How Does a Top-Sealing Damper Work?


Your chimney’s aging damper could be costing you money. Most chimney dampers lie within the chimney throat. They comprise two metal pieces that, when new, make a relatively tight seal. Over time, however, those metal components warp due from exposure to moisture and the extreme heat of your fireplace. Once that seal is broken, the warm air from your home can flow freely up your chimney and cold drafts can find their way in when the fireplace isn’t in use.

You can solve this problem with a top-sealing damper. Top-sealing dampers securely close off the top of your chimney flue, keeping hot air in and cold air out.

Top-Sealing Dampers Save Money

Unlike a traditional chimney damper, top-sealing dampers are constructed to form a tight seal.  They don’t break down the way throat dampers do. With a top-sealing damper in place, air can’t easily escape through your chimney flue when your fireplace isn’t in use. In fact, it’s estimated that top-sealing dampers can reduce heat loss by 90 percent!

Top-sealing dampers come in two basic forms. Some models feature a stainless steel cap atop a diagonal spring wire. The wire expands to open the damper and compresses to close it. The top of the damper stays horizontal the entire time, so in the “open” position, the damper also serves as a chimney cap. Other models feature a low-profile frame that fits the very top of the damper. A spring pulls open the hinged damper top.

From the inside, the operation of both types of top-sealing dampers is the same. A stainless steel cable attaches the damper to a lever within the firebox that is used to open and close the damper, similar to the operation of a traditional throat damper. Both types of dampers also feature rubber gaskets that form a tight seal between the chimney flue and the outside. Top-sealing dampers most often come in stainless steel or cast aluminum, so rust and corrosion don’t wear down their utility.

Other Benefits of Top-Sealing Dampers

While preventing heat exchange might be the biggest benefit to a top-sealing damper, the benefits don’t stop there. Top-sealing dampers also do a better job at keeping water and moisture out of your chimney, saving your chimney from damage. Some top-sealing dampers are fitted with metal cages. These cages keep animals and debris out even if the damper is open. If you want to prevent warm air from escaping your home through your chimney and costing you money on your home-heating bills,

If you want to prevent warm air from escaping your home through your chimney and costing you money on your home-heating bills, call Total Chimney Care to schedule an appointment today! We can fit your chimney with a top-sealing damper to keep warm air in while protecting your chimney from water, animals, and debris.