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Top Hat & Tails Installs Superior Top-Mounted Dampers

In a sense, your open flue is a bit like a giant straw attached to your home, drawing heat and dangerous gases and particles up and out of your living area while your appliance is in use. If the chimney didn’t have a damper built into its design — closing off the flue when your fireplace, stove or insert isn’t in use — you’d more or less have a gaping hole thwarting your heating and cooling system’s best efforts to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

The damper is an important part of your system and plays a key role in the energy efficiency of your home – but it can only perform its job if its properly installed and maintained.

Different Types Of Dampers

Top mounted dampers are air tight seal at the top of the chimney.

Older chimney systems usually have what’s called a throat damper, which is installed above the firebox around the smoke shelf. These have a handful of different shortcomings.

First, they’re made with a metal plate that closes off the flue. That design doesn’t allow the damper to create a completely tight seal (which affects energy efficiency), and also makes it susceptible to water damage — corrosion, rust, cracking, breaking. Moisture can also damage the track the plate moves on, and the plate can get stuck in the open or closed position, which is at best wasteful, and at worst dangerous.

The placement of a throat damper also makes the process of repairing or replacing it labor-intensive, and often expensive.

These days, chimney professionals more often recommend and install top-mounted dampers, which, as you might assume, are installed up at the top of the flue, rather than down in the throat. That placement makes installation more seamless, for starters. But the design of top-mounted dampers is also far superior to throat dampers, energy wise. It closes off your flue using a rubber gasket that thoroughly blocks off the flue opening, minimizing — really just about eliminating — air transfer. Top-mounted dampers also add an extra layer of protection against water intrusion — a very worthwhile bonus.

Top-Mounted Dampers Can Save Money In Energy Bills

Because of their inefficient seal, throat dampers have been shown to allow for hundreds of dollars of wasted energy annually. On the other hand, we’ve seen studies showing that top-mounted dampers are anywhere from 75 to 90 percent more efficient at stopping the air transference that wastes energy. That improvement helps you feel like a better steward of the environment and saves you money on cooling and heating bills — both very positive things.

Call Us To Have Your Top-Mounted Damper Installed Today

If your throat damper is damaged or stuck, or if you’re interested in the energy efficiency advantages of a top-mounted damper, give Top Hat & Tails a call at 973-450-1947 or click here! We can answer any questions you may have and install a new top-mounted damper on your system!


When done regularly, chimney sweeping is one of the best things you can have done to keep your chimney in safe operating condition. Schedule this critical chimney service now.

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