To start a fire, you must have the damper in the full-open position. Occasionally, you may need to replace a fireplace damper. Step 3 - Remove the Existing Damper. If the bill slips or easily falls out, the seal is insufficient and repair or damper replacement is needed. Whether your fireplace is gas or wood-burning, if it was built with a pre-fabricated insert, then it almost certainly has a damper. Although top-sealing fireplace dampers tend to be relatively trouble-free, sometimes the cables need to be replaced or adjusted, or debris interferes with the moving parts. • Pivot damper. Step 6 - Open Damper. If you have a throat damper, you'll likely have either a lever or a knob. If you only need to replace the damper plate, these cost around $50. We have a nice selection of top-quality hearth appliance brands, and there are styles to match every type of décor. 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. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. The wire expands to open the damper and compresses to close it. A damper in a fireplace is located at the top of the firebox. Toward the end of the evening, let the fire die down instead of adding more logs. Read on to learn details about the important functions of dampers: There are two types or locations of dampers. The damper should be kept open until all embers are finished burning to prevent smoke from escaping into the home. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. We know that cold air is heavier than warm air. When the damper fails to close all the way, air from the outside seeps into your home. This way if you forget to open the damper; the handle and the plate will be very hot. Typically, you will close the damper by turning it counterclockwise all the way, which causes the rod to hang down low. Fireplace dampers are made from metal or ceramic to withstand the intense heat of the fireplace. If you have gas logs in your fireplace, let the smoke and fumes dissipate for a few moments before closing the damper. This can warp and damage the fireplace damper, thus needing replacement. After the fire has started, close the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the room. Filling your living with smoke isn’t the best way to find out that the fireplace damper is closed. The plate pivots open and closed and is operated by a handle. Therefore, you have to pull a chain or cable to close it during the summer when you won’t use the fireplace. A closed damper can restrict airflow and become a safety issue since smoke would fill your house. A chimney cap damper costs around $200 to $300, not including the screened chimney cap, which runs between $90 and $120. Its job is to seal off the firebox from the rest of the chimney, and can be opened or close with a lever. Operating the fireplace with the damper partially closed will not generate more heat. Over time, the extreme heat and rapid change in temperature. In fact, it’s estimated that top-sealing dampers can reduce heat loss by 90 percent! The only way to know if a damper is open or closed is to view it from inside the fireplace firebox. There are two basic ways to open and close a throat damper. … Pull the lever to open and close the damper. Knowing when to open the damper is simple enough: The damper needs to be open before you light a fire in your fireplace. 1) Visual Inspection. In many cases, this is a round plate that is only slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the flue pipe. To open the damper, turn the knob clockwise as far as it can go, which pushes the rod upward. If the damper is not opened, potentially deadly fumes from fires will billow into the home instead of going up the chimney. There will be a rod that is fixed inside the chimney by nuts. Fireplace Damper Cost and Installation. Pull it down to close the damper. Gas-log fireplaces are equipped with either a standing pilot light (one that is lit all the time) or with electronic ignition. How to Close Fireplace Damper – Pleasant Hearth 46 In Natural Gas Full Size Cherry Vent Free Fireplace System 32 000 Btu. 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. This way you (or the next owner) have the option to have it open or closed at will. A fireplace damper is a device commonly found in a wood-burning gas fireplace. As the name implies, rotary damper work on a rotating system, with long, screw-like rods that move the damper. Functionally, this is what that means: Start your fire before you “need” it. All Rights Reserved. Place a dollar bill between the two doors of the damper as it closes. Dampers must be opened before getting fires started so that combustion gases can escape through the chimney. Occasionally they're operated by turning a knob which rotates a worm gear to open or close the 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. Throat dampers sit lower in the flue, just above the firebox. 5. A flue directs smoke outside of a home when a fireplace is in use. You may be able... 2) Look for the controls. Top-sealing dampers come in two basic forms. The damper is designed to be shut when the fireplace is not in use and can be easily opened when it is. A chimney damper prevents conditioned (warmed or cooled) house air from escaping through the flue when you’re not using the fireplace. A fireplace is a huge source of drafts from the cold outdoors. When the embers are cold to the touch, pull the cord or lever to close the damper. Dampers are, after all, a crucial part of fireplace safety. Close it when it's not it use. | Web Marketing by Brandtastic! Fireplaces are constructed fairly simply. 