste of energy, it is a waste of money. It’s best that outside air stays where it belongs.
Keeping the Outside Out
Top-sealing dampers also keep outside materials and moisture from finding their way into your chimney and fireplace. When things such as twigs, leaves, and pieces of animal nests get trapped in the chimney, it will become clogged. This is not a good because it will cause your house to get smoky when you light a fire in the fireplace. In addition, a clogged fireplace will not allow harmful gases to leave the house as intended; placing yourself and your family at risk.
People may also believe that a top damper is not necessary because they have a chimney cap. However, the maximum amount of protection will come from using both. Chimney caps are effective in keeping rain, snow, and small animals from entering the chimney. Still, a top-sealing damper remains the most effective means with which to keep external air out.
After the Damper Installation
Once the damper is installed, it is extremely important that each member of the family is familiar with how to use it. Dampers must be opened while a fire is burning in the fireplace. If they remain closed, hot ash and even burning embers may become trapped inside. This could easily spark a chimney fire that consequentially will quickly spread to the rest of the house. Even if there are no hot ash or embers, keeping the damper closed with a fire lit can quickly fill your home with smoke.
If you already have a damper on your chimney, it’s important to make sure that it is functioning correctly. Old fireplaces dampers often do not open as they should, due to water damage or smoke buildup on the shelf. Impeded air flow results in creosote buildup, which is flammable.
Schedule an appointment online with us today and we can install a top-sealing damper on your chimney or inspect the damper you already have in place. These are important structures that will keep your family safer, conserve energy, and lower your utility bills.