The chimney damper is a moveable metal door that is installed above the throat of the chimney and in the flue to seal off the fireplace from the outside world. When using a fireplace, the damper should constantly be opened to enable smoke and gases to escape. The chimney damper is usually closed when not in use.
There are two main types of fireplaces: open fires and closed fires. An open fire creates an area where you can stand or sit close to the flames while using them for heat. This is the most common type of fireplace and is found in traditional stone and brick buildings. A closed fire is exactly what it sounds like: you must stay out of reach of the flames. These are used primarily for decorative purposes or when making food. Closed fireplaces are found more commonly in modern structures made of wood or steel. They can also be called mantels or log sets.
Chimneys are vertical tubes which carry smoke and gas away from the cooking fire or boiler inside your house to the outside atmosphere. Chimneys were invented around 1750 and have changed very little since then. They are still used today in virtually all wood-burning appliances such as fireplaces, stoves, and outdoor barbecues. Electric heating systems now exist which do not need a chimney.
Dampers are designed to seal the chimney while no flames are present, keeping cold air out and your house warm. Dampers disperse smoke. Before you start your fire, open the damper so that all of the smoke escapes through the chimney. Dampers aid in the regulation of the intensity of your fire. The more closed it is, the less heat will be allowed into the room.
Chimney dampers are used to control the flow of smoke from your fireplace or stove. There are two types of chimney dampers: auto-closing and hand-operated. An auto-closing chimney damper operates automatically when there's smoke coming out of the chimney and closes when the fire is out. A hand-operated chimney damper requires you to open and close it with a handle or lever. You should test your chimney damper at least once a year for functionality. If it doesn't work properly, have your chimney swept and inspected by a professional.
People often think that burning wood in a fireplace or stove produces only smoke, but it also leaves creosote build-up if you don't clean the chimney regularly. This can cause problems with your chimney damper not closing completely or blocking the chimney. To prevent this, use a chimney brush to sweep out any debris from your chimney before testing your damper.
The damper will need to be removed immediately. A metal rod should be connected to the damper. This is secured to the chimney by four nuts. Using the wrench, remove the fasteners. After that, you should be able to spin the damper off the rod. The damper will now be able to exit the chimney. Before putting the damper back in place, make sure it's not blocking any holes inside the chimney wall. If it is, then push it back into position.
Consider Creating a Draft Place your hand in the fireplace before lighting a fire to see if the damper is open. A draft going down the chimney is a good sign that the damper is open. If you don't notice any chilly air going down the chimney, the damper is closed.
You can also use a smoke detector. If it goes off, the damper is probably closed. Open windows or doors may help bring in fresh air which would be why the detector went off. However, if there are no openings available, making the room even more smoky, then the detector was probably triggered by smoke coming from somewhere else in the house.
The last way to check for a chimney draft is by standing outside. If all of the surrounding windows and doors are closed but there's still smoke coming out of the chimney, then there's a problem. Either something is blocking the chimney or there's not enough air entering the home to support burning material. If this is the case, you'll need to call in a professional chimney sweep to clean out any blockages and install a vent pipe to ensure proper airflow.
Fireplaces are a beautiful addition to any home, but they can also be a danger if not maintained properly. It's important to check the chimney once a year for soot or other signs of damage or blockage. If you find anything suspicious, call a chimney expert immediately to prevent a fire.