A damper is a device that is part of the chimney system which closes off the chimney flue by way of a lever or chain. The purpose is to allow the chimney to be open so that smoke goes up the chimney, or for it to be closed, to keep the heat in the house. Traditionally chimneys have utilized a damper that is at the top of the fireplace or appliance and base of the chimney flue. Many professionals are actually recommending top-sealing dampers, which operate differently, and are located in the top of the chimney.
The Top-Sealing Difference
At Brickliners we not only strive to offer the best services and keep our customers safe, but we also want your chimney to WORK for you! It’s important to us that our customers have an efficient home heating system, are comfortable, and are safe.
There are many things that can botch up a chimney’s efficiency. Many factors contribute to make your chimney work correctly, or not. A major issue that can arise with chimney flues is moisture. Water wreaks havoc on masonry, and a top-sealing damper solves this problem by eliminating water entry almost completely (at least, water entry from the top of the chimney flue). A top-sealing damper also prevents animals and debris from entering the top of the chimney flue. These things can all cause hazards in the chimney. Debris and animals can cause a blockage which can lower efficiency in the chimney, and essentially raise fire risk.
Top-sealing dampers are able to prevent animals, moisture, and debris from entering the top of the chimney because it provides a complete seal of the top. This is good also for heating efficiency. This airtight damper actually prevents your fire’s heat from escaping out the top of the chimney, therefore decreasing heat loss by 75%!
How it Works
There is usually a pull inside the fireplace or near the appliance in which homeowners can pull a cord or chain and pull the damper closed. This is to be done once the fire is well-lit, not during lighting. If the damper is allowed to be closed while a fire is being lit, the house can fill with smoke causing health hazards as well as discomfort.
When the damper is closed a complete seal is made with a rubber gasket and nothing can get in or out of the opening.
The Professional Recommendation
At Brickliners we recommend and install only the best chimney and hearth products on the market, and we together with numerous others in the industry, recommend top-sealing dampers. They lower risk of fire, lower risk of damage to the chimney and flue liner, and raise efficiency. This product is great when a damper is damaged or otherwise needs replaced. A top-sealing damper is installed on the top of the chimney and essentially replaces the chimney cap. A Brickliners chimney sweep is experienced in installation and maintenance of these dampers. We are excited to offer them to more of our customers in Northwestern Vermont.