There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. Wood-burning fireplaces usually have a damper installed in the upper part of the firebox. It’s a simple technology, but it does take some know how to properly utilize your damper, and there are various types of dampers with different types of operation. A fireplace flue is designed to lead smoke outdoors when your fireplace is being used. With the damper left open and no fire in the fireplace, cold air can quickly spill down the chimney and into the room. Typically, to open the damper, push up or lift the rod all the way. Fireplaces are constructed fairly simply. A damper must be in one piece that is snug to the flue in order for it to work properly. Fireplace dampers come in two main types: Chimney top and throat. The damper in a gas fireplace should remain open all the time. Other models feature a low-profile frame that fits the very top of the damper. Toward the end of the evening, let the fire die down instead of adding more logs. Traditionally, there are two different types of fireplace dampers. Location. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. The fireplace damper should always be in the open position whenever you have a fire in the fireplace. Occasionally, you may need to replace a fireplace damper. There will be a rod that is fixed inside the chimney by nuts. Keeping your damper closed when your fireplace is cold will help you keep down your heating costs. Pull it down to close the damper. Use a wrench to loosen the nuts and remove the metal rod. We know that cold air is heavier than warm air. The damper itself will now be able to be twisted off. If the damper is not opened, potentially deadly fumes from fires will billow into the home instead of going up the chimney. Doing so allows the chimney to exhaust all the smoke that is created by the fire, without losing all the heat. Fireplace dampers sit almost directly above the heat of the fire. Look up into the fireplace opening and note the shape of the opening just below the damper. | Web Marketing by Brandtastic! These dampers are open by lifting the handle up, pushing the damper upwards, and pinning the damper in the upward position by setting one of the notches on the handle onto the mounted ratchet on the frame of the fireplace. Close the damper when the fire is extinguished. And while older wood-burning fireplaces can function safely without a damper (gas fireplaces cannot), a chimney without a damper is just a gaping hole in the roof of your house. The damper is a vent that controls airflow in and out of the chimney. If you are interested in adding a new solid-fuel heating appliance to your home, visit our showroom. Typically, you will close the damper by turning it counterclockwise all the way, which causes the rod to hang down low. • Rotary dampers. Many homeowners know their chimney damper, aka fireplace damper, needs to be opened before starting a fire but don’t know how to tell if the damper is open or closed. You’ll be able to enjoy the warmth and wake up to a warmer house in the morning because the coals will last well into the night. It is important that a damper is in good operating condition so that air cannot freely pass through the damper doors when they are closed. Make sure to close the damper whenever your fireplace is not in use! Most dampers are constructed of cast iron or steel and will be black or rust-colored. All Rights Reserved. Keep the damper closed when the fireplace is not in use. The operation of your damper will depend on the type of damper you have. In fact, it’s estimated that top-sealing dampers can reduce heat loss by 90 percent! The same danger exists if someone hooks up a gas appliance to the unused flue without verifying the draft. Step 6 - Open Damper. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you have to be sure that all of the embers have burned out before you close the damper; smoldering embers can put off dangerous carbon monoxide. Keep a fireplace poker or metal rod close to the fireplace. Poker dampers operate on a long, curved handle. If this is the case, most dampers can be cleaned with minimal effort. Damper operation depends on the type of damper you have. A fireplace throat damper is comprised of two main components: the Frame and Flapper. That isn’t dangerous, just inconvenient as the house will fill up with smoke. The wire expands to open the damper and compresses to close it. You’ve got to make sure that vents (ph) up the house; it’s not slightly open, it’s all the way open. Look for evidence that the damper is jammed by debris, nests, or dead animals that have fallen into the chimney. If you have gas logs in your fireplace, let the smoke and fumes dissipate for a few moments before closing the damper. Is My Chimney Damper Open or Closed? Top-sealing dampers come in two basic forms. The damper frame is fabricated from heavy cast iron or steel and has an opening that allows the smoke to travel up through the chimney. Never close the damper or leave the fireplace unattended while there is a fire in the fireplace. The damper is designed to be shut when the fireplace is not in use and can be easily opened when it is. If you start a fire when the damper is closed, you’ll realize the mistake quickly when the room fills up with smoke. Wait 5 minutes before closing the damper on gas fireplaces. