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What You Need to Know About Fireplace Dampers
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A fireplace damper is a valve at the opening of a chimney or fireplace that closes and opens the chimney when it is not being used. Learning about fireplace dampers is important.

A fireplace damper is a valve at the opening of a chimney or fireplace that closes and opens the chimney when it is not being used. Learning about fireplace dampers is important, because if you have any issues with your fireplace such as smoke filing up in the home, you may be able to correct the problem just by learning about how fireplace dampers work.

*Why Learning About Fire Dampers is Important

-Fireplaces heat up homes, can add warmth and comfort to any home, and are an attractive amenity to any house. But if you don't know what you're doing with your fireplace, it can become a safety hazard. Too many home fires are started every year just because homeowners are too careless about their fireplaces.

-The most critical part about the fireplace that homeowners should know about is the fireplace damper. The fireplace damper is located in the pipe that runs up and down the inside of the chimney. The damper will either be located at the bottom or the top of the chimney and is made out of metal or another material that can withstand high temperatures. The damper itself will resemble a flap with a hatch to open and close it.

-The Fireplace Dampers controls air flow in and out of the chimney - essentially controlling the heat of the fire. While the fire is lit, the damper should always be open so that smoke can escape out of the home and through the chimney. The more the damper is opened, the more oxygen will reach the fire and will increase the temperature. So while the fireplace damper should always be left open, how much it should be open is a factor.

-Fireplace dampers also work to keep warm air inside of your home during winter months. Since hot air naturally rises, when the damper is left open the heated air will essentially leave your home...and you'll have to spend extra in heating costs just to keep your home warm when you could have kept it warm using the fireplace. In addition, the fireplace damper can also work to keep outside things from entering your home, such as birds or debris.

-Most fireplace dampers are located at the bottom of the chimney but right above the fireplace. Before starting a fire, the interior of the chimney will almost always be cold. Begin starting your fire with a small fire before letting it increase in size and temperature; the cold air moves slower than hot air, and can stop the hot air from moving out of the chimney and result in more smoke filling up the interior of your home. In contrast to this, if the fireplace damper is located at the top of the chimney, you can start up a hot fire immediately since the interior of the chimney will be more in line with room temperatures.

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