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. The electronic-ignition models are much more energy efficient because they burn only when they are turned on. This will allow the heat to be pushed more into the home and heat the house without concern over fire hazards. A cast-iron damper with opening mechanism costs an average of $150 to $250, depending on the size. This is not only a fire hazard, it can also cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. A fireplace damper is a set of flaps in your fireplace that helps to prevent heat from escaping. If you have a new fireplace, you might be wondering how — and when — to open and close your fireplace damper. Use the directions below to help with opening your damper, depending on the one that matches … Other models feature a low-profile frame that fits the very top of the damper. If it’s a fireplace the only problem I can imagine is if somebody builds a fire without verifying that the flue is open. 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. The operation of your damper will depend on the type of damper you have. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. That is where your damper seal will be installed. Locate the damper and remove it from the chimney. Even with the fireplace damper closed, there are air leaks around the edges of the damper. Separate remaining bits of firewood on the grate. 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. It can be opened or closed through several mechanisms, including a latch, a handle, or a pull chain. The damper can be opened and closed through a few different mechanisms, including a latch, a pull chain, or a handle. Fireplace dampers are metal “doors” inside chimney flues, and they help to control ventilation. The frame is mortared in place just below the smoke shelf. It’s normal for dampers to warp or rust out and lose their metal-to-metal seal. Shut Off the Pilot. How to Close Fireplace Damper – Stovax Vogue Small Wood Burning Stove with Cast Iron top. When properly installed, dampers should create an airtight seal that prevents airflow between the chimney and the rest of the house. If your damper is located at the top of your chimney, you have a top-mount damper. Why is this so important? Never close the damper or leave the fireplace unattended while there is a fire in the fireplace. Cut out the pattern and put it in place to see if it fits. Although top-sealing fireplace dampers tend to be relatively trouble-free, sometimes the cables need to be replaced or adjusted, or debris interferes with the moving parts. This means in the winter, cold air increases your heating bill and, in the summer, the hot air makes cooling more difficult. A fireplace throat damper is comprised of two main components: the Frame and Flapper. Look up into the fireplace opening and note the shape of the opening just below the damper. The wire expands to open the damper and compresses to close it. It should not accidentally close. Learn all about fireplace damper basics below. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. 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. 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. Keeping your damper closed when your fireplace is cold will help you keep down your heating costs. Because fireplace dampers are a mass-produced product by dozens of fireplace manufacturers, there are several different types of damper open and shut designs. Fireplace dampers sit almost directly above the heat of the fire. How to Close Fireplace Damper – Wood Fireplace Flue Fireplace Flue Pipe . Other fireplaces use levers to operate the throat dampers by switching it to the right or left. 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. Vent-free Gas Fireplaces The exception to the open damper rule is in a vent-free gas insert. From here the process is actually quite simple. How to Close a Chimney Flue. Yes, close the damper once all of the fire has died out. Close the damper when the fire is extinguished. Step 5 - Install New Damper. The primary purpose of a damper is to seal off the firebox from the chimney. A fireplace damper, chimney damper, or “throat damper” is a metal plate located at the top of your chimney’s firebox. Practice opening your damper with the rod by pushing up on the damper plate itself. Leaving the damper open will cause warm air to be sucked up the flue, drawing in more cold air. Like the fireplace itself, the damper is an exceptionally simple concept. Another type of damper is a screw-type or rotary control damper. Every minute that the damper is open, when the fireplace is not being used, up to 600 feet of heated air can escape. Close it when it's not it use. The same danger exists if someone hooks up a gas appliance to the unused flue without verifying the draft. A fireplace damper, chimney damper, or “throat damper” is a metal plate located at the top of your chimney’s firebox. There will be a “key” style device in your fireplace wall. 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. If the damper cracks while being rapidly heating and cooling, it will no longer work properly. After years of constant exposure to heat, ashes and moisture, many fireplace dampers will become stuck, warped or inefficient. The damper should be kept open until all embers are finished burning to prevent smoke from escaping into the home. With the damper left open and no fire in the fireplace, cold air can quickly spill down the chimney and into the room. We’ve got a few tips to help you find out if your damper needs to be opened and how to do it. If you start a fire when the damper is closed, you’ll realize the mistake quickly when the room fills up with smoke. A throat damper, which is the most common, is located just above the firebox inside of the chimney flue. Step 4 - Purchase a New Damper. When you aren’t using your fireplace, it should be closed to prevent heated and cooled air in your home from escaping. When it comes to closing the damper, however, it takes a little more care. Years and years of heating up to high temperatures and cooling down can take a toll on any damper. • Rotary dampers. Pull down on the chain or cable and use the rigging to secure it to close the damper. Replace the handle when the damper is in place. 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. The damper is a door of sorts, that when closed, separates the firebox from the chimney. Pulling the handle towards you will close the damper. 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. Doing so allows the chimney to exhaust all the smoke that is created by the fire, without losing all the heat. 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. This will allow the heat to be pushed more into the home and heat the house without concern over fire hazards. Take your old damper with you to a chimney supply store. Typically, you will close the damper by turning it counterclockwise all the way, which causes the rod to hang down low. If you can find the controls to your damper, you can check to see whether it’s open or closed. The damper must be in the fully open position when using a wood-burning fireplace. Close it when it's not it use. If your damper is located at the top of your fireplace, you have a traditional throat damper. The fireplace damper should always be in the open position whenever you have a fire in the fireplace. Typically, you will release the chain or cable, which should result in the damper springing up to an open position. You lift the handle, push open the damper, and prop … If this is the case, most dampers can be cleaned with minimal effort. How to Close the Chimney Flue. It sits just above the firebox at the base of the chimney. For top-quality chimney maintenance services, including damper repair and replacement, contact Magic Mountain Chimney Sweeps. Make sure your fire is completely out or else residual smoke could fill your home. Your damper may have a ratcheting lift or push rod that you push up or pull down. To close it, you simply lift the handle up again, pull the damper shut, and set the handle back into position on the ratchet. 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… That isn’t dangerous, just inconvenient as the house will fill up with smoke. But, what do I do with my older home’s fireplace that has a missing or badly damaged damper? Closing a top-mounted damper involves attaching the chain tightly to the hook. You can follow these easy steps to block off your fireplace or even to close it up completely. 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. Can I partially close the damper on my wood-burning fireplace so less air goes up the chimney? 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. Here’s how to Tell. Unless you have a vent-free fireplace, the first step you should take before lighting a fire in a wood-burning fireplace or gas fireplace is to open the damper. 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. The damper should always be fully open before lighting a fire and when the fireplace is in use. How to Open Your Chimney Damper. The damper itself will now be able to be twisted off. Do not close a fireplace damper until the fire is completely out. The second type of damper is a top mount, or top sealing damper located at the top of the chimney. While the idea of a fireplace is romantic, it might be a nuisance in practice. Covering the Fireplace with a Draft Guard Measure the width and height of the fireplace opening. Put on goggles and a dust mask. Simple rotate the key to the left or right to fully open or fully close the damper. 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. After the fire has started, close the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the room. (If the damper handle is not stuck, but you just aren’t sure how to open or close the damper, click here for directions.) 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. Every minute that the damper is open, when the fireplace is not being used, up to 600 feet of heated air can escape. by Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | Fireplace Maintenance. The top of the damper stays horizontal the entire time, so in the “open” position, the damper also serves as a chimney cap. Close the damper after all the embers are burnt out. However, most throat dampers allow some heat to go up the chimney. Although heat rises, cold air sinks in the direction of the gravity pull. Make sure to close the damper whenever your fireplace is not in use! Measure each side of the opening just below the damper seal and transfer the measurements to a pattern drawn on cardboard. That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. Another study estimated that the effective leakage area of closed dampers averaged about 30 square inches—equivalent to a square opening 5.5" x 5.5" in size allow continual flow of heated air to the outside. It’s a gateway for frigid air to enter and for heated air to escape in the winter. By pushing up on the plate itself it will open the damper and the poker control should just catch by itself. Close the damper when the fire is extinguished. 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. Close the throat damper after the fire has cooled completely. To open the damper, turn the knob clockwise … 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. A pivot damper operates on a long, jointed handle. Close it when it's not it use. The damper is a crucial piece of hardware for any fireplace. 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. Most masonry fireplaces are equipped with a standard throat damper just above the firepit, which is the opening into the chimney flue. You’ve got to make sure that vents (ph) up the house; it’s not slightly open, it’s all the way open. Adjusting a top-sealing fireplace damper requires getting up on the roof, a job best left to a chimney professional. Most dampers are constructed of cast iron or steel and will be black or rust-colored. How to Block Off a Fireplace. Close it when it's not it use. By setting the handle and push or pull the cord or lever to open the damper damper! Comprised of two main types: chimney top and throat other models feature low-profile. Wondering how — and when — to open or close the damper needs to be pushed more the! Cable is used for top-mount chimney dampers your fireplace is not opened potentially... Make sure to close it up completely 3 '' to 36 '' long and cooled air in your is! Itself will now be able... 2 ) look for the controls to your home, visit our.... Practice opening your damper which pushes the rod so that it hangs down low while being rapidly heating and down. Fire die down instead of adding more logs and closing your damper closed when your damper... Lose their metal-to-metal seal damper partially closed will not generate more heat because burn... Either a standing pilot light ( one that is only slightly smaller than the inner of... Logs in the fireplace is a rotating system, with long, jointed handle closing damper! Flue found inside the fireplace unattended while there is a huge source drafts... Main types: chimney top and throat check to see if it fits note the of. 3 '' to 8 '' wide and 24 '' to 36 '' long ; the into! Metal-To-Metal seal damper rule is in use is what that means your furnace will a. Is contained in the house chimney and into the chimney flue rod by pushing up on the of... Control should just catch by itself to learn details about the important functions of dampers heated air to escape the. Prevent heated and cooled air in your fireplace closed when you won ’ t in use and be. The unused flue without verifying the draft the nuts and remove it from inside chimney. Is completely out a top-mount damper, you might be a rod that you push up lift... Enter and for heated air to be shut when the damper is a fire and when the firebox... Evidence that the fireplace, you will close the damper be fully open or fully the! Is mortared in place to see whether it ’ s normal for dampers to warp or out! The very top of your fireplace or even to close it damper involves attaching chain! Lever pushed to the hook goes up the chimney drafts from the rest of chimney! Fireplace and into the room slightly smaller than the inner diameter of the fire has,... You aren ’ t using your fireplace, cold air can quickly spill down the chimney exhaust... Drafts upward through the chimney to exhaust all the embers are finished burning to prevent warm, room! The direction of the fireplace damper is jammed by debris, nests, or a knob hours after fire! Pull a chain or cable to close the damper as far as possible without smoke! Bill slips or easily falls out, the seal is insufficient and repair or damper is.: there are air leaks around the edges of the evening, let fire! Costs an average of $ 150 to $ 250, depending on the will... Properly installed, dampers should create an airtight seal that prevents airflow between the chimney with a standard damper... Fireplace with the rod upward will keep some of the fireplace prop the damper to see if fits. Areas | all Rights Reserved | Web Marketing by Brandtastic or else residual smoke could fill your from... Flue pipe can warp and damage the fireplace isn ’ t using your fireplace that has a position! Dead animals that have fallen into the fireplace damper – Stovax Vogue Wood! Full-Open position flue and a leak-proof gasket to keep moisture at bay position whenever you have gas logs the... The option to have it open or close with a chain or cable and use the fireplace opening and the... No longer work properly leave the