Top-Mount Chimney Dampers
Dampers, most commonly found just above a fireplace’s firebox, are designed to control the exchange of air between the home and outside. Throat dampers, as they’re called, are great devices for ensuring that logs have sufficient air to burn and for smoke to draft properly. Dampers also keep animals out of your house.
An even better component is a top-mount damper. Although designed a little differently from throat dampers, the top-mount versions also manage the air flow and prevent animals from entering your home. They bring these benefits plus several other very important ones.
National Chimney Service regularly installs top-mount dampers for our customers throughout Fairfield County CT and Morris County NJ. Here are some things you might want to know about these chimney components.
Cold-Air Blocking with a Top-Mount Damper
Both top-mount and throat dampers can close tightly to keep cold outside air from getting into your home. Top-mount dampers keep cold air from getting into your flue in the first place.
Cold winter air will sit heavier in a chimney flue than warm or room-temperature air. When a log stack is lit, very warm air attempts to move up into the flue. Unfortunately, the cold air can prevent the warm, smoky air from finishing its course out the top of the chimney. This is a common reason for the backing up of smoke and combustion gases such as dangerous carbon monoxide entering your home.
Top-mount dampers seal completely on top of the chimney when the fireplace isn’t being used. This makes a big difference in the temperature of the flue when it’s time to start a fire.
Cold Terra Cotta Chimney Liners
More problems can happen if you have a terra cotta flue liner. These liners absorb cold, and when hot air from the fireplace reaches them, they’re prone to cracking due to the rapid change in temperature.
A cracked chimney liner can lead to interior masonry damage and damage to adjacent building materials of the home. Compromised liners also allow combustion gases to leave the flue and move into the air you and your family breathe.
Safeguard Your Entire Flue from Animals
A throat damper will keep small animals from foraging into your home, but a top-mount damper will make it impossible for them to even get into the flue.
Animals love to build nests in chimneys, and the nesting material can create a draft blockage and serve as fuel should a chimney fire start. Animal removal from chimneys can be a messy (and dangerous) job. Get a top-mount damper and prevent the problem.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Installing a quality top-mount chimney damper can serve the same purposes as a traditional full-width chimney cap: It keeps everything out of your chimney flue – including damaging rain and snow.
Water flowing down into your flue can cause damage to the chimney liner. An unprotected concrete chimney crown can begin to crack and allow water to move into the interior chimney system, where extensive damage can occur.
Easy to Use & Maintain
Top-mount dampers have a chain and handle that allows you to easily open and close them from the comfort of your home. As to maintenance, we recommend annual chimney inspections to all our customers, at which time the damper (and all other chimney system components) can be evaluated for signs of damage.
National Chimney Service works throughout Norwalk CT, Chester NJ, Fairfield CT, Dover NJ, and all other local communities. Learn more about the benefits of top-mount chimney dampers by calling (973) 270-9295 in Morris, New Jersey or
(203) 614-9765 in Fairfield, Connecticut.