Company Blog

Spark Arrestors for Fall Fire Safety

As we head into fall here in the Hudson Valley region, it is important to make sure that your chimney system is ready to work safely and efficiently throughout the colder months of the year. For man working on chimney topover 25 years, All Seasons Chimney has been providing superior professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services, and you can count on us to inspect your chimney to see if you have the best components in place to prevent damage and other issues. We would like to tell you more about spark arrestors, which is one of the most essential chimney parts you need to reduce your risk of accidental fires, especially during the fall season.

What exactly is a spark arrestor?

Consisting of mesh metal wiring, a spark arrestor keeps hot embers and sparks from jumping out of the top of your chimney. The mesh allows smoke, gases, and vapors to freely pass out of your home, but it stops sparks and embers from escaping. Without a spark arrestor installed on the top of your chimney, you have a greater risk of nearby dry leaves accidentally catching on fire from the errant sparks. Most chimney caps and top-sealing dampers are equipped with spark arrestors, but if your chimney cap or damper does not have this feature, All Seasons Chimney may be able to install a spark arrestor to your existing cap or damper. We also carry a wide variety of chimney caps and top-mounted dampers from Olympia Chimney Supply. After you have selected your new component, our experienced technicians can professionally install it for you.

What are the other advantages of a spark arrestor?

Another common problem that you could have if your chimney is not equipped with this component is a bird, squirrel, raccoon, or other wild animal getting inside the flue for shelter. The mesh that stops hot embers and sparks from jumping out of the chimney also plays a role in preventing wild animals from invading your chimney. Over our years of working on chimneys, All Seasons Chimney helped our customers remove birds, opossums, mice, bats, squirrels, and raccoons from the flue, but if a chimney swift is present, you will have to wait until it leaves on its own. This species of bird is protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and the best way to keep it from returning in the spring is to make sure that you have a chimney cap with mesh metal siding installed at the top of your chimney.

Make sure that your chimney is protected from fire hazards this fall. Contact us today at All Seasons Chimney to schedule an appointment with our experienced professional chimney technicians. We are here for any of your professional chimney needs.

The Benefits of a Top-Mounted Damper

According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), a damper is an important component of every chimney. Essential for an energy-efficient home, the damper keeps the heat in and the cold air out of your house, which saves you money on heating bills. Your damper is also used to control the flow of smoke, gases, and the other byproducts of combustion up the chimney to exit your home. Available in two different types, you can choose between the throat damper and the top-mounted damper. Also known as the traditional fireplace damper, a throat damper is installed right above the firebox and is found in many old masonry chimneys. However, this type of damper has many flaws and issues. At All Seasons Chimney, we strongly recommend the top-mounted damper over the throat damper. We would like to tell you more about the benefits of these dampers.

top-mounted-damper-benefits-image-poughkeepsie-ny-all-seasons-chimney

This clip is courtesy of Richie Baxley at Environmental Chimney Service in Asheville NC.

A top-mounted damper serves two functions, allowing you to “kill two birds with one stone.”

One of the main benefits of a top-mounted damper is that it also serves as a chimney cap when the damper is closed, and, to be honest, this type of damper actually gives you better protection than an ordinary chimney cap. Equipped with a silicone rubber gasket that seals in heat and air conditioning as a damper, a top-mounted damper also gives you an air-tight seal to keep out water, debris, birds, squirrels, and raccoons — just as a chimney cap would. When our customers need a new chimney cap, All Seasons Chimney will recommend that they install a top-mounted damper instead of a chimney cap. Some models of top-mounted dampers come with caps, so even when the damper is open, your chimney is still protected from debris and animals.

A top-mounted damper will save you both energy and money.

Throat dampers just do not completely seal as well as top-mounted dampers. You will not have to worry about cold air, ice, and snow entering your flue to create a cold core in your chimney. A cold core tries to cool your home at the same time that your heating system is trying to warm it up, which wastes both fuel and money. As a top-mounted damper sits atop your chimney, cold air never even has a chance to get anywhere inside because your entire flue is sealed air-tight with the silicone rubber gasket. Believe us when we say you will save money on both cooling and heating bills when you install a top-mounted damper.

A top-mounted damper is easy to operate.

With some throat dampers, you must practically stick your head up the fireplace to open and close them. When you have a top-mounted damper, opening and closing the damper is simple. A stainless steel cable from the damper drops down the chimney and connects to an easily-accessible handle which is mounted inside the firebox. Different models will have different opening and closing methods, but All Seasons Chimney guarantees you will find all easy to use.

Want to know more about the benefits of top-mounted dampers? Contact All Seasons Chimney to find out even more advantages to this type of damper.