Throat Dampers vs. Top-Mount Dampers
One of the most important components of your chimney is the damper. The damper is a flap that can open and close as needed. When you are using your fireplace, you can open the damper to let smoke and air out. When you are not using the fireplace, you can close the damper to keep warm air inside. Dampers also have the added benefit of keeping debris and wildlife out of your chimney.
There are two common types of dampers to be aware of – throat dampers and top-mount dampers. It’s important to understand what type of damper your chimney has and how it works. Let’s take a look at these two types of dampers and the pros and cons of each.
Throat dampers are located at the base of the chimney where it meets the fireplace. These dampers are most common in older chimneys, but you can sometimes find them in new homes as well. The advantage of throat dampers is that they can keep your house very warm. This is because it keeps cold air from the chimney from the fireplace.
However, there are many downsides to using throat dampers that are important to be aware of. Throat dampers are very difficult to replace once they break. They can also be very expensive to keep in good condition, as they require frequent repairs. Although they do keep your house warm, they are not as energy-efficient as top-mount dampers. Additionally, throat dampers do not prevent debris or wildlife from getting into your chimney. Some newer throat dampers are inflatable, which also means that they are very easy to puncture.
The alternative to a throat damper is a top-mount damper. Top-mount dampers are located on top of the chimney rather than at the base near the fireplace. Many chimney professionals will install a top-mount damper as a replacement for an old throat damper. There are many advantages to installing a top-mount damper over a throat damper.
The biggest advantage of using a top-mount damper is that they are very energy efficient. These dampers usually have an air-tight seal, which is very effective at keeping warm air in and cold air out. They can also function as a chimney cap if you don’t already have one, keeping excess water and debris out. They also make it much harder for birds and other wildlife to make their way inside. Top-mount dampers are more expensive up front than throat dampers, but they usually last longer and require fewer repairs.
As a homeowner, it’s important to understand what type of damper you have and how it works. Ideally, you should be scheduling chimney inspections at least once per year. These inspections can identify problems with your damper and other parts of your chimney and offer recommendations for appropriate repairs. If you need professional chimney services in Connecticut, Northeastern Chimney can help. Give us a call at (860)-233-5770 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!