A damper is one of the most important components of your chimney. The main purpose of your damper is to seal your fireplace shut when it is not in use. This allows heated air to stay inside of your house and keep cold air from coming into your house through the chimney. It also allows smoke to leave your fireplace when it is in use; There are generally two types of dampers that are used in chimneys; throat dampers and top mounted dampers. Although both types of damper serve the same purpose there are many more benefits of having a top mounted damper compared to a throat damper.
What’s the difference?
Both types of dampers work the same mechanically. Dampers are made of small flaps which can be manually adjusted to control airflow. The main difference between these two types of dampers is their location. Throat dampers are located just above the firebox while the top mounted damper is located on top of the chimney. At Tennessee Chimney & Home, we recommend using top mounted dampers over throat dampers for a variety of reasons
Throat dampers are closer to the firebox which means that they tend to get hotter than top mounted dampers, which are further away from the firebox. Staying cooler means that top mounted dampers can use better sealants (such as silicon) than throat dampers which get too hot for most sealants. Having a nice tight seal means that less cold air is coming into your home, saving you money on heating costs.
When your damper is closer to the fire box, colder air is allowed to fill up your flue. Cold air in your flue means that rooms adjacent to your flue may need to use more energy to stay warm. A top mounted damper, however, doesn’t allow cold outside air into the flue keeping it closer to room temperature and using less energy. A cold flue also doesn’t conduct smoke out of your chimney as easily as when it is heated up. This means that smoke won’t leave your chimney as easily as you would like it to.
One of the best things about a top mounted damper is that is serves a dual purpose. It also serves as a chimney cap. Since it is located at the top of the flue, it also will help out birds, leaves, and anything else that might try to get into your chimney.
At Tennessee Chimney & Home, we know chimneys. If you feel like switching to a top mounted damper to save energy and money contact us today and see what our CSIA certified chimney sweeps can do for you.