It is not uncommon for original dampers to become non-operational with age. The purpose of a damper is to close off the flue pipe and to reduce heat loss from the home during the winter and air conditioning during the summer. Once the original damper is seized, it is not always possible to get it operational again. In that case, a top sealing damper is a solution.
The benefits of top sealing dampers are numerous:
- Replaces broken or missing original damper
- Seals against heat loss and cold chimney drafts
- Cuts down on unwanted noise coming in through the chimney
- Discourages bees in the chimney
- Simple to operate
When the original damper in your masonry chimney is either missing, broken or just doesn’t seal completely, you will suffer with a cold draft of air coming into the room from the chimney during the winter. The heat that you’re paying for inside your home is escaping to the outside because it’s like having an open window. The top sealing damper essentially closes the window.
In addition, if you’ve experienced a problem with bees in your chimney, even if the bee hive is removed, the bees may return due to the pheromones left behind. When the original damper at the bottom of the flue pipe is closed, bees can still enter the chimney and can create a hive in the flue pipe above the damper. A top-sealing damper seals off at the very top of the flue pipe, making it almost impossible for bees to enter the chimney.
Make sure and visit our webpage on Bees in the Chimney to get information if you’re considering a top sealing damper to try to keep the bees out.
Photos of a Top Sealing Damper
- Bracket inside the fireplace. The bracket holds the damper chain in place.
A chimney cap is required with the top sealing damper. Visit our Chimney Caps webpage for more information on the chimney caps used for the top sealing damper installation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Unfortunately top sealing dampers cannot be installed in prefab fireplaces or Rampart General Pre-Cast systems. In addition, if you have gas logs installed in any fireplace or a log lighter to start a wood fire, code requires the damper be locked in a fully open position. For this reason, we would not install a top sealing damper even if the original damper is non-operational.