Chimney Caps and Dampers
The main purpose of a damper is to seal the fireplace when not in use, making sure the heat stays in your home instead of escaping through your chimney. Having a broken damper or no damper at all is like leaving the front door open in the winter--it is a huge source of heat loss and, additionally, you could be spending up to 30% more on air conditioning during the summer months!
A chimney damper is a cost-effective solution to a much higher costly problem. Chimney caps, however not mandated, are highly recommended. More chimney damage occurs from lack of a chimney cap than any other source. A chimney cap not only stops the rain from getting in, but also any birds or other unwanted animals from building nests and entering the home. Rain can cause premature deterioration of the interior of your chimney. This can allow for eroded flue tiles, loose crumbling mortar (which leads to dangerous cracks and blockages) or at a minimal, a rusted-out damper. Leaves and twigs falling from the trees during the autumn months can also fall in and get stuck in your chimney, making you more susceptible to chimney fires. Adding a chimney cap will, in turn, increase the effectiveness and the lifetime of your chimney liner.