Most people that own a fireplace know that a damper is important for controlling airflow in and out of their fireplace. However, a lot of people may not realize that the type of damper they have installed in their chimney system could have a major effect on their home heating and cooling costs. Not all dampers are created equal and we here at Northeastern Masonry and Chimney want to help you determine if the damper that you are using is costing you money.
How does a damper work?
Dampers act as a gate inside your chimney. When the damper is closed, it blocks outside access to your fireplace. This helps keep outside air from coming inside your home and keeps inside air from going out. You usually want to keep your damper closed all times that your fireplace isn’t in use. When you open your damper, air is allowed to flow freely inside your chimney. You will always want your damper open when your fireplace is in use to allow smoke and other gases to leave your home. Having your damper open also allows new air to flow towards your fire, which creates a hotter, cleaner burning fire.
Issues with throat dampers
Most older chimney systems use a throat damper. A throat damper consists of a metal frame with metal flaps that can be open or closed with a chain. Throat dampers sit right above your fireplace. Throat dampers do a fine job blocking airflow, however, since the flaps that block the air are made of metal that rests on metal, they aren’t airtight. This means some air may leak through the damper. Another issue arises due to the throat damper’s location. Because it sits right above the fireplace, outside air is allowed inside a large portion of the chimney. This makes it easier for the cold air inside your chimney to leak into the room adjacent to it.
If you need to replace an old or damaged throat damper, it would be a good idea to switch to a top sealing damper. These types of dampers block air at the top of your chimney, instead of the throat. Top-sealing dampers are designed with a rubber gasket around the opening, which means that they seal much better than the metal on metal seal that you get with throat dampers. Since air can’t get down your chimney, this means that the inside of your chimney will remain at an ambient temperature, increasing your home’s heating efficiency. In fact, top-sealing dampers are about 90 percent more efficient than throat dampers. In addition to better efficiency, top-sealing dampers won’t allow debris, rain, and animals to enter your chimney.
Let us help!
You don’t have to live with an inefficient damper anymore. Our technicians at Northeastern Masonry and Chimney are experts at damper installation and we guarantee that you’ll be happy with their work. Call us today at 518-767-9314 or contact us online to schedule a damper replacement and start saving money today!