When it comes to efficiency, the kind of fireplace you have makes the biggest impact on how well your fireplace burns. However, there are ways for homeowners to improve their fireplace’s efficiency – without buying a brand new heating appliance. One way to improve efficiency and save energy is by installing a top sealing damper.
Throat dampers vs top sealing dampers
The majority of fireplaces have what are known as throat dampers. Throat dampers are metal plates that are located at the top of the firebox, separating the fireplace from the chimney. Throat dampers are opened and closed using a lever or pulley when the fireplace is being used. Because the only the firebox is protected from outside air, a chimney cap is needed in order to keep animals, moisture, and debris out of the chimney system.
Top sealing dampers, on the other hand, sit on the top of the chimney where a chimney cap is traditionally located. This location allows them to function as both a damper and a chimney cap; when the damper is closed, moisture, debris, animals, and outside air cannot enter the chimney. When opened, the top of the flue is still protected and smoke is able to freely vent up and out of the chimney.
Benefits of installing a top sealing damper
While installing a top sealing damper might seem unnecessary if you already have a functioning throat damper, there are a number of benefits to this chimney upgrade. The following are three of the many benefits of installing a top sealing damper.
- Safety: Using a top sealing damper can help protect your chimney system from problems such as animal and debris entry. This is extremely important as it can help prevent chimney blockages; in addition to increasing the risk of chimney fires, chimney blockages can cause incomplete venting and a backup of smoke and gasses such as carbon monoxide into your home.
- Easy maintenance: Because they are located at the top of the firebox, traditional throat dampers are easily damaged by exposure to heat from the firebox. This can cause them to lose their seal and create drafting issues in the fireplace. Top sealing dampers, however, prevent downdrafts entirely by sealing off the entire chimney shaft. Likewise, as the air temperature within the chimney is less likely to drop during the winter, warming the flue is often unnecessary with a top mounting damper.
- Energy savings: Top sealing dampers do more than just benefit your chimney system; they can also benefit your wallet! Because the chimney is not open to the outside, the air inside the flue does not experience temperature fluctuations based on the weather. This means that the rooms surrounding the chimney are also less likely to go up and down in temperature; by maintaining a more constant temperature inside, your HVAC system runs less and, in turn, leads to lower energy bills.
Installing a top sealing damper can help your fireplace burn more safely and efficiently, all while saving you money on your monthly energy bills. For more information on how a top mounted damper can benefit you, contact Lords Chimney today!