Regulating Air Flow
Having a fireplace and chimney can be a great addition to a home but they do require a certain amount of upkeep. For this reason, many homeowners try to cut corners and avoid making necessary maintenance repairs for their chimney. However, when the time comes to purchase or replace a top sealing damper, it is important to understand that this is a necessity and not an option.
A top sealing damper makes sure that the chimney stays closed when there is not a fire in the fireplace. Many people think that they do not really need one because they already have a throat damper inside of their chimney. However, a throat damper is not as effective as a top sealing option. They function similarly but there are benefits to installing a top damper in addition to the internal one.
One of the most important benefits of a top sealing damper is that it keeps cold air out of the house in the winter and warm air out in the summer. When outside air enters the home, it affects the thermostat, causing either the air conditioning or the heating system to work overtime. This is not only a waste of energy but it can lead to a waste of money in the power bills. It is best to ensure that the outside air stays where it belongs, outside of the home.
Keeping Moisture and Debris Out
In addition, a top sealing damper keeps foreign material and moisture out of the chimney. When things such as leaves, twigs, and even pieces of animal nests get into the chimney, it quickly becomes clogged. This is certainly an annoyance to many people because the living space will become smoky during a fire. Most importantly, however, it can be dangerous because hazardous gases cannot leave the home as they are intended, putting the family at serious risk.
There are some people who believe that they do not need to install a top sealing damper on their chimney because they have a chimney cap in place. In order to provide the maximum amount of protection for the chimney, it is best to use both. A chimney cap is an effective way to keep rain, snow and even small animals from getting into the chimney. However, a top sealing damper is best for keeping out the external air.
After installing the top sealing damper, it is necessary to make sure every family member using the fireplace knows how to use it properly. If the damper remains closed during a fire, it is possible that hot ash and even burning embers can become trapped inside. This can lead to a chimney fire that quickly spreads throughout the entire home. Even if there is not hot ash or ember present, a closed damper can quickly cause the home to fill with smoke.
Homes that already have chimney caps can benefit from installing top sealing dampers as well. These important structures should not be seen as options but as a vital part of chimney and fireplace safety. They not only keep the home safe but also help conserve energy and lower utility bills.