Your damper is one of the most essential components of your chimney system. Dampers let you control the amount of airflow come through your chimney opening and fireplace and block air from coming into your home when the fireplace is not in use. When your damper is open, it allows air to come into your fireplace, aiding with starting and maintaining a nice hot fire.
Without a damper, air would be able to flow freely throughout your chimney system, leading to drafty living areas and poor burning fires. At Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions, we install and maintain two different types of dampers, throat dampers, and Lock-top (sometimes called top-mount) dampers. Depending on your situation, there are pros and cons to each of these dampers. Let us help you decide which damper is right for you.
Throat dampers are a more traditional type of damper. It is located directly above your firebox at the bottom of your chimney. They are usually installed when a chimney is constructed. Throat dampers consist of set a steel or iron flaps that can be opened or closed using a handle near your fireplace. They sometimes have inflatable seals on the edges of the flaps to ensure maximum air control when closed. The main advantage of a throat damper is that they are often initially the cheapest of the two options. However, the initial cost savings are often lost in the benefits you gain with a Lock-top damper.
A Lock-top damper is a cap on top of your chimney that works when you pull a steel cable that either lift the cap off of your chimney opening or pulls it back down on top of your chimney opening. These dampers have a silicone rubber gasket around its edges, guaranteeing an air-tight seal. Its location on top of your chimney makes them very energy efficient.
This is because, when shut, the inside of your chimney stays the same temperature as your home, and not the outdoors like with a throat damper. Another reason we like Lock-Top dampers is that they also act as a replacement for your chimney cap, meaning it protects your chimney from rain, debris, and animals. Although Lock-top dampers are more expensive than a throat damper, you will save money in the long run on energy costs, plus you won’t have to buy a chimney cap.
If you have a throat damper that is failing, we at Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions will often recommend installing a Lock-Top damper. If you are in the market for a new damper, let us help you decide which type of damper is best for you. Call Hale’s Chimney and Fireplace Solutions at 972-563-6851 or contact us online today!