A damper is a gatekeeper. It’s like a tollbooth, controlling the flow of “traffic” — in this case air — in and out of your chimney. Like a tollbooth, a damper can cost you money, or save you money (like using EZ Pass). Unbeknownst to you, a dislodged damper may be costing you money. It might be letting cold air creep into your house, which makes your fireplace or stove work overtime. Trained Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians can ascertain if your damper opens and closes properly. Have our experts determine whether your damper is sealing off air or letting it move as it is supposed to.
Do you feel cold air coming from your chimney when it is not in use? That’s not a good sign. Drafts of cold or chilly air may be an indication that your damper is opened. Even if the opening is relatively narrow, it could compromise the usefulness of your fireplace and chimney. And that costs you money in wasted fuel use.
Allowing warmed air to escape through the chimney or allowing cold air to “invade” your home is counterproductive. Chimneys need that “gatekeeper.” A properly working damper also prevents rain and debris from getting into your firebox and flue.
Your heating system may be configured with a throat damper, situated above the firebox. A throat damper employs a metal plate to close off the flue. Unfortunately, this method typically does not result in a complete seal, allowing for a significant amount of air leakage. Over the course of time, the metal plate can rust or corrode and get stuck or come off of its track.
Maybe your damper is damaged. A damaged damper should be repaired or replaced to prevent smoke problems and high utility bills. If your damper is rusted shut, it can cause smoke to flow back into your home and can make enjoying your fireplace a challenge — not to mention the potential health and safety concerns arising from unwanted smoke in your living quarters.
Sometimes these dampers can be repaired. Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney technicians today to carefully inspect your damper’s efficiency. We can offer expert guidance on potential damper repairs or replacements.
The good news is that damper designs and technologies have matured. Experts have found that a top-sealing damper is often a better mechanical solution, blocking air when needed or facilitating airflow when required. Top-sealing dampers are installed at the top of the flue, and they close it off using a rubber gasket, which provides a far more complete seal. That complete seal saves energy and money by keeping your flue tightly blocked when you’re not using it. Top-sealing dampers have been shown to be as much as 90 percent more efficient than throat dampers. Top-sealing dampers also provide much better protection against water and animal intrusion. Unlike traditional throat dampers, top-sealing dampers are not susceptible to rust and corrosion. Even if your throat damper is functioning, a top-sealing damper can reduce your energy costs and therefore pay for itself in a few years.
We are proud of our 35 years of experience. If you live in the Capital District, Central or Northern New York, the Hudson Valley or western Massachusetts, call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney today at 518-767-9315, or schedule an appointment online.