Wonder if your chimney is in good shape? Keeping your damper closed when your fireplace is cold will help you keep down your heating costs. If you find yourself in an unfamiliar house, it’s best to perform a visual check after looking at the control position. This is done to prevent warm, interior room air from being pulled into the firebox and up the chimney. 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. Stick your hand near the opening of the fireplace. If you only see the metal plate that’s blocking your line of sight, then the damper is closed. If you can see up through the damper and past to your chimney’s interior, then the damper is open. Keeping the damper partially closed while you have a fire going will help keep your fire burning longer while allowing just enough room for the exhaust to escape. Pulling the handle towards you will close the damper. Here are different methods you can use to determine if the damper is open or closed. How to tell if the damper is open or closed depends on the type of damper you have. It blocks off the air flow when it's closed and lets air in when it's open. What to Do with a Leaky Chimney, Chimney Damper Repair | How to Identify a Broken Damper. Typically made from cast iron or other heat-resistant metal (sometimes ceramic), the damper essentially opens and closes the chimney. The second type of damper is operated by a lever, normally mounted on the right inside wall of the fireplace. The advantage of a top-mount damper over its throat-mounted cousin is that it prevents animals and debris from falling into the flue. The only time the damper should stay completely closed is when the fireplace is not being used. Light up a fire. Keeping your damper working properly is important. If you have a throat damper, the closed damper immediately above your head will block your vision. In general, chimney cap dampers are closed if the chain is hooked to the wall surround of your fireplace. A visual check is one of the surest ways of checking whether the damper is open or not. By pulling the lever toward you, the damper is open. Only 1 left in stock - order soon. $9.95 $ 9. Conversely, turning the key clockwise to the right, the damper is closed. If you can’t see daylight at the top, the damper is closed. If your damper is closed while the fire is burning, then you could run into some serious trouble. Having smoke fill your house is more than an unpleasant experience. You should close the damper as tightly as possible before smoke comes into the house. Contact us today to have one of our skilled chimney sweeps evaluate your chimney and fireplace. Well, an open damper will allow the smoke from the fire along with other harmful combustion byproducts to escape through the chimney and be channeled safely to the outside. Visually Check. There is a spring that keeps the top-mount damper open, and the controlling cable or handle is usually attached to the fireplace wall. 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). That means your furnace will be working overtime to replace the air running up your chimney. Every minute that the damper is open, when the fireplace is not being used, up to 600 feet of heated air can escape. Hanging Solid Brass Fireplace Damper Open Closed Sign. The damper in a gas fireplace should remain open all the time. For chimney cap dampers, look for a chain inside your fireplace. Finally, your fireplace damper may be controlled by a chain, a typical control for top-mounted dampers. A visual check is one of the surest ways of checking whether the damper is open or not. An open damper will let air circulate freely in the chimney flue. A fireplace damper should never be closed until the fire in a fireplace has subsided, and any embers and ash have gone stone cold. Your home will fill with smoke, too, because as the fire lives and breathes, there’s no place for the smoke to channel out if the closed damper is blocking its only escape route. Start a small but smoky fire in your fireplace, say using papers or tinder alone. You can also start a … While closed, the damper keeps cold air from being blown down into the room through the flue. Don’t put your health at risk by not checking the damper’s position before you start the fire or by not dealing with the closed damper quickly if smoke begins to billow into the home. If the damper is closed, the fire will draw on air inside the home and billow out smoke into your living room or wherever the fireplace is located. Simply stick your head in the fireplace and look up. Proper maintenance begins with good old fashioned hygiene. Are you unsure as to whether the damper is open or closed? It’s reachable, but hidden, so the damper is easily accessible yet tucked out of sight for aesthetic purposes. Your chimney should go though proper inspection to ensure that it’s safe to use. Check for a draft. Pull it down to close the damper. There is a simple solution:  Rotate it all the way in one direction and stick your head in the fireplace to check the damper position. If your fireplace is well-designed, it will have a damper you can easily adjust to control the flow of air up the chimney. But don’t be mistaken, that’s not an invitation for you to take your time opening the fireplace damper back up once the room is flooded with smoke. 95. Telling whether a damper is open or closed will be easier as you become familiar with your chimney. By turning this key all the way to the left, the damper will open. For a damper at the top of the chimney, you’ll have a chain that controls the device. Note: This is not a foolproof method if you have a top-mount damper. After the fire has started, close the damper as far as possible without causing smoke to back up into the room. There are two main types of chimney dampers. Know that there are three main types of damper styles: Traditional dampers are located at the “throat” of the chimney, which is positioned inside the chimney’s base. Opening a fireplace damper depends on the model of the fireplace, but generally there is a lever that slides back and forth to open and close it. Like the fireplace itself, the damper is an exceptionally simple concept. An open damper is much like an open window or open door – interior air you are paying to air condition will be wasted and escape out any opening. You’ve got to make sure that vents (ph) up the house; it’s not slightly open, it’s all the way open. During the preparation to start a fire, the damper should be completely opened. The damper is a piece of metal that can be angled by using the knob or chain used to control it to the open or closed position. And in fact, in some gas log situations where it’s conversion from a wood burner to a gas-burning log, they put a bracket on a damper to prevent you from ever being able to close it … Close the throat damper after the fire has cooled completely. But if you’re using a wood-burning fireplace, there’s definitely an optimal setting for your damper. Contact us today! This damper, located at the top of the firebox, swings down to seal the throat shut when you don’t use the fireplace. If you have a throat damper with a rod control inside the fireplace, check to see if you can push or lift the rod further. 