Pozzi Chimney Sweep Blog

Benefits of a Top Sealing Damper

Ever wonder what it is that keeps the cold air from rushing into your home through your chimney on a cold winter day? Maybe even what keeps the air conditioned air from leaving your home on a hot summer day? The answer to that question is the damper in your chimney. According to Homesaver, the damper is usually located in the throat of your masonry chimney, right above the firebox.

Benefits of a Top Sealing Damper Image - Aurora IL - Pozzi Chimney SweepIt actually does two things:

  • It stops the cold air from coming down your chimney, when you’re not using your fireplace.
  • Also, it stops the heated or cold air in your home from exiting through the chimney.

Is your damper is open when it’s not supposed to be? If so, you could be adding hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling costs!

How Your Damper System Breaks Down

Over time, your damper is susceptible to wear and tear, just like anything else you own. Even in the process of simply opening and closing your damper during fireplace season makes it less effective. Also, when this little metal piece is exposed to precipitation or the moist air in smoke, it can rust. This will make it harder to open and close. Exposure to heat and ashes can also cause problems with the damper over time, causing to to become warped or sticky.

The reason your damper system works is because there is a tight seal between the damper and the chimney. So, if this little mechanism gets warped or rusted, that seal is going to be compromised. Unfortunately, this can cause you to pay higher heating and cooling bills. Also, some dampers are made of steel or cast iron. These materials make it more difficult for a tight seal to be formed as well.

Top Sealing Dampers

Does all this talk makes it seem as though there’s no way to avoid a higher heating and cooling bill? Well, that assumption is wrong! Just look into the idea of buying a top sealing damper. A top sealing damper fits on top of your chimney rather than being inside the chimney. In addition, it has a rubber gasket that seals it to the opening of your chimney when it is in the down position. This assures that you will always have a tight seal; so the cool air from your house (in the summer) or the cold air from outside (in the winter) will not be allowed to go where it shouldn’t be going. Plus, this type of damper has a cable attached that hangs down within easy reach, so it’s easy to operate from inside your home. It’s a simple idea that can save you lots of money!

Call Pozzi Chimney Sweep

Are you tired of paying higher heating and cooling bills because of faulty dampers? Then consider giving Pozzi Chimney Sweep a call. They will be able to determine whether a top sealing damper is right for your chimney system, and their friendly professionals will help you find just what you need to kiss those high electric bills good-bye!

Cutting Energy Costs with Dampers

Winter made an early appearance this year in the Chicagoland area with the first snowfall occurring on the last day of October. For Northern Illinoisans, that means putting away the shorts and sandals and exchanging them for warm coats, hats and scarves. Everyone is thinking ahead to the upcoming winter, which has been forecasted to be as bitter as the last one. Keeping warm is on everybody’s mind, and for those with a fireplace, that means lighting a fire to heat up the house. Along with keeping warm, another focus is on cutting energy costs. One way fireplace users can do this is by installing and properly using a fireplace damper.

Chimney Dampers Help Save Money - Aurora IL

The damper in a fireplace is a flap, usually made of metal or ceramic to resist high temperatures, found at the bottom or top of the flue. It opens and closes using a pull chain, handle or latch, and has a variety of functions, namely controlling the flow of air through the chimney. While many assume the damper is merely a safety function to keep the house from filling with smoke and other toxic fumes from the fire, it can also help save money on energy depending on how it is used an installed.

First, the damper helps control what is known as the draft of the chimney. The draft is the flow of air from inside the house, through the fire, and out of the chimney. It begins with the hot air of the fire rising up the chimney – because hot air is less dense than the cold outside air. This creates a pressure differential between the rising hot air and the outside cold air, which effectively “pulls” the air upward in the chimney. In turn, the air in the house is pulled into the fireplace and brings along with it more oxygen to fuel the fire. If the draft is too strong, the heat of the fire is drawn right out of the chimney and does not heat the home. On the other hand, if the draft is too weak, the fire burns colder or may even burn out, filling the house with smoke. Opening the damper to the correct width can actually help control the draft and keep the air flowing at the most efficient rate.

The damper also keeps heated air from escaping the house when the fireplace is not in use. When in the closed position, the damper seals off the home and prevents any expensive, heated air from flowing out the chimney.

The position of the damper also plays a role in the efficiency of the fire. A damper at the bottom of the flue means most of the chimney is cold, and this means the hot air takes longer to escape the chimney. This slows the draft and could even fill the house with smoke if the fire is too large initially. A damper at the top of the chimney means the flue stays around room temperature all the time, so the fire lights up hot and quickly right away, without wasting any energy or leaking any smoke.

If you have concerns about the efficiency of the damper on your fireplace, contact your local chimney expert. If you live in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, near Aurora, Illinois, contact Pozzi Chimney Sweep for a professional consultation.