If you’re aren’t familiar with how to operation a wood burning fireplace it is important to understand all the components of it. Operating a fireplace is not difficult, but like all home heating appliances it can be dangerous if not used correctly. The damper is one of the most importance pieces to your fireplace, and knowing how to use it correctly can keep your fireplace working efficiently and can also prevent costly and potentially dangerous damage to your chimney and your home.
Why Do I Need A Damper?
A fireplace damper serves to open and close your chimney valve. When your chimney is in use, the damper should be opened in order to keep all the smoke from filling up your living space. When your fireplace is not in use you should keep your damper securely shut to seal it off. This will prevent heat from escaping your home so your home is heated inefficiently and your energy bills are kept as low as possible. The third way your damper is important is that it can be opened a little or shut a little in order to control the amount of oxygen getting to your fire, which will ultimately control the fire burning in your fireplace. This can help you burn fires longer and more efficiently, also saving you money during the cold winter months.
How To Increase Damper Efficiency
Burning cleaner, more efficient fires in your fireplace is the best and safest thing you can do as a homeowner. Knowing all the elements of your fireplace and how to use them to your advantage will help you utilize your fireplace to the utmost capacity. Here are some tricks to help you operation your fireplace damper.
- When you start a fire, open the damper all the way and DO NOT light your fire until this is done. This will allow as much oxygen as possible inside your fireplace and towards your fire. More oxygen means a bigger blaze and having that at the beginning of your fire will help it burn longer and hotter.
Invest in a top sealing Damper. Traditional fireplaces have a damper located at the bottom, or the throat of the chimney. While these are important, many professionals are recommending a top sealing damper too. Top sealers will further protect against moisture and debris inside the chimney, and this can prevent damage towards the chimney.
- Maintain your fireplace damper. As with all elements of your wood burning fireplace, maintenance is the most important thing you can do to protect your chimney and keep the fireplace burning efficiently. Clean out your fireplace regularly, and have a professional chimney sweeping company like Total Chimney Care in New Haven and Fairfield help you keep your fireplace clean and also inspect it for masonry damage. Look for tell-tale damage in and around your fireplace like:
- Rust around the damper
- Wallpaper or paint damage around the fireplace or chimney area
- Cracks in the masonry of your fireplace or chimney
A fireplace damper is a standard component of any fireplace, and knowing how to use it will not only keep your family safe, it will also help efficiently heat your home all season long.