As stated by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a damper is an important component of every chimney. Essential for an energy-efficient home, the damper keeps the heat in and the cold air out of your house, which saves you money on heating bills. Your damper is also used to control the flow of smoke, gases, and the other byproducts of combustion up the chimney to exit your home. Available in two different types, you can choose between the throat damper and the top-mounted damper. Also known as the traditional fireplace damper, a throat damper is installed right above the firebox and is found in many old masonry chimneys. However, this type of damper has many flaws and issues. At Ashbusters, we strongly recommend the top-mounted damper over the throat damper. We would like to tell you more about the benefits of these dampers.
A top-mounted damper serves two functions.
One of the main benefits of a top-mounted damper is that it also serves as a chimney cap when the damper is closed, and, to be honest, this type of damper actually gives you better protection than an ordinary chimney cap. Equipped with a silicone rubber gasket that seals in heat and air conditioning as a damper, a top-mounted damper also gives you an air-tight seal to keep out water, debris, birds, squirrels, and raccoons — just as a chimney cap would. When our customers need a new chimney cap, Ashbusters suggests that they install a top-mounted damper instead of a chimney cap. Some models of top-mounted dampers come with caps, so even when the damper is open, your chimney is still protected from debris and animals.
A top-mounted damper will save you both energy and money.
Throat dampers just do not completely seal as well as top-mounted dampers. You will not have to worry about cold air, ice, and snow entering your flue to create a cold core in your chimney. A cold core tries to cool your home at the same time that your heating system is trying to warm it up, which wastes both fuel and money. As a top-mounted damper sits atop your chimney, cold air never even has a chance to get anywhere inside because your entire flue is sealed air-tight with the silicone rubber gasket. Trust us when we say you will save money on both cooling and heating bills when you install a top-mounted damper.
A top-mounted damper is easy to operate.
With some throat dampers, you must practically stick your head up the fireplace to open and close them. When you have a top-mounted damper, opening and closing the damper is simple. A stainless steel cable from the damper drops down the chimney and connects to an easily-accessible handle which is mounted inside the firebox. Different models will have different opening and closing methods, but Ashbusters is certain you will find all easy to use.
Is it time for a new damper? Contact Ashbusters to find out why we recommend a top-mounted damper.