It’s funny how sometimes the littlest parts can play a huge role in making sure that things work correctly. For example, If a ship didn’t have a rudder, you could not control the ship. Without a tiny little apple seed, we would not have apple trees. In your fireplace and chimney system, there is this little thing – the damper, which does a huge job for your fireplace. When compared to the rest of your chimney, the damper is not huge.

However, the damper does a huge and important job of making sure your chimney runs more efficiently. At Firesafe Chimney Services, we want to help you understand the damper and the important role it plays for your chimney.

What Does the Damper Do?

white masonry chimney with spalling bricksOne of the major jobs of the dampers is to control how fast or slow the fire burns, by controlling the air flow. Dampers are designed to fit inside your chimney and shut the throat of the chimney when there is no fire burning or open when a fire is burning. You’ll want the dampers shut when the fire isn’t burning because otherwise, the warm air from inside of your home will escape out of the house while the cold outside air is drawn in.

When a fire is burning, however, you’ll want that damper open. As the fire burns, the byproduct of the fire and smoke needs to leave the house. With the dampers open, the smoke will be drawn out of the chimney and into the outdoors. It also keeps the smoke from entering your house. Another reason that it’s important to keep the dampers open is to encourage a safe, efficient fire. In order to burn effectively, a fire needs proper airflow to burn. This air flow, or draft, is what keep your fire going. Too much draft and you may face a room full of smoke; not enough and your fire won’t burn efficiently. It’s clear that the dampers really do play a vital role in keeping your fireplace running efficiently and safely.

How Can They Be Damaged?

Your dampers can suffer from normal wear and tear, but they can be damaged in other ways too. Your damper can get damage through a simple element: water. If your chimney is leaking, it can cause the metal dampers to rust, which means they won’t close properly. If this is the case, you could be losing energy up through the chimney. Another problem is that your dampers won’t open fully, and that means there will be more smoke that goes back into your home. That can cause health issues for you and your family.

If you’re concerned about the health of your family and want to make sure that you get to enjoy your fire burning experience, you’ll want to make sure that you a working damper. This is just one of the things we’ll check out when you call Firesafe Chimney Service. Give us a call soon!