A fireplace damper serves the same purpose as a window. When it’s open, the damper allows air to blow out of your house through the chimney. When the damper is closed, it keeps the warmed air inside your fireplace and house. It should be open when a fire is burning and closed once the fire has completely burned out. Different types of dampers are associated with different types of fireplaces. The two most common types of dampers are throat mount and top sealing. For the sake of this blog, we’re going to focus on top sealing dampers.
What is a Top Sealing Damper?
A top sealing chimney damper is a device that’s installed at the top of a chimney for the purpose of sealing the flue shut when the fireplace is not in use. They create a tight seal at the top of your chimney and keep energy in your home. The top sealing chimney damper’s design is two-fold: it stops cold air from coming down the flue while at the same time prevents expensive conditioned air from going up. Top sealing dampers, as the name might suggest, fit over the top of the chimney. They are often used as replacements for throat-mount dampers that are installed just above the firebox when a masonry chimney is built.
General Information on Construction and Purpose
Top sealing chimney dampers are made of solid cast aluminum and stainless steel parts and serve as a type of gateway or cap that opens and closes when a fire is burning. A silicone gasket usually surrounds the outer edge of the damper to assist in closing off intrusive gusts of air. Resting on the very top of the chimney, it prevents many problems commonly associated with nesting animals and/or debris. While top sealing dampers are more expensive that their throat-mount brethren, they are undeniably more efficient and durable, too.
It is strongly recommended that you have your top sealing damper installed by a chimney specialist, as we are generally more skilled with jobs of this type and are also more prepared should chimney issues come to light during the installation process.
Top sealing dampers help you save energy dollars, protect your chimney from damaging water and other elements, prevent animal infiltration, and provide year-round protection for your chimney. When closed, it serves as a chimney cap and the silicone gasket provides a more airtight seal than a metal-to-metal throat damper. These dampers are specifically designed for wood burning masonry fireplace flues and should not be used for other applications. If you’re in the market for a top-sealing damper, give us a call to see how we can help. You won’t be disappointed.