Fireplace dampers will open your chimney or seal it from the outside elements. They are often seen as a gateway between your fireplace and the outside world. If you are thinking of installing one, you need to know about the different types of fireplace dampers that you could get.
The Chimney Top Damper
As the name suggests, this type of fireplace damper will be mounted on the top of the chimney. They will serve a dual purpose of being an energy-saving sealer and a protective chimney cap. These types of fireplace dampers will have a metal cap or gate which is controlled by a lever or steel cable inside the fireplace.
To provide a leak-proof seal, these dampers will generally have silicone rubber gaskets. They are among the most durable and will provide a seal for the whole chimney flue. The only issue is that the metal part will weather over time and could cause slight restrictions in the chimney which does not allow for a proper draft.
The Throat Dampers
If you are looking for a damper that is installed at the lower end of the chimney flue, the throat damper will be the best solution. These dampers will be placed either above or below the original damper and consist of inflatable seals that plug the flue and deflate when it needs to be open. These are a less expensive damper and will be easier to install than the chimney top damper.
These dampers come in a range of sizes which makes them easily adjustable to different flues. They are also among the easiest to use, but there are some problems that you need to be aware of. The primary issue with these dampers is the fact that they do not prevent leaves, animals and other items from the outdoors from entering the flue. These dampers can also be punctured or forgotten about when you start a fire.
Seals For Metal Fireboxes
If you do not have a built-in mason fireplace, you could get a metal pre-fabricated one instead. These fireplaces will have vents in the front and pipes with flapper valves for opening and closing. When you first get these fireplaces, you will not need a damper because the valves will create the seal for you.
The problem is that over time, these valves will not seal properly and the front vent can allow for unwanted airflow. This is when you need to look at damper solutions for the fireplace and the best solution is magnetic covers. These magnetic cover will help with the vents and the valves, but you need to use them correctly. You will also need to ensure that they are properly installed so you get the most from them.
There are many different types of fireplace dampers that you can get. The type of damper will depend on the fireplace that you have as well as your budget. The throat damper is cheaper than the top mounted one, but will not offer the same protection from outside items. Magnetic covers should only be used when you have a metal firebox.