If you have a chimney in your home, the winter is either amazing (because you love having a warm, comforting fire when it’s cold outside) or horrendous (because it doesn’t work and lets in the cold air). If you fall in the second camp, the reason could be the relatively simple matter of your chimney damper. If you’re not even sure what chimney dampers are, rest assured that you are not alone and read on.
What Is A Chimney Damper?
A damper is a way to open and close the chimney. There are two reasons that you need to be able to do this. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper is closed, preventing cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer from entering your home through the chimney. When the chimney is in use, the damper has to be open so that the smoke and fumes of the fire can escape up and out of the chimney instead of billowing into your home.
A throat damper is a damper that you can reach up and open or close from the lower part of the fireplace. Whenever someone says they’re “opening the flue” what they really mean is they’re opening the chimney’s throat damper. Most throat dampers are made of cast iron and, while they’re great at letting smoke out, they are about 70% effective at preventing air from coming in the house. Because of where they are located, they are also subject to rust from moisture and warp from heat, so they don’t last as long as we might want.
A top-sealing damper sits on top of the flue in the same location as a chimney cap would be. These are often made of stainless steel and they are shielded from a lot of the fire’s heat because of their location. They tend to both outlast and outperform throat dampers. Top-sealing chimney dampers create a seal that is air- and watertight when closed.
Wood Stove Damper
Finally, the third type of damper is a wood stove damper, which is a little different than the other two. A wood stove damper lets the exhaust of the fire out through the chimney, but it also regulates how much oxygen reaches the fire to control the burn. Since wood stoves are sometimes used for cooking and not just heat, this damper allows for a little more precision.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys for Chimney Sweeping Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.