Is Your Damper Stuck, Broken Or Inadequate?

Anyone who’s ever lit a fire in a fireplace has probably been reminded to “open the flue.” What you’re actually doing is opening up the chimney damper — a part of the system that’s installed to block off the flue when a fire isn’t burning, to minimize the transfer of air through the open chimney.

Of course, it’s important to have a properly functioning damper in place, whether or not you’re regularly using your fireplace or stove. A damper that’s stuck open leaves you wasting money and energy, as conditioned air flies out of your gaping chimney. A damper that’s stuck closed makes it so you can’t light a fire — with that closed-off flue, your chimney wouldn’t be able to properly vent smoke and toxic gases.

If your damper is broken or stuck, call Pristine Sweeps. If it’s possible to repair your existing damper, we can do the job. If repairs aren’t possible, we can install a new damper that not only returns your chimney to functioning properly, but makes it more energy efficient.

Damper Differences: Throat Versus Top-sealing

More often than not, if Pristine Sweeps is called in to repair a stuck or damaged damper, it’s what is known as a throat damper, which is installed above the firebox at your chimney’s throat. Throat dampers are very common with older masonry fireplaces, and while they can last through many years of use, they do have some drawbacks.

  • Throat dampers close the flue with a metal plate that moves on a track. That plate can corrode, rust and break; it can pull off the track; and it can get stuck on creosote deposits or debris.
  • Even when your throat damper is working the way it was designed to, it leaves a lot to be desired — a metal plate can only close off a flue so well.

If your damaged throat damper can be repaired, and you’d like to stick with it, Pristine Sweeps’ technicians routinely make repairs to these dampers. But if you need your throat damper replaced — or if you’d like to upgrade your system’s function — we can install a much better top-sealing damper.

Top-sealing dampers sit, as you might imagine, at the top of your flue, and they completely close off the flue opening using a rubber gasket. This placement and design brings a number of benefits:

  • It’s easier to install and work with, since it’s not up in the chimney’s throat
  • It provides a complete seal, which has been shown to limit energy loss and costs considerably
  • It provides significant additional protection against water intrusion through the top of the flue

Whether you need a damper repaired or installed, Pristine Sweeps will be glad to help. Give us a call at 206-574-8414 to make an appointment with our CSIA-certified technicians! You can also schedule online – click here!

 

A properly-installed chimney cap provides needed protection against water and animal intrusion into your chimney. Our renovation and rebuilding staff can advise you about what you need to do.




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