Fireplaces can significantly boost a home’s interior value, and they can play a big role in heating your home during the colder months, allowing you to lower your heating bills in the process.
Because of this, investing in professional chimney and fireplace care is a must. Annual inspections, regular sweepings, and prompt repairs are all part of this, but they don’t cover it all. Homeowners must also ensure they have reliable and correctly installed chimney components, too. This is why we highly suggest that every masonry fireplace chimney should have a top-sealing damper.
What Kind of Damper Do I Have?
A traditional fireplace damper, also known as a throat damper, is installed right above the firebox, and is is commonly found in masonry chimneys. Unfortunately, a throat damper is susceptible to various flaws and issues that can wind up putting your system at risk. They are prone to rust and warp, and they do not provide an airtight seal when closed causing heat loss when your system is not in use.
To avoid these issue, sweeps nowadays offer a better alternative – a top-sealing damper, which sits at the top of your flue and seals with a rubber gasket.
Why Switch to a Top-Sealing Damper?
- Prevent Downdrafts: Top-sealing dampers can work alongside your chimney cap to prevent annoying downdrafts from swooping through your home. This keeps cold air from affecting your cozy wintertime ambiance, and it can prevent any foul odors from blowing into your home during the summer.
- Help Save Money: One major downside of a throat damper is that it won’t completely seal off your chimney in the winter, inviting cold air into your flue. This essentially creates a cold core in your chimney, which then ends up cooling off your entire home – and causes your heater to go into overdrive. Since a top-sealing damper sits on top of your chimney and seals up tight, it’s impossible for cold air to get inside your home. Thus, your heating system won’t have to work overtime just to provide sufficient heat – and you won’t be losing tons of money on energy bills.
- Promote Energy Savings: If the flue is properly sealed while you’re running your HVAC system, your heater will perform more efficiently since the warm air it provides won’t escape through the chimney. The same goes for your A/C in the summertime. A top-sealing creates an air-tight seal at the top of your flue, helping you save on precious energy costs.
- Protection Against Harsh Elements: Moisture is the number one enemy for your chimney system, and if water gets in, both your fireplace and damper will be susceptible to stains, rust, cracks, and other forms of deterioration. However, by investing in a top-sealing damper, you can keep harsh rains, snow, sleet, and more out of your flue.
- Easy To Operate: Usually, a top-sealing damper has a stainless steel cable that’s attached to the device itself. At the end of this stainless steel cable is an easy-to-access handle, which can be mounted inside the firebox. Although there are different models and types of top-sealing dampers, we assure you that all types are easy to operate.
- Keep Animals Away: Some animals find chimneys the perfect place to build their nests and homes. However, this can result in blockages, chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and chimney damage. In return, your fireplace will no longer function properly and efficiently, and your loved ones could be put at risk.
- Reduce Risk of Blockages: When airways are blocked up by critters or any other flying debris, your system’s airflow is bound to suffer. Thus, you’ll be more prone to smoke in your space, which is harmful to your belongings and may cause health issues. A top-sealing damper locks your flue when closed preventing outside debris and animals from entering in the first place. That extra layer of protection could save you lots of hassle down the line.
- Makes Fires Easier to Light: Struggle to light your fireplace because your flue is too cold? Because top-sealing seal at the top of the chimney, your flue will stay warmer, making future fires much easier to light.
Call Today for Quality Protection
Who doesn’t love using their fireplaces for family gatherings and to combat the dropping temperatures? In order for your fireplace to function as intended, proper care and maintenance are a must, and a top-sealing damper cap is an essential feature that every masonry fireplace should have.
If you have a damaged throat damper or are interested in a new damper for your masonry chimney, Advance Chimney Specialists always advises opting for a top-sealing damper. Give our techs a call at 412-729-2446 today for more info or you can reach out online to book an appointment. We’d love to hear from you soon!