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Why a Good, Working Damper is Needed Year-Round

The damper is an essential part of the chimney. A good, working damper is needed year-round. Anyone who operates your fireplace should know about the chimney damper to avoid danger and unnecessary expenses. A CSIA-certified chimney sweep will check the operation and closure of the damper assembly during chimney inspections, which should be scheduled annually. Below, find all the basics about chimney dampers that you need to know.

Top Mount Chimney Damper in Fan VAWhen to Open the Damper

The chimney damper should be fully opened before lighting a fire. Otherwise, toxic combustion gases will go into the home. Carbon monoxide is among those fumes, and significant carbon monoxide exposure is life-threatening.

Opening the damper should allow the chimney draft to pull combustion gases up through the chimney flue and outside. However, a strong draft doesn’t just depend on an open damper.

There could be a column of cold air in the chimney that prevents fumes from entering the flue. Or the chimney flue could be obstructed by debris or an excessive buildup of creosote. Negative pressure in the home could also be disrupting the draft. If you can’t find a solution, a qualified chimney sweep can help.

When to Close the Damper

After the fire has gone cold and combustion fumes have died out, close the damper. The damper should remain closed anytime the fireplace is not in use. It is important that the damper forms a seal to keep air from getting through. Dampers can warp, in which case a damper replacement is needed.

An open damper is like an open window in your home. The cost of heating and cooling your home may be much higher than necessary because of the open exchange of air coming through the chimney.

Types of Dampers

If you have questions about how to use your damper, you’re not alone. Chimney sweeps get urgent calls every year about smoke billowing into someone’s home, and the solution is to open the damper—but they may not know how to do that. Become familiar with the operation of your damper before starting a fire.

A throat damper and a top-sealing damper or chimney cap damper are the two basic types of dampers. The top-sealing damper is operated with a chain or cable inside the fireplace just above the firebox. Throat dampers are located above the firebox and are opened in a variety of ways.

Your throat damper may be a rotary damper, a poker damper, or a double pivot. These different names describe the mechanism used to open and close the damper.

Open and closed chimney damper in Richmond VACall Chimney Pros in Richmond VA About Your Chimney Damper

When a chimney inspection is needed in the Richmond VA area, call the CSIA-certified chimney sweeps at Chimney Saver Solutions. Of course, they know that a good, working damper is needed year-round. If required, they will recommend damper replacement or repair–services they are qualified to provide. To be sure your fireplace is safe, you may need to schedule chimney cleaning, masonry repair, or flue liner repair or replacement.

Chimneys are vulnerable to moisture damage, and you may need chimney crown repair, flashing repair, or other chimney work. With our high-quality services, we’ve got you covered. Call us at 804-440-5000 today or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.


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