4.4 out of 5 stars 35. Is your damper open or closed? If you have a throat damper, the closed damper immediately above your head will block your vision. If you ever start a fire without being sure that the damper is in the open position, keep an eye on the flames and smoke and open the damper as soon as you notice that airflow isn’t sufficient. You can find your fireplace damper at the base of the chimney. A knob control on the fireplace exterior can be trickier since you might not know in which direction to turn it. To close it, you simply lift the handle up again, pull the damper shut, and set the handle back into position on the ratchet. Next, we clean out all the stains, mold and creosote so it will be safe to use. Learn more our maintenance process here. Another type of damper is a screw-type or rotary control damper. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper should always be closed. In order to be a responsible fireplace owner, the first task you must do before enjoying a fire is checking to see if the fireplace damper is open or closed. Guaranteed! If your damper will not open or close, it may need to be repaired. If you’re concerned that your chimney damper may not be working correctly or that any other part of your chimney is functioning improperly, the certified chimney sweeps and technicians at Priddy Chimney Sweeps are ready to help. Find out more about our repair process here. It’s an easy way of figuring out which direction closes and opens the damper if the knob has no index markings. Open Damper When Preparing Fire. An open damper is like an open window, allowing large amounts of heat from the home to escape. A functional damper opens and closes easily just by using the handle or lever; any damper that requires extra work to move is considered nonoperational and should be repaired. 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. Throat dampers are a common option because they’re convenient. Get it as soon as Sat, Oct 31. A lever that’s pushed to the left will close the damper whereas a lever pushed to the right will open it. When to Close Fireplace Damper. Stick your hand near the opening of the fireplace. If you have a chimney with a closed top-mount damper It might take a few minutes for smoke to start filling the house, but you will eventually notice that there isn’t enough airflow. How open does the flue have to be open. If it’s hooked to the side of the fireplace wall, then this probably means that the damper is closed. Start by identifying what kind of damper is in your chimney if you’re wondering if it’s open or closed. Never start a fire before checking to see if the damper is open or closed. The current position of the controls (cable, rod, handle, etc) can help you determine if the damper is open or closed as long as you’re familiar with the chimney and its controls. During the seasons you will not be burning wood in your fireplace, close the damper. The fireplace damper should always be in the open position whenever you have a fire in the fireplace. Not only will the fire struggle because it’s not getting the outside air as its oxygen to fuel it, but your home will begin to fill with the toxic byproducts like carbon monoxide, a gas that can be fatal to humans and animals. Starting a fire with a closed damper is extremely dangerous and should never be used as a testing method. Some damper models have only two positions: fully open or fully closed. FREE Shipping on your first order shipped by Amazon. The closed damper also protects from water and debris. There are many ways to check to see if the damper is open or closed and after getting into the habit, it should become quite obvious. Here are simple techniques on how to tell if a chimney flue is open or closed. You’ve come to the right place. Don’t forget to close the damper to preserve your home’s conditioned (heated or cooled) air when you’re not using the fireplace. Why? Want to upgrade your fireplace? In the summer, an open fireplace damper is like an open door. Chimney Flashing Leaking? The damper clamp is there so that if you forget to open the damper, it will already be opened. The damper is a door of sorts, that when closed, separates the firebox from the chimney. They remain open until you pull a chain or handle, usually  mounted on the side of the firebox, to close them and secure the mechanism to keep the damper closed: If the chain or handle isn’t firmly secured in the bracket, the damper is open. A closed damper also stops cold drafts from coming down the chimney. A flashlight should illuminate a throat damper well enough to see if it’s open or closed. Simply stick your head in the fireplace and look up. 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 As mentioned, traditional dampers are located in the interior of the chimney’s base, so you’ll be able to crouch down and peer up inside the chimney to see the position of the damper. However, most dampers allow you to adjust the opening so that the damper is partially closed. If you’re familiar with your fireplace damper controls, this is a great way to quickly see the position of the damper without having to poke your head up through the chimney. A fireplace damper is a little metal flap that sits inside your flue. Your damper may have a ratcheting lift or push rod that you push up or pull down. Top-mount dampers use a spring-loaded design. You can also tell if your damper is open or closed just by listening. A fireplace damper is a small door inside a fireplace, usually near the base of the chimney. 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