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Time for a Top-Mounted Damper?

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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.