What keeps the wind from blowing down your chimney? The damper assembly in your chimney is a key component of your fireplace system, and it’s important that this is kept in good repair. When you call Chimney Concepts to come in and inspect your chimney, the damper system is one of the things we’ll be checking to make sure it’s in great condition so that you have a successful fire burning experience all winter long. You know it’s important to keep the damper open when your fireplace is in use and closed when it’s not, but do you know why?
Where is the Damper?
The damper assembly can be in one of two places. The most traditional place is at the base of the chimney, not too far above the firebox at the bottom end of the smoke chamber. There is usually a rod or screw-type control that allows you to open or close the damper to allow you to control air flow into your firebox. Your damper could also be at the top of your chimney; this is a top-sealing damper. In this case, there will be a chain you can pull to open or close the damper for the same purpose of keeping air in and out.
Keep the Cold Air Out and the Warm Air In
One of the things your damper is designed for is to keep the warm air from your heated home in and the cold air from outside out when you’re not using your fireplace, which is why it’s important to keep the damper closed while the fireplace is not in use. Another thing you use your damper for, relating to this, is to keep an adequate amount of draft going while you’re burning, which is why you’ll want to open it up when using the fireplace. Your fire needs a certain amount of oxygen to burn steadily and produce heat, and by opening your damper, you’re allowing this to occur. This also allows smoke to escape during fire burning.
Another option for dampers is a top-sealing damper. This sits on the very top of your chimney, and has the same purpose as an interior damper system. One additional benefit of a top-sealing damper is that it can also keep critters, such as birds, squirrels, or raccoons out. It will also keep precipitation from entering your home through the chimney.
Because of the role it plays, it is very important that your damper seals tightly. When we come in to do your annual inspection, we’ll make sure that your damper assembly is sealing tightly and that it isn’t rusting or hard to open or close. If there is some type of repair work necessary, we will clean it up and make sure the seal is secure. If repair isn’t an option, we can replace your damper system with either a standard type damper or a top-sealing damper.
Don’t put up with drafting issues or a smoky fireplace. Give Chimney Concepts a call today and we’ll fix your damper issues.