If last year’s big game proved anything, it proved that defense wins championships, and you must protect your assets so they can perform at their best to stand a chance at getting the trophy! In the chimney industry, Midtown Chimney Sweeps parallels this philosophy in recognizing the importance of protecting your chimney so that your fireplace can run at peak performance this cold season. If you’re looking for an upgrade to protect your fireplace this winter, look no further than installing a top seal damper!
What is a damper?
Traditional dampers are found in the throat of the chimney, which is basically where the firebox transitions to the smoke chamber. Usually made of cast iron or steel, these traditional dampers do not provide much of a seal between the outside world and the inside of your home. Additionally, years of heat and moisture can warp the damper plates, causing further issues. A top seal damper is different.
What is a top seal damper?
A stainless steel durable metal cap is installed at the top of the chimney, inside of which is a movable spring-loaded plate- the damper, which seals off the chimney flue. The damper function is installed by dropping a steel line from the top of the chimney into the firebox, which is secured with a keyhole bracket that is anchored to the side wall of the firebox.
Moving the line up or down adjusts the damper to open or closed. Many of them include a rubber or silicone gasket that provides a secure seal across the top of the damper when closed. The damper provides a seal of the entire chimney and keeps out the elements, drafts, and pests– at the top!
Benefit #1: Protection from the elements
A chimney cap protects the chimney from downpours of rain and icy snow, but the addition of a top seal damper protects from windy storms, which might allow some precipitation to work around the cap. The metal to rubber seal that is created by the damper at the top of the chimney will shed this water from the entry point, preventing expensive masonry, chimney, and even fireplace repair!
Benefit #2: Proper draft
When building a fire, a good draft up the chimney is needed so that smoke will flow with the draft out of the home. A top seal damper provides the perfect environment for establishing this draft by sealing the top of the chimney so that opposing air drafts are not established down the chimney. When the top seal damper is sealed shut, it keeps the interior of the flue much warmer than if it were allowed to access to cold temperature air. This warmth helps establish draft of the flue. Another benefit of a sealed flue is that when you are running your heater or air conditioner, keeping the top seal damper closed will keep these other home heating HVAC systems running more efficiently, as the home’s interior air won’t escape up through the chimney!
Benefit #3: Protection from pests
The top seal damper also acts as a protective barrier from pests. With the damper closed and sealed, no birds or raccoons will have the opportunity to consider your chimney as a future home. Also, our top seal dampers are enclosed with a mesh lined cap that provides protection even when the fireplace is in use!
Limit your utility bills. Make your home more energy efficient. Keep pests out of your home.
Put a damper on these issues; a top seal damper. Ask your Midtown chimney sweep about one next time you have your fireplace cleaned or your chimney inspected!