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Magic Sweep Blog

Save Money With a Top Damper

Many chimneys today are equipped with throat dampers from ages ago. Most masonry chimneys and fire appliances utilize throat dampersTop-Mounted Dampers - Chesapeake VA which open and close the airway from the fire to the flue. This is an essential part of the chimney system and without it, the fire can be difficult to light and maintain, drafts can cause conditioned and heated air waste when the fireplace is not in use and can cause smoky fires when it becomes stuck. If you suspect problems with your damper, it’s important to call a professional right away. Do not use your fireplace if your damper is not working properly. This is unsafe for your family and puts your home at risk.

Throat Dampers Waste Money

A damaged or aged throat damper may waste a significant amount of money throughout the year, but the fact is that you’re wasting money even when the throat damper works properly. The standard throat damper is made of metal and the seal is not airtight, allowing drafts to affect temperatures inside the house. You may be losing up to 75 percent of your heated or conditioned air up the chimney, especially if your damper is damaged. You can start saving money right now by installing a top damper.

Energy Saving Dampers

Top mount dampers are also called energy saving dampers because they do the job of the damper while also saving energy, thereby saving money. The top damper is installed on top of the flue and doubles as a chimney cap, keeping animals, water, and other weather out of the flue system. The protection of a chimney cap prevents future damage caused by weather and animal intrusion. The top mount damper takes it one step further, protecting your flue from the top down with an airtight seal. While standard throat dampers take on damage from high temperatures, humidity, soot and creosote buildup, and more, the top mount damper lasts long and protects just as long.

How it works

Installed at the top of the chimney flue, the top mount damper is engaged by a cord that reaches from the damper to the fireplace opening. With the pull of a cord, the damper closes with an airtight seal. When open, the damper acts as a chimney cap, with a roof and a mesh barrier to deter animals and prevent sparks from escaping. When the fireplace is in use the damper must stay open at all times. When the fire is out, the damper can be closed, shutting off the system to the outside completely. No water, weather, or animals can get in when it’s closed. Humidity will not affect the flue, air will not come in or go out, and exterior factors such as wildfire smoke will not be allowed in either. The top mount damper is ideal for chimneys that have a damaged throat damper or damaged chimney cap. They’re easy to install and maintain, and can be easily replaced if necessary.

Magic Sweep installs top mount dampers for homeowners in the Hampton Roads and Tidewater areas. We also complete work for realtors and property managers. Call Magic Sweep to find out how we can save you money with a top damper today.

Call 757-523-2400 today.

Time for a Top-Mounted Damper?

Were your heating bills higher than usual this past winter? If so, you might want to consider replacing your old fireplace damper with a top-mounted damper. Our customers at Magic Sweep have been consistently happy with the results they have seen from replacing their old throat dampers with top-mounted models. Not only are they saving money, but they are also heating their homes more efficiently and effectively. We would like to tell you more about how dampers work and why we recommend installing a top-mounted damper when it is time to replace an old model.

Top-Mounted Dampers - Chesapeake VA

This clip is courtesy of Richie Baxley at Environmental Chimney Service in Asheville NC.

What is the purpose of a fireplace damper?

According to EnlightenMe, a damper is a plate or valave that serves to close up your chimney when a fire is not being burned. When you are burning a fire, you should be sure the damper is opened to keep the fire under control. An open damper also allows the smoke from the fire to escape through the chimney. To effectively heat your home, you should always ensure the damper is closed after the fire has been extinguished.

Why should I close the damper after a fire?

Closing the damper keeps the heated air inside your home. You may have heard of “the chimney effect,” which is when warm air rises up through a chimney and causes suction. This suction takes even more heated air from your house. A closed damper keeps the warm air inside your home and prevents cold air from leaking into your home through the chimney.

What is a sign of a damaged damper?

If you ever experience smoke filling your home after you start a fire, this is a major sign that either the damper has not been opened or has damage which has prevented it from opening. You also may notice a cold draft and higher heating bills if your damper is older and does not seal shut well.

What is the difference between a top-mounted damper and a traditional throat damper?

First, the dampers are in different locations. As you might have guessed from its name, a top-mounted damper sits at the top of your chimney. A throat damper can be found directly above the firebox. Another difference is top-mounted dampers are equipped with a silicone rubber gasket that provides an air-tight seal of your chimney when the damper is closed. This gasket does not allow cold air to leak into your home as a metal-to-metal throat damper can. Additionally, a top-mounted damper also acts as a chimney cap when the damper is closed and prevents water leaks and birds and animals from entering your chimney. Magic Sweep often recommends to our customers to install a top-mounted damper when their chimney cap has become cracked or damaged and needs replacing.

If you feel it is time for a top-mounted damper for your chimney, contact Magic Sweep. We would be happy to tell you more about why we recommend these dampers so strongly.