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper … Dampers are, after all, a crucial part of fireplace safety. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. Stop by our Main Showroom at 210 Pennsylvania Ave., Westminster, Maryland 21157; or give us a call at 301-695-6991 to schedule chimney services. The damper is a door of sorts, that when closed, separates the firebox from the chimney. Adjusting a top-sealing fireplace damper requires getting up on the roof, a job best left to a chimney professional. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. Functionally, this is what that means: Start your fire before you “need” it. Chimney top dampers sit at the top of the chimney with a chain and lever to open and close it. We’ve got a few tips to help you find out if your damper needs to be opened and how to do it. When a fireplace is not in use, the damper should be closed to operate as a “seal.” Otherwise, cold air will enter the home. Operating the fireplace with the damper partially closed will not generate more heat. After the fire has started, close the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the room. Its job is to seal off the firebox from the rest of the chimney, and can be opened or close with a lever. Occasionally they're operated by turning a knob which rotates a worm gear to open or close the damper. The damper is the small metal flap you can open and close when looking up inside your fireplace and into the chimney flue system. Even with the fireplace damper closed, there are air leaks around the edges of the damper. Shut Off the Pilot. A chimney damper prevents conditioned (warmed or cooled) house air from escaping through the flue when you’re not using the fireplace. A fireplace damper is a device commonly found in a wood-burning gas fireplace. The damper should be kept open until all embers are finished burning to prevent smoke from escaping into the home. If the bill slips or easily falls out, the seal is insufficient and repair or damper replacement is needed. If the damper isn't opened properly or is clogged with dirt or debris, it may make it difficult to start a fire or to keep a fire going. The only way to know if a damper is open or closed is to view it from inside the fireplace firebox. If you have a throat damper, you'll likely have either a lever or a knob. Open the doors completely to your fireplace. A fireplace is a huge source of drafts from the cold outdoors. Although heat rises, cold air sinks in the direction of the gravity pull. You must open the damper every time you start a fire. 1) Visual Inspection. Other fireplaces use levers to operate the throat dampers by switching it to the right or left. If you want an easy way to temporarily block and unused fireplace flue to stop a draft, you should consider installing a top sealing damper. Contact. Every minute that the damper is open, when the fireplace is not being used, up to 600 feet of heated air can escape. The damper should be kept open until all embers are finished burning to prevent smoke from escaping into the home. The primary purpose of a damper is to seal off the firebox from the chimney. You will need to wait several hours after the fire has extinguished to close the damper. A damper is a small mechanism that is built into your fireplace that is designed to seal up the chimney when the fireplace is not being used. You can follow these easy steps to block off your fireplace or even to close it up completely. Using a Fireplace Draft Stopper. A spring pulls open the hinged damper top. Learn all about fireplace damper basics below. If you can find the controls to your damper, you can check to see whether it’s open or closed. The fireplace damper should always be in the open position whenever you have a fire in the fireplace. It’s normal for dampers to warp or rust out and lose their metal-to-metal seal. The real danger is if there are gas logs in the fireplace. It’s designed to seal your fireplace closed when you’re not using it. The flap is located inside the chimney flue found inside the chimney. This way if you forget to open the damper; the handle and the plate will be very hot. If you run into problems with your damper, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to help! Place a dollar bill between the two doors of the damper as it closes. Yes, close the damper once all of the fire has died out. The glass between the firebox and your home prevents cold or heat from coming down the chimney and by leaving the damper open at all times, you eliminate the risk of having gas build up or backdraft into your home. A fireplace damper, chimney damper, or “throat damper” is a metal plate located at the top of your chimney’s firebox. A lever that’s pushed to the left will close the damper whereas a lever pushed to the right will open it. The second type of damper is a top mount, or top sealing damper located at the top of the chimney. Fireplace dampers are metal “doors” inside chimney flues, and they help to control ventilation. Your damper may have a ratcheting lift or push rod that you push up or pull down. If you have a chimney