Chimney dampers are a vital part of maintaining a safe and efficient chimney as well as a comfortable indoor environment.
How do chimney dampers work?
Chimney dampers control the airflow of your chimney. When you actively use your stove or fireplace, the damper is open to allow proper airflow and let the smoke out. When you are not using your stove or fireplace, a closed damper prevents cool or warm air from escaping your home.
What kinds of dampers are available?
- Chimney Cap Dampers
Chimney cap dampers come in different shapes and sizes, but they are all designed to keep rainwater and snow from entering the chimney. They also help to prevent heat loss when the flue is closed. The presence of a chimney cap damper can reduce all types of carbon monoxide poisoning in a chimney by preventing soot from being drawn down into the living area or carried down to outdoor areas.
- Throat Dampers
Throat dampers prevent a fire from spreading up the chimney, which can be deadly in many circumstances. It helps control heat/vapor flow, reduces draft, and catches debris, preventing combustible materials from entering the fireplace.
- Inflatable Dampers
Inflatable dampers block the flue when the fireplace is not active. As the name suggests, this damper has an inflatable design. The purpose of an inflatable damper seal is to prevent any smoke or gases from leaking into your home.
Why do you need a chimney damper?
Ensuring your chimney’s ventilation is correctly functioning is a top priority item on any homeowner or renter’s to-do list. If smoke, excess heat, or carbon monoxide cannot be directed out of your home, life-threatening consequences are sure to follow.
The different damper types are used to adjust the draft level you want. The more oxygen you allow in will help keep that fire burning strong, but on particularly windy days, you will want less airflow as to not have your cozy fire go out.
Three types of dampers are used to adjust drafts:
- Stop-type damper: A fixed device that regulates the flow of air into a given area. This allows for more or less air based on what one needs.
- Throttling damper: Allows for more or less air based on one’s needs by changing the opening of an adjustable nozzle, so that they may regulate how much airflow is entering a designated area.
- Combination stop-throttle damper: A hybrid of a throttle valve and a stop-type damper.
Over the years, chimney dampers evolved to be very efficient and highly effective. Newer designs now incorporate additional conveniences such as easier maintenance. No matter the type of damper that works best for your chimney, they all can help prevent a chimney fire from happening.
Before embarking on a shopping mission for a chimney damper, you should know the current state your chimney and fireplace are in. Contact Fiddler on The Roof to schedule your chimney inspection!