Dampers are necessary. They add to the safety of your chimney, protect against animal intrusion, and help to control a flame, but can sometimes be a bother.
Throat Dampers and Common Problems
Dampers are traditionally installed in the throat of the chimney system, making them hard to access, and impossible to see. When a problem arises with the damper, the homeowner may not know the cause right away. A certified professional will be able to diagnose a damper problem.
- Rusted or Broken Damper
Because most throat dampers are made of cast iron or other metal, they are susceptible to rust in the event of a chimney leak. A rusted damper can become fixed in one position, which is dangerous for the home. A damper fixed in the closed position will not allow smoke to vent up the chimney, filling your living space with smoke and hazardous gases. A damper fixed in the open position can allow dangerous flames to rush up the chimney flue, can allow animals into your home, and even steal your air conditioned air during these last few weeks of summer!
- Loose Seal
Metal throat dampers do not offer a complete seal, allowing conditioned air to escape in small amounts around the closed damper. Even with the damper closed, some homeowners find they save up to 75 percent in utility costs by switching to a damper with a tighter seal, such as a top-sealing damper.
- Dirty Chimney and Damper
When the chimney system isn’t swept routinely, the damper can become dirty which can cause corrosion and buildup. When your damper won’t close due to a buildup, you risk losing conditioned air in the summer, gusts of wind that may affect your fire in the winter, and the general danger of a dirty chimney. It’s important to make your routine chimney sweep and inspection appointments for the safest and most efficient chimney system.
Don’t let an ineffective damper put a damper on the rest of your summer, or fall. It will soon be time to light the fire, and you want to be sure you’re lighting a fire in a safe fireplace, with a functional and safe chimney and flue system. West Texas Chimney and Venting Solutions is your solution for chimney diagnosis. We offer CSIA inspections that adhere to the requirements of homeowners insurance and municipal codes. We are proud to offer services and products that please our customers, while keeping chimney safety as our top priority.
For damper replacement, we stand by the top-sealing damper, and our customers are continually satisfied. This damper mounts on the top of the flue and serves as both chimney cap and damper. It has a tight seal and is often called an energy-saving damper because it eliminates energy loss completely. During the winter, the damper stays open while a fire is burning, and still keeps water and wind gusts out. During the summer, the top-seal protects the entire chimney system from the top, down–from animals, rain, and energy loss. You can’t lose with the top-sealing damper. To learn how you can get yours, call a West Texas Chimney expert at (806) 358-0817.