Your fireplace provides heat for your home, but a leaking, outdated, or traditional throat damper can cause the heat from your home to go right out your chimney. In fact, you can lose 10 to 20 percent of the warm air from your home through your chimney’s damper. Suddenly, your fireplace is increasing, rather than decreasing, your home’s heating bills!
How to tell if you have a leaky damper
If you’re unsure whether your damper is allowing heat to escape from your home, there’s a simple test you can perform. With the damper closed, place a lit candle in your fireplace. If the flame dances around, rather than remaining steady, the warm air from your home is escaping past your chimney’s damper.
This is a problem for many fireplaces with older, traditional dampers. Most fireplaces are installed with throat dampers. The dampers are metal and don’t provide a tight seal when closed. Over time, the dampers can corrode, rust, or become damaged, either becoming stuck in one position or allowing air to flow past.
What to do about a leaking chimney damper
The first thing you should do if you know your chimney damper is allowing warm air to escape from your home is to call your certified chimney sweep. The chimney sweep will inspect your chimney and firebox, including the damper. If needed, the chimney sweep will lubricate the damper so it continues to open and close easily.
It may also be time to replace your chimney’s damper. While you could go with a traditional throat damper, you should consider a top end damper. Top end tampers sit on the top of your chimney, rather than within your flue. Top-end dampers include gaskets that seal your chimney entirely when the flue is closed. A top-end damper can reduce your home’s heat loss by up to 75 percent! The dampers have the added benefit of sealing off your flue entirely from the outside, preventing rain or snow from dripping down and damaging your chimney’s flue.
Other ways to prevent heat loss
There are a few other steps you should consider to prevent heat loss from your damper. First and foremost, your damper should always be closed when your fireplace is not in use. There are also balloon-like seals that can be installed in your chimney’s flue when you won’t be using your fireplace, such as during the off season or if you’re going to be on vacation. The balloons can be removed when you’re ready to use your fireplace again.
Mason’s can save you from a leaky damper!
Making sure your damper is preventing heat loss can save you up to $500 a year on your heating bills! At Mason’s Chimney Service, we’re experienced in inspecting, repairing, and replacing faulty chimney dampers. We offer both traditional throat dampers and top-sealing dampers that will prevent the warm air from escaping your home through your chimney this winter. If you’re interested in cutting heating costs with a top-sealing damper, or if you know your damper is damaged, give us call today!