Your chimney’s damper is important in your home’s insulation. By sealing your chimney when it’s not in use, a damper is able to keep your home’s warm air inside where it belongs, while preventing cold outside air from getting in. There are basically two types of dampers: throat dampers and top-mount dampers. While most people don’t know the difference between the two, top-mount dampers have benefits that throat dampers simply don’t have.
Dampers are basically composed of small flaps that can be manually operated to regulate airflow. Both main types of dampers operate in the same way. The only significant difference is their location. Where as throat dampers are set just above the firebox, top-mount dampers are placed exactly as they sound: on the chimney top. While the location might not seem like much, the differences between the two are actually quite significant.
By being so close to the fire in a chimney, throat dampers can get incredibly hot. The intense heat makes most sealants ineffective, greatly diminishing a throat damper’s ability to properly insulate a home. Top mounted dampers, on the other hand, stay cool and respond far better to most kinds of sealants (silicon, for instance). This improves insulation, keeping your home warmer, and cutting back significantly on heating costs. It’s one of the main reasons that experts in chimney cleaning in Dallas, GA, prefer top-mount over throat dampers to begin with.
Also, by being further removed from the top of the chimney, throat dampers are susceptible to letting cold air build up in the flue. This has the corresponding effect of cooling off adjacent rooms, so you have to increase the heat going to those rooms just to keep up. A throat damper can actually fight against your efforts to keep your house warm! Top-mount dampers stop cold air from entering at the source: the top of the chimney. Keeping the flue closer to the temperature of the surrounding rooms keeps the whole house warmer. Cold flues are also less likely to successfully move smoke out of your chimney when the fireplace is in use, which is another reason it’s in your best interest to keep your flue as warm as possible.
An Effective Chimney Cap
To better the operation of your chimney, top-mount dampers play the important role of protecting your chimney from the great outdoors. Exposed chimneys can take in all sorts of debris. From dirt and leaves, to pests and birds, the last you thing you want is your chimney collecting any souvenirs. By having a top-mount damper installed, you’re also adding what amounts to a chimney cap, which is effective at keeping some of these unwanted natural elements out of your home. This can save you considerable costs later on when you’re looking for chimney cleaning in Dallas.
Between the improved insulation, the cleaner chimney, and the increased ability to protect your home from the cold outside air, installing a top-mount damper can make a significant impact on your chimney’s contributions to you and your family’s comfort level. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call Atlanta Chimney Doctor.