How to Know If Your Damper Is Working Properly

Having a damper is essential in controlling the amount of air going out of your fireplace’s chimney to guarantee a safe and efficient wood-burning. A simple misadjustment of your fireplace damper may instigate accidental fire that can destroy not only your home but even your lives. Knowing how to open and close the fireplace dampers provides safe home-warming, so learn these simple tips as your kickstart.

Do a visual check.

There are different visual checking methods on each damper type. For traditional throat damper, look up to the chimney using a flashlight. If there is a barrier above your head, then it is a closed damper. If you can see into the flue, then it is an open damper. For top-mount fireplace dampers, go outside and see through a binocular whether the damper exhausts are open or closed.

Check And Test The Controls.

To check the controls, use a lift rod and lift it upwards to open the damper. However, if you have a rotary control, turn it clockwise as far as it can. For top-mount ones, pull on the chain and check if you can pull it down before it springs back up. If you can, then the damper is open.

Feel The Breeze.

One way to know if your damper is working or open is through feeling the air circulation by placing your hand inside the fireplace. If you can feel the air, then it is open. For basement fireplaces, you can also sense the breeze coming down the chimney.

Start a Fire.

If you have done the prior tips above, the last and easiest way to know if the damper is open is by starting a fire. A closed damper will make the smoke escape out of the chimney and spread towards the room. On the contrary, the smoke will exit towards the flue if the damper is open.

Fireplace dampers are helpful, especially for you and your family to warm up during winter without having an air-polluted home. However, if you can’t easily open or close your damper, contact a chimney expert to aid you.