Company Blog

The Value of a Good Damper

If you have been looking for ways to save money, then you have probably been trying to make your home more efficient. Reducing the number of areas air can leak through doors and windows can be helpful in making sure your utility bills are not increasing. When your heated or cooled air escapes out of your home, you will have to adjust the thermostat to stay comfortable, and this can make your utility bills be more expensive than necessary. All Seasons Chimney knows another tip about energy efficiency that we would like to share with you. Your fireplace damper also plays a big part in how energy efficient your home will be. We would like to tell you what exactly your damper does and why a good damper can be such a great value for homeowners.

What exactly does the damper do?The Value of a Good Damper Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons Chimney Inc.

The primary purpose of your fireplace damper, according to Do It Yourself, is to allow smoke, gases, and the other byproducts of combustion to be exhausted out through your chimney. You should always make sure your damper is completely open before you light a fire to avoid the hazardous possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. When you are not using your fireplace, you should keep the damper closed to keep animals and birds from being able to get inside your home through the fireplace as well as to make your home energy efficient by preventing cooled and heated indoor air from escaping. This is why it is important to be sure your damper closes tightly.

What are the different types of dampers?

If you need to replace an old damper, you can choose between two different types: the throat damper and the top-sealing damper. You most likely have the traditional throat style if you have an older chimney. A throat damper is made of metal and is located above the firebox. It can be opened and closed through the fireplace. The top-sealing damper gets its name because it sits at the very top of your chimney. It can also be used as a chimney cap. Connected by a chain to a lever or a handle by the fireplace, a top-sealing damper is very simple to open and close.

Which type of damper does All Seasons Chimney recommend as the best value?

Although a traditional throat damper is a less expensive choice, you will actually save more money in the long run with a top-sealing damper. The reason has to do with the fact that the top-sealing damper provides a much better seal because it is equipped with a rubber silicone gasket that guarantees that the heated or cooled air in your home will not be able to escape out of the chimney. You will notice a decrease in your utility bills after you have a top-sealing damper installed on your chimney. We also recommend this type when our customers need to replace their chimney caps. A top-sealing damper also protects your chimney from water penetration and animal invasions.

A chimney damper is a valuable component because it can improve the energy efficiency of your home. If you need a new damper, contact us at All Seasons Chimney to find out which type is the best for your chimney.

Carbon Monoxide and Its Dangers

When you are enjoying the fire from your fireplace, stove, or insert, you most likely give little thought to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) states that every year over 200 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the toxic gas entering their homes due to venting problems or leaks in their heating or chimney system. Furthermore, 10,000 cases of illnesses due to carbon monoxide poisoning are reported every year. Luckily, proper maintenance of your chimney, including an annual chimney sweep and inspection from a company like All Seasons Chimney with CSIA-certified chimney sweeps, can prevent any possible carbon monoxide poisoning incidents from happening to you and your family in your home.

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What exactly does carbon monoxide do to your body?

Too much carbon monoxide in your bloodstream will kill you, and low levels of exposure to carbon monoxide over a period of time can cause many health problems. The danger lies in the fact that when carbon monoxide is present in the air, the protein hemoglobin in your blood would rather latch on to it and ignore life-giving oxygen. When this happens, your body will replace oxygen with carbon monoxide, and this causes greater or lesser levels of your cells suffocating, depending on the duration and intensity of the exposure to carbon monoxide. Low-level exposure to carbon dioxide includes some very serious side effects like permanent organ and brain damage. People with compromised immune systems, such as the elderly, infants, and people with breathing issues, are in more danger to carbon monoxide exposure. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the common cold and flu, so it can be a long and frustrating process to diagnose the true problem. If you continue to suffer from headaches, fatigue, or even depression, ask your doctor to check your blood levels of carbon monoxide.

How does carbon monoxide form in my chimney?

As a by-product of combustion, carbon monoxide can be found in both gas and wood-burning fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces. When the combustion process is incomplete, more carbon dioxide is formed. Restricted air flow caused by closed fireplace doors, an unopened damper, or a flue blockage results in incomplete combustion as not enough oxygen is able to get in to completely burn the fuel.

How does carbon monoxide leak into my house from my chimney?

Several factors can result in this toxic gas leaking into your home. A damaged or deteriorated flue liner allows carbon monoxide to seep through its cracks into your living space. All Seasons Chimney can easily take care of this problem by restoring a damaged flue liner or even by replacing your old liner with a new stainless steel liner. Other causes of carbon monoxide entering your home include debris clogs, soot and creosote build-up, and animal or birds nests obstructing the chimney flue.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide from entering my house?

The best prevention against carbon monoxide leaks is an annual chimney sweeping and inspection from a CSIA-certified chimney sweep. All Seasons Chimney will ensure your venting system and flue liner are in good shape, and if not, we provide chimney repair services to fine-tune your chimney so that it works efficiently and safely. We also recommend you install carbon monoxide detector alarms throughout your home in case you do experience a carbon monoxide leak. These alarms can save your life!

If you have any more questions about the dangers of carbon monoxide, contact All Seasons Chimney. Our staff will be happy to answer them as well as schedule a chimney sweeping and inspection to ensure your home is free from this dangerous toxic gas.