How Dampers Can Reduce Energy Consumption
Energy costs are skyrocketing in Batavia and throughout the Western New York region. Since dampers regulate airflow in appliances, your damper may need repair or replacement if you’re noticing a spike in energy bills. While a fireplace typically has a manual damper, a central heating and cooling system usually has an electric damper. Studies have shown that damaged or malfunctioning dampers can increase energy costs by 20 to 30 percent!
What is a Fireplace Damper?
A fireplace damper is an iron or metal device typically installed in the chimney throat above the firebox. Opening or closing the damper prevents outside air from entering the flue, much like a window in your home. It must be in an open position to start or maintain a fire. Otherwise, smoke and carbon monoxide will back up into your home. Closing the damper after the fire burns out keeps the warm air inside your home. Also, closing the damper when not using the fireplace reduces cooling costs because it prevents the conditioned air from escaping through an open flue.
Is a Damaged Damper Increasing Your Energy Costs?
The damper includes a rubber gasket that creates an airtight seal when shut. However, the gasket can crack or strip away due to normal wear and tear, UV exposure, moisture, and creosote build-up.
A damaged gasket hampers its airtight seal, leaving pockets for indoor air to escape, which increases heating and cooling costs. Also, since the damper is typically located close to the firebox, it is prone to warping, rusting, and corrosion. As a result, a damaged damper doesn’t function correctly, increasing energy costs. It also allows water, pests, and debris that can damage the firebrick, resulting in extensive repairs or rebuilding. It also increases the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Improve Heating Efficiency with a Professional Chimney Inspection and Cleaning
So, how can you find out whether a damper damage is contributing to higher energy bills? The only way to determine whether your chimney components are efficiently operating is to schedule a yearly chimney inspection. Call us at (716) 482-1820 to schedule an appointment with a certified chimney professional in the Greater Buffalo and Rochester metropolitan areas.
Install a Top-Sealing Damper
We often recommend customers install a top-sealing damper when it’s time to replace a throat damper. Mounted on top of the chimney, the spring-assisted mechanism makes it easier to operate and seals the entire flue when shut. It reduces energy costs all year long, saving hundreds of dollars annually in wasted energy. A top-mount damper also serves as a chimney cap, keeping precipitation, wind, wildlife, pests, and debris from causing flue obstructions or downdrafts.
Upgrade Your Fireplace with an Insert
A traditional masonry fireplace retains only about 15 percent of the heat it generates, which increases wood or gas fuel costs. A wood-burning or gas fireplace insert is a game-changer. Due to its closed combustion technology, an insert distributes 70 to 85 percent of the heat it generates into your living area, consuming one-third of the fuel and significantly cutting energy bills. The Felgemacher Fireplace Shop has a large selection of fireplace inserts in a variety of sizes and styles to meet your home heating needs. An insert is also an affordable way to add an energy-efficient gas or wood fireplace in a home without a pre-existing fireplace or chimney.
Fireplace Dampers: Repair, Replacements, and Installations in Rochester NY
If the damper isn’t working correctly, repairing or replacing it will reduce energy waste, lower energy bills, and improve indoor air quality. From fireplace damper repair and replacements to top-sealing damper installations, heating stoves, and accessories, the Felgemacher Fireplace Shop has everything for your hearth.
We serve customers throughout Western New York, including Buffalo, NY, Niagara Falls, NY, Spencerport, NY, and Webster, NY. Visit us at 2727 Broadway, Suite 5, in Cheektowaga. Call (716) 482-1820 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!