Almost all fireplace dampers are the same, a cast-iron contraption located at the top of the firebox. Many homeowners assume that these dampers are the only type. However, there’s another option and you may want to consider it. Here’s what you need to know about chimney dampers and why you should install a top-sealing damper in your home.
The Problem With Traditional Chimney Dampers
Most chimney dampers use a basic technology. A metal ring or exterior surrounds the opening of the chimney flue at the top of the firebox. A flap either folds or twists to fit into that damper when it is closed and your fireplace is not in use. The problem with these types of dampers is that they are highly inefficient, and they become burdensome over time.
Due to the extreme heat of the fireplace, metal fireplace dampers warp over time and fail to form a tight seal. The warping can also impact the mechanics of the damper, causes it to get stuck or make it difficult to open or close. Once your chimney damper fails, your chimney lose a significant amount of air when not in use. This also makes it easier for cold drafts to make their way down your chimney.
The Solution to Inefficient Dampers: Top-Sealing Dampers
If your traditional throat chimney damper has failed or is allowing cold drafts into your home, the best solution is to get a top-sealing chimney damper. A top-sealing damper is fitted to the top of your chimney, rather than placed inside. These dampers feature rubber gaskets to allow the damper to seal off the chimney entirely when your fireplace is not in use.
When you install a top-sealing chimney damper, a cable runs down the interior of the chimney. The damper is opened or closed with the pull of a chain or a lever. You’ll also notice that warm air is sealed inside your home, while water and cold drafts will never find their way in again. It will also help your chimney flue to block off wild animals and debris!
Call A to Z Chimney Services to learn more about Top-sealing Chimney Dampers!
If cold drafts is coming down your chimney or your throat damper has failed, call our experts at A to Z Chimney Services to schedule an appointment right now. We can answer all your questions about top-sealing chimney dampers, and we can also assess your chimney to find the best one for you!
Was your chimney working at its best this winter, or did you have problems with cold drafts or smoke finding their way back into your home? If your chimney left something to be desired, now is the time to make upgrades. If you are ready to increase your chimney’s efficiency this summer, there are several ways you can improve its function.
Install a Top-sealing Damper
One of the biggest chimney’s inefficiencies comes when your fireplace isn’t in use. Hot air from your home rises up and out of the chimney. In the same way, cold burst of air can blow down through the chimney and into your home. Up to 8 percent of your home’s heat can be lost through the chimney, which means your chimney could be costing you money. Your damper is meant to block air exchange through the chimney when the fireplace isn’t in use. Most dampers warp over time and fail to seal off the chimney entirely.
A top-sealing damper can solve the problem. A top sealing damper is installed at the very top of your chimney. When closed, it seals off the flue entirely. This prevents downdrafts from entering your chimney and warm air from rising out of your home. If you are looking to make your chimney — and your home — more efficient, a top-sealing damper can help.
Replace Your Chimney Cap
Your chimney cap also can help to stop drafts from entering your home through your chimney. Many homes are equipped with cheap, builder-grade chimney caps that corrode rapidly or are easily knocked out of place. Installing a new chimney cap that’s made from a strong material, like stainless steel, can help make your chimney more energy efficient. The strong material helps block downdrafts of cold air.
Repair Chimney Damage
Cracking, crumbling or otherwise weakened masonry can also decrease the efficiency of your chimney. Cracks in the masonry allow air to escape through the walls of the chimney. Having chimney masonry repaired during the summer months can help keep your home warmer, and lower your energy bills, next winter.
Have Your Chimney Relined
If your chimney is drafting inefficiently, causing smoke to come back into your home, your chimney liner could be to blame. Cracks or uneven construction can cause smoke to draft upward inefficiently and ineffectively. Or, your chimney liner could be the wrong size to efficiently draw smoke out of your fireplace. Having your chimney liner repaired or relined could have your chimney working efficiently to keep smoke out of your home.
If your chimney wasn’t working as efficiently as it could last winter, call A to Z Chimney Services today! We can install a new top-sealing damper or chimney cap, repair chimney damage or reline your chimney. Complete these repairs this spring so that it’s ready to operate at its most efficient next winter.
Knowing the Basic Parts of Your Chimney
What usually comes to mind when you look at a chimney, aside from Santa Claus of course? Warmth and heat, comfort perhaps? Yes, chimneys were made for these things. But just like any other thing, it also has to be given proper attention and care to be able to give us what we long for, and more importantly, to ensure maximum safety for the residents of the house. Having said this, homeowners should know what the basic parts and functions of the chimney are so that they can assess and address any problem that might arise. They’ll also know when to call us, the experts.
Why Do I Need to Know?
Chimneys might look perfect on the outside but a lot of hazardous and unwanted problems can occur on the inside; molds, soot and creosote build-up, blockages, etc. We think those reasons are enough for you to take the time to learn about the most basic and fundamental parts of your chimney.
Basic and Fundamental Parts and Functions
These are some of the parts you need to pay close attention to. First is the chimney crown and chimney cap which is considered the first line of defense of your chimney. It protects your chimney from any blockage and prevents water from seeping into the inside of your chimney.
Second, the flue and the flue liner which should be in excellent condition. This is where the smoke of harmful gases from combustion passes through. This also eliminates possibilities of flammable debris from gathering. You have to be mindful of creosote that might be building up in the flue walls though.
The smoke chamber is just as important as well. This is the part is found above the fireplace and just beneath the flue. It is where by products are compressed into a smaller area to prevent draft from happening and allows smoke to escape via the flue.
And last but not the least is the chimney damper. This will help regulate the energy used or unused during and after using your fireplace or wood stove. It is used to close the chimney to prevent heated air from being lost up the chimney.
What to Do Next?
We from A to Z Window Screen, Chimney Sweep & Dryer Vent Cleaning Company will be there for you and your chimney especially when you want to get your chimney inspected or if you want to get a certain part fixed. However, it’s your job to be ready to dial our numbers once you notice that there’s definitely something wrong going on. Being educated about your chimney may seem unimportant, but trust us, it will be worth it.