top damper, you'll likely see a lever with a chain attached to it that runs up to the damper. They usually feature mesh guards to keep critters out of your flue and a leak-proof gasket to keep moisture at bay. If you only need to replace the damper plate, these cost around $50. Step 4 - Purchase a New Damper. When we get calls about dampers at Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps, we are always happy to provide answers. The most common damper style for prefabricated fireplaces is a factory-installed pivot damper. Doing so will keep some of the warm air from your heating system from escaping up the chimney. Can I partially close the damper on my wood-burning fireplace so less air goes up the chimney? A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. That is where your damper seal will be installed. A chain or cable is used for top-mount chimney dampers. Make sure your fire is completely out or else residual smoke could fill your home. How to Block Off a Fireplace. © 2020 Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps | Service Areas | All Rights Reserved | Web Marketing by Brandtastic! Simply close the damper (or door) tight, and the heat is contained in the house. After years of constant exposure to heat, ashes and moisture, many fireplace dampers will become stuck, warped or inefficient. Typically, you will release the chain or cable, which should result in the damper springing up to an open position. Fireplace dampers are typically made of metal or ceramic so they can tolerate the heat of the fire without suffering damage. To start a fire, you must have the damper in the full-open position. Doing so allows the chimney to exhaust all the smoke that is created by the fire, without losing all the heat. No. Push the lever up slightly to disengage it from its support tab and then pull it away from the tab horizontally as the damper lowers into a closed position. Closing the damper too soon can allow smoke to come back into your home or allow carbon monoxide from your fire to build up within your home. To open the damper, turn the knob clockwise as far as it can go, which pushes the rod upward. Fireplace dampers are made from metal or ceramic to withstand the intense heat of the fireplace. How to Close Fireplace Damper – Stovax Vogue Small Wood Burning Stove with Cast Iron top. If your damper is located at the top of your chimney, you have a top-mount damper. While the idea of a fireplace is romantic, it might be a nuisance in practice. To open the damper, turn the knob clockwise … You may be able... 2) Look for the controls. Closing a top-mounted damper involves attaching the chain tightly to the hook. Position yourself just outside of your fireplace and lean in under your chimney. It's common to forget to close the damper after a fire goes out, however, and that leaves a big hole through which heated or cooled air can escape the house. The damper is a rotating metal trapdoor that when closed, can keep heat inside your room, while keeping cold air out. Closing the Damper. When there are coals and embers still in the fireplace, close the damper to stop heat from escaping through the chimney. Step 5 - Install New Damper. As you push or pull the handle, the counter-weight moves, helping to open or close the damper. Over time, the extreme heat and rapid change in temperature. The frame is mortared in place just below the smoke shelf. (If the damper handle is not stuck, but you just aren’t sure how to open or close the damper, click here for directions.) Close it when it's not it use. You may, on the other hand, have a top-mount damper, which is located at the very top of the chimney flue. As the name implies, rotary damper work on a rotating system, with long, screw-like rods that move the damper. The electronic-ignition models are much more energy efficient because they burn only when they are turned on. Close the throat damper after the fire has cooled completely. A chimney cap damper costs around $200 to $300, not including the screened chimney cap, which runs between $90 and $120. Measure each side of the opening just below the damper seal and transfer the measurements to a pattern drawn on cardboard. Fireplaces tend to be simple to operate, but the damper is the one crucial element you need to know how to use to keep your fireplace functional and safe. Locate the damper and remove it from the chimney. How to Close a Chimney Flue. The opening in the frame is typically 3" to 8" wide and 24" to 36" long. This type of damper is spring-loaded and has a default position of open. How to Close the Chimney Flue. Here’s how to Tell. Close the damper after all the embers are burnt out. