If you are a chimney or fireplace user you already know that there is upkeep and maintenance with keeping your home and family safe. If not, the two main things homeowners need to have done are chimney sweeps and inspections. If your inspection comes back with something not working properly that is not always negative news, but you should have it fixed immediately. Dampers are one part of the chimney that does need to always be working properly. If you ever are in need of chimney assistance call Environmental Chimney Sweep.
What is a Damper?
So before you worry about fixing your damper you need to know what it is and how it functions. A damper is the metal spring door that is installed to prevent a loss of heat and air from the home through the chimney when the fireplace is not in use, usually accessible by a metal chain. If a damper is exposed to water damage or creosote build up they may not close all of the way.
There are two different types of dampers: throat dampers and top sealing dampers. The throat dampers are located inside of the chimney above the firebox and use a metal plate as a seal. These types of dampers have flaws because they aren’t deigned to seal tightly and can also rust or corrode, leading to them sliding off track. Often times if a homeowner has one of these dampers they will install a top-sealing damper instead of fixing or replacing a throat damper.
Top-Sealing Dampers Work Best
Top-sealing dampers are often the favorite because they work in a different type of way. They are located at the top of the flue, leading to better energy savings and sealing out more down drafts, animals, and troublesome weather. This is because they are made using a rubber gasket instead of the metal plate. In some cases these dampers have shown 90 percent efficiency over the throat damper. Also since they close out animals they prevent fire hazards caused by animals, such as their nests or droppings. Lastly, these dampers have a longer life because they seal out anything that could be harmful to the structure.