Five Tips for Using Fireplace Dampers

Fireplace dampers reduce the amount of heat that escapes outside through your chimney. If you have one of these or plan on getting one, there are a few things you should know. This article will give you a few tips for using fireplace dampers.

Gas

If you plan to use fireplace dampers with gas logs, then you need to make sure they are open all the time. The pilot light is constantly burning, and the fumes wouldn’t be able to escape if the damper were closed. Fireplace dampers should also be open at all times because you may forget to open them when you use the gas logs. If this were to happen, you would be at major risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Wood-Burning

You must also be careful when using fireplace dampers in wood-burning fireplaces. You should keep the damper open until the fire has completed died out. Burning wood will produce carbon monoxide, which will need to be vented outside. You should also be careful that you don’t close fireplace dampers while the ashes are still smoldering.

Chimney Top

Chimney dampers are normally used at the base of the chimney. However, you may sometimes have difficulty getting on to fit in your particular chimney. One option you have is to get chimney dampers that are mounted on top of the chimney. These top-mounted dampers also have the advantage of acting like chimney caps and keeping moisture out.

Cleaning

You will need to clean your fireplace dampers regularly. You will need to remove soot, mortar, and sand from the damper and its frame. These materials will prevent fireplace dampers from achieving a proper seal. This will dramatically reduce the effectiveness of the damper.

Leaking

It is common for fireplace dampers to start leaking or to open a little. If the damper starts leaking heated air outside, you will be spending a lot more money to heat your home. Therefore, you should make sure your fireplace dampers are checked by a professional annually. They should be checked while having your routine chimney checkup each year.

These are a few tips for using fireplace dampers. You need to make sure any wood-burning fires have completely died out before closing the damper. You should also make sure you clean fireplace dampers regularly. This is because soot, mortar, and sand can keep the dampers from achieving a proper seal.

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