Total Chimney Care's Blog

Throat vs top-sealing chimney dampers

Did you know that you have an alternative to a traditional chimney damper? Most homeowners are familiar with throat dampers, which are located just above their fireboxes. While most fireplaces and chimneys have this type of damper, throat dampers actually aren’t the best option for sealing your chimney. If your chimney throat damper isn’t performing the way it should, you should consider installing a top-sealing damper.

The problem with traditional throat dampers

Just because chimney throat dampers are the most common dampers doesn’t mean they are ideal. Throat chimney dampers feature a metal-on-metal closure. The dampers are a metal disc or flap that sits inside a metal ring or frame. When the damper closes, the flap sits in place to block off the chimney opening. Because these dampers are metal on metal, air can seep around the edges of the damper flap. On chilly winter days, that can allow warm air from your home to escape around the edges of the chimney flap, which means you waste energy. When cold winds blow, they can blow down your chimney and around the edges of the damper, chilling your home and making it feel drafty.

Over time, throat chimney dampers tend to get worse in terms of performance. The extreme heat from your fireplace can cause the damper to warp. Any moisture that finds its way down the chimney can cause the damper to rust. Warping and rusting can cause gaps around the chimney damper to become more severe. They can even cause the damper to get stuck in place so it won’t open or close at all.

Top-sealing chimney dampers

Top-sealing chimney dampers are the superior choice when it comes to efficiency, durability, and function. They are installed at the top of the chimney flue opening, on the exterior of your home. It has a rubber gasket around the edge that seals completely when the damper is closed. This prevents warm air from rising out of the chimney and cold blasts from finding their way down your chimney and home. The tight seal also prevents moisture from finding its way into your chimney. It will seal out any animals or debris that might accidentally find their way into your chimney. Top-sealing chimney dampers operate as simply as throat dampers, so you won’t notice much of a difference. However, you will see rewards as you lose less heat from your chimney and your chimney securely blocks out cold air, moisture, animals, and debris.

Top-sealing dampers are far superior compared to traditional throat dampers in every way. If you are ready to make your home more efficient, you should seal off your chimney with a top-sealing damper, call Total Chimney Care! We can install a top-sealing damper to make your home more efficient and protect your home and chimney from water damage!

By Steve Sobczak on June 28th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Reasons to have your dryer vents cleaned

With so many things on your home maintenance to-do list, it is easy to let tasks fall by the wayside. Clothes dryer vent cleaning is an often forgotten or put-off task, but this task is very important. Here are the key reasons to have your dryer vents cleaned by the professionals at least once a year. At Total Chimney Care, we offer this service for your family to protect your home and extend the life of your clothe dryer.

Reason No. 1: Dryer vent cleaning lowers your home’s fire risk.

clothes dryerThe biggest risk of not having your clothing dryer vents cleaned is the risk of a home fire. When you have clogged dryer vents, the dryer’s heating element can easily overheat and cause your dryer to ignite. Nearly 15,000 home fires each year are caused by clothes dryers. To lower your risk of a fire caused by a clothes dryer, the National Fire Protection Association recommends having your dryer vents cleaned and inspected by a professional at least once per year.

Reason No. 2: Clogged dryer vents pose a carbon monoxide risk.

If your clothes dryer is gas fueled, a fire isn’t the only risk posed by clogged dryer vents. Clogged dryer vents also can lead to a dangerous, or deadly buildup of carbon monoxide within your home. Gas dryers are a combustion appliance. When your dryer is at work, carbon monoxide is generated. Your dryer vents allow the carbon monoxide to safely exit your home. When clothes dryer vents are clogged, the carbon monoxide is forced back into your home. If carbon monoxide levels build up to dangerous levels within your home, it can sicken your family.

Reason No. 3: Clean dryer vents can save you time and money.

If your clothes dryer vents are clogged, your dryer won’t operate efficiently. This causes your clothes to not dry within a single dryer cycle, which means you’ll spend more time doing laundry. Therefore, you are running multiple cycles to simply dry your clothes. Those extra dryer cycles also cost money. By having your dryer vents professionally cleaned, you allow your clothes dryer to operate efficiently, which saves you time when you do laundry. It also helps to keep your energy bills low because you won’t have to run your dryer overtime.

Reason No. 4: Keeping dryer vents clean extends your dryer’s lifespan.

Dirty dryer vents can take a toll on your clothes dryer. The additional cycles that is needed to dry clothes when dryer vents are clogged means extra work for your clothes dryer. Overheating caused by clogged dryer vents can damage your dryer’s working components. Because of the toll clogged dryer vents have on the dryer, cleaning your clothing dryer vents can extend the lifespan of your clothes dryer. This helps to save you money from having to replace your dryer prematurely.

There are many reasons to have your clothing dryer vents cleaned, from keeping your home and family safe to lowering your energy bills and keeping your dryer running smoothly. If your clothing dryer vents are overdue for a cleaning, call Total Chimney Care to schedule your dryer vent cleaning at 203-874-6772 today.

By Steve Sobczak on January 30th, 2019 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment