What is a Chimney Damper?
A chimney damper is effectively a lid which is affixed to the top of the chimney. This function is performed by a chain that runs down the chimney to the fireplace. This will allow you to manually open and close. This will also keep out possums and birds and Father Christmas! and stop other sources of heating escape up the chimney. Our dampers come with a 7-year guarantee
For a fire to ignite, it needs oxygen. by using opening the fireplace damper, you’ll be allowing air to get in the chimney so that the fire can start. With the damper open, the fire will continue to build, and allow smoke, soot, and other contaminants to vent through the chimney.
But leaving the damper fully open while the fire is burning also allows the heated air to escape causing your fireplace to operate less efficiently. You might even find the room not as warm as you would prefer. The burn rate increases by requiring more wood to fuel the fire.
However, partially closing the damper will reduce the oxygen level in the chimney. This will reduce the burn rate resulting in a longer fire. It will also create a downdraft that will force the heated air back into the fireplace, thus increasing its efficiency.
When should I use a Chimney Damper
The fireplace damper should always be in the open position whenever you have a fire in the fireplace. Never close the damper or leave the fireplace unattended while there is a fire in the fireplace. This is not only a fire hazard, but it can also cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. This will prevent the heated air from escaping through the chimney and will keep water and other debris out of the flue.
How to use the fireplace damper to control the fire
- Open the fireplace damper fully when starting a fire.
- Monitor the fire and if it’s still blazing, close the damper a little more (about two-thirds). This should reduce the intensity and increase the efficiency
Moisture, rodents, and other debris that get into the flue can cause serious damage to the chimney interior and rust metal components including the damper. The high intensity of heat can also cause the damper to warp over time. These conditions can make it difficult or impossible to control the damper. If you are having difficulty opening, closing or controlling the fireplace damper, give us a call to schedule a certified chimney sweep to repair or replace the damper. We’ll even show you how to control the damper, so you can master the perfect fire in your fireplace, safely and efficiently.