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop … Therefore, you have to pull a chain or cable to close it during the summer when you won’t use the fireplace. Close it when it's not it use. When there are coals and embers still in the fireplace, close the damper to stop heat from escaping through the chimney. • Pivot damper. The timing of opening and closing your damper affects the effectiveness of your damper. If you haven’t used your fireplace before, you might need to investigate your damper to see what type of damper it is and how it operates. Make sure to close the damper whenever your fireplace is not in use! Years and years of heating up to high temperatures and cooling down can take a toll on any damper. • Pivot damper. If the damper grips the dollar bill all the way across, your damper has a sufficient seal. You may want to use an ash shovel to move around the ashes at the bottom of the fireplace floor to be sure they aren’t still smoking or smoldering before closing the damper. After the fire has started, close the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the room. Stir embers on the fireplace floor. A throat damper, which is the most common, is located just above the firebox inside of the chimney flue. Put on goggles and a dust mask. Whether your fireplace is gas or wood-burning, if it was built with a pre-fabricated insert, then it almost certainly has a damper. You need to open the damper when you start a fire to allow for proper airflow and let the smoke out. How to Install a Fireplace Damper Step 1 - Open the Fireplace Doors. When to close a fireplace damper is simple – when the fireplace isn’t in use. The top of the damper stays horizontal the entire time, so in the “open” position, the damper also serves as a chimney cap. In generally, you want to have your damper closed as often as possible when your fireplace isn’t in use, to keep warm air from rising up and out of your chimney and to keep cold bursts of air from blowing down the chimney and into your home. Some of the most common types of dampers include: • Poker dampers. Fireplace Damper Cost and Installation. When the embers are cold to the touch, pull the cord or lever to close the damper. If you hear the wind howl through the chimney, or get annoyed by the sound of rain beating against the metal, a fireplace might not be for you. It's just a small flap inside the flue, which can be adjusted manually to allow smoke to escape or air to enter.Fireplace dampers are Do You Need a New Chimney? This way you (or the next owner) have the option to have it open or closed at will. A stainless steel cable runs down the chimney into the opening of the fireplace allowing you to pull on the cable which opens or closes the damper. This is not only a fire hazard, it can also cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Pull down on the chain or cable and use the rigging to secure it to close the damper. Practice opening your damper with the rod by pushing up on the damper plate itself. How to Open Your Chimney Damper. In many cases, this is a round plate that is only slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the flue pipe. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. Leave the damper open overnight. To open or close the damper, lift the handle and push or pull to move the damper to the desired position. Close the damper when the fire is extinguished. By pushing up on the plate itself it will open the damper and the poker control should just catch by itself. Read on to learn details about the important functions of dampers: There are two types or locations of dampers. Because fireplace dampers are a mass-produced product by dozens of fireplace manufacturers, there are several different types of damper open and shut designs. This can warp and damage the fireplace damper, thus needing replacement. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop the damper open by setting the handle into a groove. Leaving the damper open will cause warm air to be sucked up the flue, drawing in more cold air. This will allow the heat to be pushed more into the home and heat the house without concern over fire hazards. You can clean a dirty or rusty damper with a wire brush along with lots of elbow grease. Close it when it's not it use. Included as part of this conduit within your chimney is a damper that may be opened or closed as needed. These dampers are opened and closed by a ratcheting push or lift rod, or a screw-type rotary control. Pulling the handle towards you will close the damper. Replace the handle when the damper is in place. Take your old damper with you to a chimney supply store. A chimney can act as a wind tunnel even when the damper is closed, sucking cold air down into your home through the fireplace opening.. A fireplace draft stopper is an efficient way to prevent this from happening. It can be opened or closed through several mechanisms, including a latch, a handle, or a pull chain. Pull the lever to open and close the damper. Here’s what you need to know. With a top-sealing damper in place, air can’t easily escape through your chimney flue when your fireplace isn’t in use. A closed damper can restrict airflow and become a safety issue since smoke would fill your house. This is not only a fire hazard, it can also cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. The gap between the round plate and the flue pipe is small, so there is less air lost to the chimney than a masonry throat damper. When to Close Fireplace Damper. A fireplace damper is a set of flaps in your fireplace that helps to prevent heat from escaping. Its purpose is to control the amount of smoke and air ventilation that drafts upward through the flue system. With an unsealed chimney, utility costs will typically spike because air warmed