Purpose of windsavers?

Can someone please explain to me exactly what windsavers do? Do they just 
extend the life of the reed or do they affect the mechanics of the 
chromatic and the way the reed sounds?

I'm still having trouble with the windsavers buzzing in my 280. I tried 
to peel off the top part of one windsaver (the two pieces had become 
separated and I think that's what was causing the buzzing). The whole 
windsaver came off. I played the reed without the coverplate and it 
didn't sound any worse without the windsaver (in fact, it sounded clearer 
and it didn't buzz). Should I try to reglue the windsaver on? Would it 
aversely affect the harp if I took off other buzzing windsavers?

If anyone can help me please let me know. (instead of posting pointless 
Newt Gingrich jokes, that have nothing to do with harp playing, for a 


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