Fireplace Damper | Kansas City
Living with a cold air fireplace problem is very frustrating. A cold fireplace draft coming from the chimney is often a indication of a faulty chimney damper. Chimney Dampers are one of the many fireplace flue repair jobs a Full Service Chimney Sweep can help you with. We’re familiar with all types of fireplace dampers and damper repair or replacement options.
Think You May Need Fireplace Damper Repair?
Don't wait. If you live in the Kansas City Metro area call 913-642-6171 or
“It's the national addiction: warmth on chilly winter nights, innocence on Saturday afternoons, the essence of hearth, home and blissful abandon.”
- Patricia Linden
Customer satisfaction is the result of a Certified Chimney Sweep correctly diagnosing the true cause of your flue troubles. We provide options, while other companies only want to sell you something. Sometimes all that’s needed is a fireplace cleaning to get a fireplace damper in working order.
Count on a Full Service Chimney Inspector to help turn a chilly fireplace into the warm and cozy hearth of your dreams.
What is the Difference Between a Chimney “Damper” & a Chimney “Flue”?
A fireplace damper, otherwise known as chimney damper, is the door between the fireplace firebox and the chimney flue. The passageway to the open air (outdoors) is the chimney flue.
So when you want to use your fireplace and have a fire, the damper door needs to be open. Keeping the damper door open allows the smoke and fumes to leave your home and exhaust via the chimney flue to the outside.
When the fire is out and the coals are cool, the damper can be closed, this will stop household air (heating/cooling) from leaving a home through the fireplace and chimney.
How to know if the fireplace damper is open or closed?
A Chimney dampers controls are located in the fireplace firebox. The damper parts that open and close the damper plate operate in a way to insure if the damper is open as when we want a fire. It should not accidentally close. Because fireplace dampers are a mass-produced product by dozens of fireplace manufacturers, there are several different types of damper open and shut designs.
The only way to know if a damper is open or closed is to view it from inside the fireplace firebox. It is worth the trouble to poke your head in the fireplace and look up (of course, with no fire burning), because it is a “bad thing” to light a fire when we hope the damper is open, when it is really closed.
Are there different types of dampers?
Fireplace throat dampers (frequent among masonry chimneys) are commonly made of cast iron due to its tolerance of high temperatures.
Vestal is one of the types of fireplace dampers most commonly used in our local Kansas City area. These are the (fishbone) “poker” types of chimney damper handle (the control). The most common problem encountered by homeowners of flue dampers is difficulties arising from coming out of their track. The fireplace throat dampers design only works if the plate stays in its open hinge slot. It does this only with gravity to keep it there.
In the event the damper is operated incorrectly, it will jump out of its hinge, often resulting in a cold fireplace. Once this happens, the casual user is often poorly equipped to return it to the correct position, and may require assistance from a chimney professional.
Another common issue to a fireplace damper is their inability to close in an air-tight fashion, which is critical for consumers wanting an energy efficient home.
Since Vestal damper parts are located directly over the flame of the fireplace, "gasketing" the door to its frame isn't practical. Consequently, with warping of the door and frame from just a few fires results in a very leaky fireplace damper, resulting air loss from the home. Many cold air fireplace complaints revolve around damper problems.
Full Service Chimney Can Solve Fireplace Damper Problems
How much is a fireplace damper?
Cast iron fireplace dampers cost as little as $100, the expense comes in the installation. The walls of the fireplace firebox must be rebuilt in order to replace the fireplace throat damper. It is for this reason, that although a higher price, the chimney top damper makes since.
Chimney damper caps can be installed in some cases in less than an hour, and offers the benefit of less cold air in the fireplace.
Do all fireplaces have a damper?
Both prefabricated fireplaces and masonry chimneys have flue damper systems. Prefabricated chimneys and fireplaces have a built in rotary damper plate, not unlike a choke mechanism on a lawnmower gas engine. With the exception of gas fireplaces, most fireplace chimneys have a functioning chimney damper.
What does a damper do in a wood stove?
Flue dampers for wood burning stoves are necessary for the air controls to limit the intensity of burning. Faulty flue dampers for wood burning stoves can be a safety hazard. If too much air is allowed to the firebox, an unsafe temperature could result.
Also if the damper for a wood stove fails to open when starting a fire in our firebox, getting our stove going will be difficult (not to mention a smokey mess). For this reason a yearly chimney sweep and inspection is necessary (another reason is dangerous creosote build-up).
Can a fireplace damper be replaced?
Yes, absolutely! Your Full Service Chimney Inspector can replace a broken flue damper with a fireplace throat damper; a fireplace damper replacement, especially designed for optimal performance.
Chimney Damper Caps have even more advantages over fireplace throat dampers. The distance from the fireplace grate allows gasketing material between the door and the frame without the risk of being destroyed by the intense flames. A fireplace/chimney with a top sealing chimney damper installed will often be warmer, making it easer to start fires and limits cold air fireplace problems.
Another benefit to the chimney top dampers is the ease of the damper handle to operate. The damper parts that open and close, are on the side of the fireplace firebox. So you can tell if your damper is open or closed without sticking your head in the fireplace.
Keeping your home and hearth safe, warm and dry isn’t rocket science… Its chimney science.
Trust your hearth to our Certified Chimney Sweep to make your time by the fireplace pleasant and cozy.
Call 913-642-6171 or