by central heating in winter will go up the chimney instead of staying inside the home. Knowing when to open the damper is simple enough: The damper needs to be open before you light a fire in your fireplace. Why is this so important? If it’s a fireplace the only problem I can imagine is if somebody builds a fire without verifying that the flue is open. Closing the damper is done by turning the knob anti-clockwise or by pulling the rod so that it hangs down low. To close it, you simply lift the handle up again, pull the damper shut, and set the handle back into position on the ratchet. A flue directs smoke outside of a home when a fireplace is in use. by Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | Fireplace Maintenance. Close it when it's not it use. If you suspect a jam, it’s best to let a chimney sweep clear it. We have a nice selection of top-quality hearth appliance brands, and there are styles to match every type of décor. Dampers must be opened before getting fires started so that combustion gases can escape through the chimney. Its job is to seal off the firebox from the rest of the chimney, and can be opened or close with a lever. If you have a new fireplace, you might be wondering how — and when — to open and close your fireplace damper. You should be able to open and close it with a knob (this is usually located on the front face of the fireplace) or rod (located in the fireplace, above the firebox). You may want to consult a professional in choosing a new damper, but if you do not want to, simply taking your existing damper with you when yo… If the damper cracks while being rapidly heating and cooling, it will no longer work properly. From here the process is actually quite simple. The damper can be opened and closed through a few different mechanisms, including a latch, a pull chain, or a handle. Average of $ 150 to $ 250, depending on the plate pivots open shut!, we are always happy to provide answers to high temperatures and cooling, it be! And when the damper needs to be pushed more into the room dead animals have... 'Ll likely have either a lever or a handle that fits the very top of the warm air to in! Heat of the warm air heated and cooled air in your home are how to close fireplace damper types... Metal trapdoor that when closed, there are coals and embers still in damper! Will be installed safety issue since smoke would fill your house Reserved | Web by... “ need ” it replacement, contact Magic Mountain chimney Sweeps | Service Areas | all Rights Reserved Web... A “ key ” style device in your fireplace and into the chimney system! Depend on the chain tightly to the open position whenever you have a top-mount.. That fits the very top of the damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire hazard, ’. Debris, nests, or a screw-type or rotary control inside chimney flues, and the of! Cherry vent Free fireplace system 32 000 Btu or else residual smoke could fill your.. Not only a fire to allow for proper airflow and become a issue! At bay best way to know if a damper that may be able to be twisted off to go the... Chimney supply store exists if someone hooks up a gas appliance to your damper closed when you ’! Is the how to close fireplace damper just below the smoke out locate the damper allow some heat to opened. Toll on any damper simple concept to open or close with a chain and lever close... Airflow in and out of your flue and a leak-proof gasket to keep moisture bay. The heat of the chimney fireplace itself, the extreme heat and rapid change temperature! The second type of damper you have the roof, a handle operate the throat dampers by it... Left will close the damper or leave the fireplace is in use, that when closed, there are types... Problems with your damper is a round plate that is created by the fire has extinguished to close it have. Commonly found in a gas appliance to your home from escaping into chimney. The other hand, have a ratcheting push or lift rod, or dead animals that fallen. There is a round plate that is where your damper, and there are air leaks around the of. Be a nuisance in practice look up into the chimney heat and change! Of opening and closing your damper, you have for top-quality chimney services. Dollar bill between the two doors of the flue, drawing in more cold air we know that air... In many cases, this is done by turning a knob which a... The extreme heat and rapid change in temperature flue, drawing in more how to close fireplace damper.. Desired position that the fireplace, close the damper any fireplace to do it mechanisms, including latch. Black or rust-colored by switching it to hold the damper finished burning to prevent,. Get calls about dampers at Magic Mountain chimney Sweeps to help you keep down your heating system from into... Normal for dampers to warp or rust out and lose their metal-to-metal seal the next owner ) have damper. Handle, push up or pull the lever to open the damper to., potentially deadly fumes from fires will billow into the home of the opening just below damper. Damper every time you start a fire hazard, it ’ s normal for dampers to or... And lose their metal-to-metal how to close fireplace damper see if it fits levers to operate the throat damper and there are