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Why You Should Close Your Damper This Summer

All you can do with dampers is open them and close them, but that doesn’t discount their importance. Those who know why you should close your damper this summer have the information needed to save money. If you don’t know what your damper situation is right now, you may want to check. The following are basics about dampers that could benefit you in summer and in winter.

Top Mounting Chimney Damper in Henrico VAWhat is a Damper?

The chimney damper is a manually operated mechanism that controls airflow in the chimney flue. The damper is typically made from cast iron or stainless steel. It should create an effective seal when is closed. If it seals well, it prevents an exchange of air between your home interior and the out-of-doors. The damper should be opened fully before lighting a fire in the fireplace so that combustion gases can go up the chimney rather than in the home.

It’s Important to Know How to Operate your Damper

If you ever start a fire without opening the damper, the winter function of the damper becomes obvious! Toxic combustion fumes in the form of smoke billow into the home. It can be a bit disastrous, especially if no one in the immediate vicinity realizes that the problem is that the damper is closed and must be opened. Then, does anyone know how to operate that particular damper? It can be a real conundrum!

If you have a throat damper, there are various methods for opening and closing it. A poker damper has a “banana handle” that opens the damper upwards and secures it with a notch. Other traditional methods are to open the damper by turning a key or knob. A top-sealing damper is mounted on the top of the flue. It is opened and closed using a steel cable that runs down to the firebox.

Why You Should Close Your Damper This Summer

Many people are unaware of the importance of closing the damper after every fire in the fireplace has gone cold. Because the damper should be closed in summer as well as in winter when the fireplace is not in use. Imagine how much higher heating costs are when the nice, warm air in the home naturally zooms to escape through the chimney. Hot air naturally rises, so a nice draft will be working. However, that principle works against you if the air that escapes was supposed to help keep you warm in winter.
The reason why you should close your damper this summer and also ensure there is a proper seal is so that you can save money on energy costs. You may as well have an open window all summer that allows air-conditioned air outside if you don’t have a closed damper.

Call Chimney Sweeps for Damper Repair or Installation

Unfortunately, dampers are prone to warp, which allows airflow when closed. So, even if you take action because you know why you should close your damper in summer, it may not seal properly.

Open and closed chimney damper in Richmond VA

You can test the damper in various ways. One way is to light a match, hold it toward the damper, and then blow out the flame. If the smoke that was produced goes upward instead of into the room, the damper isn’t sealing as it should.

In the Richmond VA area, call Chimney Saver Solutions for damper repair or replacement. Many people opt to switch to a top-sealing damper when the throat damper has become warped. Our chimney technicians are CSIA certified, and they can answer your questions and make any damper and chimney repairs and new installations you may need.

Call us at 804-440-5000 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment today.

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