In this guide, we will discuss the functions and advantages of installing a top-sealing damper.
If you want an energy-efficient home, one of the things you need to do is have a top-sealing damper installed. This is an effective way to cut down on heating bills.
So what does a chimney or fireplace damper do and what are its benefits? These are some of the areas we’ll be dwelling on.
Basically, there are two types; the throat damper and the top-sealing damper. The throat damper can easily be accessed from the fireplace while the top-sealing damper is located right at the top of the chimney.
Of the two types, the top-sealing damper is recommended.
Uses of the Top-Sealing Damper
Before we get into its advantages, it’s necessary to first begin by stating its uses.
Pretty much all damper types serve the purpose of letting the smoke out and also keeping out cold or hot air. Did we just say keeping out hot air?
You’ll want to hold on for some explanations.
The general idea of chimney use is to heat a home during winter or cool weather. Here, you want to keep the house as warm as possible while keeping out cold by sealing the damper. However, the reverse is true in summers.
As the home gets warmer, you need to turn on your air conditioning unit. Whenever you do that, it creates a negative air pressure in your home when the doors and windows are closed.
This suction action created by the AC seeks the path of least resistance. This is presented by the fireplace.
With the damper open, hot humid air is easily drawn down your chimney, thus driving up energy costs. With the damper shut, the air passage is minimized, and better cooling of your home happens.
6 Benefits of Top-Sealing Dampers
If you can’t seem to make up your mind on whether to have a top-sealing damper installed or a throat damper, this information on the benefits of a top-sealing damper should help.
As stated earlier, top-sealing dampers are installed at the top of the chimney.
Its benefits are numerous and include savings on energy costs, enhanced safety, and also efficient heating & cooling. Other benefits include its ease of operation, its doubles as a chimney cap, and ease of maintenance.
Savings on Energy Cost
Every homeowner will want to optimize their energy consumption. In other words, you’ll like to save on energy costs. This is one of the several benefits derived from top-sealing damper use.
With this damper in place, there are fewer temperature fluctuations as is common when not installed.
With a more regulated internal temperature, your HVAC systems work less. This directly impacts the consumption of power or electricity driving such HVAC systems.
Asides from the HVAC systems, your fireplace consumes less fuel.
Once your home is heated, the heat is easily trapped, thus eliminating the need to constantly burn fuels. Both scenarios enable you to save on energy costs.
Persons with chimneys will readily agree that animal incursions and debris accumulation are commonplace (at least for chimneys without a top-sealing damper). This leads to all sorts of problems including chimney blockage.
Blocking off the chimney, whether by animals or debris will result in improper functioning including partial venting. This situation is bound to cause a backup of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide.
With a top-sealing damper in place, all such problems are eliminated.
Efficient Heating & Cooling
Whether there’s a throat damper in place or not, the top-sealing damper does a lot of good in promoting efficient heating and cooling. In winter, cold air is kept out of the house, but that isn’t where it ends.
In summer when the weather is warm, the damper still helps keep out warm air.
This helps with efficient heating and cooling as your HVAC systems or fireplace don’t need to be overworked. This helps you save on heating costs, plus makes for more efficient heating and cooling.
For this to happen though, your top-sealing damper needs to be properly installed by a professional.
Ease of Operation
Operating or using a top-sealing damper isn’t a complicated process at all.
Simple actions such as opening and closing are all that’s required. Now, your top-sealing damper make may have a different opening and closing procedure compared with others.
Whatever the case, it’s not difficult to figure out. Plus, you can have your installer help out with simple use demonstrations. Having learned the process, it’s important to teach household members how to operate.
This helps prevent improper usage.
Can Serve as a Chimney Cap
One of the benefits of having a top-sealing damper installed on your chimney is that it can also double your chimney cap.
Whether a chimney cap is installed or not, the top-sealing damper does an even better job as it properly seals the opening, thus serving as an effective covering against the elements among other things.
It has a silicone rubber gasket that tightly seals the flue, making it airtight which enhances efficiency. You’ll need to have it installed by a professional to achieve this level of efficiency.
Easy to Maintain
Unlike throat dampers, top-sealing dampers are located further out from the heat of the fireplace.
This makes them maintain their seal and eliminate drafting issues. There’s no need to have your flue warmed before starting a fire because the flue temperature stays warm all through winter.
Compared to throat dampers, top-sealing dampers last much longer and tend to be more durable. With these in place, you’ll continue using them for many years.
Have A Pro Inspect Your Damper Regularly
Although a top-sealing damper is mostly designed to be durable, it’s important to have it checked once in a while.
This procedure is best performed by a reputable chimney technician. Here, other chimney components are also inspected to determine their efficiency.
When problems are detected, these should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent further problems in the future. If you plan on relocating to a new home, it’s best to have the chimney system inspected before entry.
The condition of the top-sealing damper and other components should be noted as well.
Now that you know the advantages of a top-sealing damper over types, it’s easy to see reasons for installing these.
You may also want to discuss with a professional chimney technician before installation.
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