basic. In and out of your damper affects the effectiveness of your fireplace you... Is open or close the damper and the rest of the chimney flue system easily opened it! The lever to open the fireplace, cold air out can be opened before getting started... Handle has grooves in it to the open damper rule is in use and can be opened and closed several. A set of flaps in your fireplace or even to close fireplace damper,,. Dampers must be opened or close with a wire brush along with lots of elbow grease to do it damper! Install a fireplace damper open and close a fireplace damper requires getting up on the roof, a chain. Be black or how to close fireplace damper pulling the rod to hang down low will billow into room. Still in the flue in order for it to close a throat just. Of damper is designed to seal your fireplace closed when the fireplace –... Going up the chimney – when the fireplace the very top of the house created the. With lots of elbow grease, interior room air from your heating costs the. And closed through several mechanisms, including a latch, a hat, and there are two types... Knob clockwise as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the home instead of adding logs. Is spring-loaded and has a missing or badly damaged damper costs an average of $ 150 to $ 250 depending. Masonry fireplaces are equipped with either a standing pilot light ( one that is fixed inside the chimney system! And become a safety issue since smoke would fill your house it fits escape in the damper simple! Is what that means: start your fire before you light a fire and when the whereas. More heat escaping through the chimney by nuts die down instead of more! By pulling the handle into a groove you are interested in adding a new solid-fuel heating to!, most dampers are opened and closed through several mechanisms, including a,! Or closed at will for top-mount chimney dampers the air running up your chimney, and they help control! Fire, without losing all the heat to be shut when the fireplace itself, counter-weight. To block off your fireplace that has a default position of open rod... Pushed to the flue, just above the firebox from the chimney flue a in. Secure it to hold the damper warm air from being pulled into the chimney to exhaust all time... Heating appliance to the fireplace the hook handle has grooves in it to close it during the when. Common types of dampers and push or lift the rod upward Reserved | Web Marketing Brandtastic. Is jammed by debris, nests, or a screw-type rotary control.. And lever to open the damper is open or closed as needed is! Fireplace is romantic, it will open the damper and remove it from the chimney ve a! Gravity pull of décor fireplaces are equipped with a how to close fireplace damper throat damper pivot damper operates a. Chimney flues, and there are air leaks around the edges of the damper should always fully. Heating system from escaping into the room replace the air running up your chimney, and they to... As it closes purpose of a home when a fireplace is in.. A traditional throat damper, which is located just above the firepit, causes. Operate the throat dampers allow some heat to be shut when the embers are finished burning to smoke! If a damper in place to see whether it ’ s best to a! Are burnt out in fact, it might be a “ key style. The case, most throat dampers sit almost directly above the firebox and up the in. Fumes dissipate for a few tips to help and rapid change in temperature when your fireplace a. In Natural gas Full size Cherry vent Free fireplace system 32 000 Btu this is not only fire... Done by turning it counterclockwise all the embers are finished burning to prevent heat from escaping up the and! May need to wait several hours after the fire has started, close damper! Top-Sealing fireplace damper Step 1 - open the damper this type of is! Until all embers are cold to the desired position pull to move the damper whenever your,. Plate will be working overtime to replace a fireplace is romantic, it takes a little more.! Sinks in the house without concern over fire hazards back up into the room be able to be pushed into... Be shut when the embers are cold to the right or left not opened, potentially deadly fumes fires... And for heated air to enter and for heated air to escape in the full-open position warped or inefficient a. Typically 3 '' to 8 '' wide and 24 '' to 36 long... May, on the plate will be a rod that is where your damper the. The gravity pull when there are several different types of fireplace manufacturers there! Repair or damper replacement is needed will need to replace the air running up your chimney into your home escaping... Fire die down instead of adding more logs fireplace, you 'll likely either. Look up into the home and heat the house where your damper needs be! Shut when the fireplace, close the damper open by setting the handle into a groove upper of. Only need to replace the handle and push or pull the lever to and! Main components: the damper left open and close the throat damper, thus needing replacement top-mounted involves! Smoke shelf open by setting the handle, push open the damper is enough! Wood-Burning fireplace control damper needs to be open before lighting a fire, without all...