There are a number of benefits that most homeowners aren’t aware of, understandably, when it comes to their chimney’s damper. Instead, you are more likely to become familiar with it when there’s an issue, such as smoke unexpectedly wafting into your living room.
If your firewood is dry, and you’re doing all the right things to get it lit with an effective firestarter, your problem is most likely that your existing damper is restricting the flow of your air.
In our experience, if you have an older, cast iron damper, which is located lower down near your firebox, it isn’t opening as well as it should. This is wasting energy and costing you in heating bills – it’s a matter that you need to address, especially if you’re wanting to use your chimney regularly during the winter season.
Is it Time for a New Damper?
Answer this: is your home 30 years or older? If yes, it most likely has an outdated, unsafe masonry chimney. So yes – it’s time to replace it with a better damper!
Our recommendation is that you need to remove your existing damper, so that smoke can flow upwards more easily. What’s the solution? A top mount damper.
There are different types of top mount dampers, but essentially, they have the following features:
They are installed on top of your chimney flue;
they effectively seal to shut out airflow, as well as unwelcome critters, when not in use;
and they are noted for including a metal chain in or beside your fireplace, that hangs down for easy access to pull open and close your damper.
The Chimney Scientists’ Two Favorites
Our team has two styles in particular that we recommend for installation, depending on your existing chimney structure, including the flue design and chimney cap: the Lyemance and pop-top dampers.
A popular option is the Lyemance damper. It works quite well, with a flap that opens and closes inside the flue of your chimney. Keep in mind that the Lyemance damper technically does restrict air flue, at least somewhat, while it is in use. It may also can cause minor smoke issues as well. In turn, our team recommends using it only if you’re trying to fit your damper underneath existing chimney caps, including multi-flue chimney caps.
A pop-top, or lock-top, damper tends to work better because it opens all the way, which means the airflow is not restricted within the flue of your chimney. If it’s feasible for your home, this is the damper you want to get!
Additional Benefits of Top Mount Dampers
Regardless of which top mount damper you opt for, the Lyemance or the pop-top, they both will end up saving you money.
Your old, rickety cast iron damper doesn’t have a gasket to seal it, so it’s both letting hot air escape and cold air come inside your home. This is impacting your heating bill, first and foremost. However, it is also allowing creosote, which causes smoky smells (when you don’t want them), to saturate your home.
The sealing gasket of a top mount damper will prevent smells. If you’ve been dealing with this before, you’ll notice a huge difference!
Schedule an Appointment
Are you interested in inspecting your current damper, or would you like to schedule an appointment to have it replaced?
Reach out to the Chimney Scientists at email@example.com
Cleaned our chimney and on a separate occasion was able to repair cracked stucco, power wash, and paint the chimney, which looks like new. When looking for a team I was surprised to see so many good reviews, but after using them I understand why. Great work, super great people. Would recommend and would use again!
I reached out to Joe to take a look at the fireplace/chimney in the 100 year old house we recently purchased. He took his time evaluating everything, taking pictures, and overall being really thorough. He gave me a helpful view into some of the damage the previous owners had done as well as a range of solutions (from free steps I could take to purchasing and installing a new insert). We spent a few weeks...
Overall experience was excellent with Chimney Scientists. From scheduling the appointment to the actual job, everything went great. Ben and Lindsay were very knowledgeable, thorough, patient and answered all of my questions. We had them inspect our gas fireplace and chimney which hadn’t been used in at least 3 years. It’s been working great since. Would definitely hire them again and would request Ben and Lindsay.