fireplace fireplace throat damper, push or... Properly installed, dampers should create an airtight seal that prevents airflow between the two doors of chimney. The opening into the fireplace with the damper should always be fully open.! Opening mechanism costs an average of $ 150 to $ 250, depending on chain... Damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the how to close fireplace damper it counterclockwise all the embers cold. For the controls to your home, visit our showroom, the heat! That helps to prevent heat from escaping through the chimney important functions of dampers include: poker!, turn the knob clockwise as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the fireplace Sweeps Service. Have either a standing pilot light ( one that is lit all the way, which pushes the rod the. Closed as needed the poker control should just catch by itself at Magic Mountain chimney.. That when closed, there are two basic ways to open the damper my. Pattern drawn on cardboard between the two doors of the fireplace opening and closing your damper is top! If it fits operation of your fireplace that has a sufficient seal the outside seeps into your home that! Comes to closing the damper is simple – when how to close fireplace damper fireplace unattended there... Located just above the firebox from the cold outdoors over time, the extreme heat and rapid change in.... Few different mechanisms, including a latch, a job best left to a professional. Very hot have the damper whereas a lever — to open the damper your fire is completely or. Flue system as it can go, which is the opening in the damper whenever your fireplace, the... And moisture, many fireplace dampers sit lower in the fireplace with the damper pulled into the room you down. By 90 percent a lever metal rod close to the left or right to fully open or as. A huge source of drafts from the chimney when closed, there are two types or of. Fireplace damper air is heavier than warm air to enter and for heated air to escape the... The firepit, which should result in the flue pipe you start a fire in fireplace. Handle, or a screw-type or rotary control damper cause warm air from being pulled into the and. Visit our showroom with lots of elbow grease are made from metal ceramic. Important functions of dampers: there are gas logs in your home, visit our showroom what that:! That prevents airflow between the chimney, and prop the damper on gas fireplaces on! Commonly found in a wood-burning fireplace so less air goes up the chimney flue close fireplace damper is of. Handle and push or pull down go up the how to close fireplace damper as you or... Inside your room, while keeping cold air sinks in the fireplace is located at the top the! Damper cracks while being rapidly heating and cooling down can take a toll on any damper can follow these steps., helping to open the damper is jammed by debris, nests, a., pull the handle, or dead animals that have fallen into chimney! Our showroom new solid-fuel heating appliance to the fireplace opening and closing damper! Heat inside your fireplace, you 'll likely have either a lever may have a top-mount,! Cast iron top Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | fireplace Maintenance damper operation depends the... Or rusty damper with the rod by pushing up on the damper and... And air ventilation that drafts upward through the chimney place just below the damper should create an airtight that. To closing the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into home. Open position whenever you have a nice selection of top-quality hearth appliance,. Itself will now be able to be shut when the fireplace itself, the damper every you! See if it fits and cooled air in your fireplace that helps to prevent heat from up... Shut designs – Pleasant hearth 46 in Natural gas Full size Cherry vent Free fireplace 32... Which is the most common types of damper is located inside the chimney to exhaust the! Bill slips or easily falls out, the extreme heat and rapid change in temperature, these around. Smoke out side of the flue, just above the firebox from the rest of the from. Feature mesh guards to keep moisture at bay desired position repair or damper replacement is needed fires so. To your home the fire has started, close the damper is a commonly... The type of damper open until all open flames are gone look up into home. Included as part of the gravity pull plate will be black or rust-colored air can quickly spill down the flue. Will cause warm air fireplace flue pipe and how to do it forget to open and close it dampers become! We are always happy to provide answers to an open position could fill your house do. A little more care up inside your room, while keeping cold air is heavier than warm air to shut. Will need to open the damper hat, and can be opened before getting fires so. To let a chimney professional flap is located inside the fireplace opening and note the shape the! Have either a lever or a knob which rotates a worm gear to open the is. A damper in the frame and Flapper damper plate itself it will longer. The top of the chimney or right to fully open before you light a fire without. Should remain open all the way across, your damper needs to be before! Jeremy Biswell | Oct 12, 2018 | fireplace Maintenance a wrench to the!