Does Your Fireplace Damper Need A Repair Or Replacement?

How to Know Your Fireplace Damper Needs to be Repaired or Replaced

Sure, furnaces and central heaters are more efficient, but there’s nothing like a roaring fire to keep you warm during winter. However, your fireplace relies heavily on a component that often goes unnoticed — the damper. And it’s crucial to know when this component needs to be replaced or repaired for safety, energy efficiency, and your fireplace’s longevity. In this post, we look at the fireplace damper’s role and the signs indicating it needs some TLC.

chimney damper cleaning in Burlington,WI.What is a Fireplace Damper?

The fireplace damper is a movable plate located in the flue, the passage for smoke and gasses to exit the house. Its primary function is to regulate airflow and draft within the chimney. When open, the damper allows smoke and toxic gases to escape through the chimney. When closed, it prevents cold air from getting in and warm air from escaping, thus improving energy efficiency.

Signs Your Fireplace Damper Needs Repairs or Replacement

Difficulty Opening & Closing

One of the earliest signs the damper needs attention is if it’s difficult to open and close. This could indicate rust, corrosion, or warping caused by moisture or heat. These issues can prevent the damper from making a proper seal when closed, allowing heat to escape.

Visible Rust or Corrosion

You or a professional chimney sweep should regularly inspect the damper for signs of rust, corrosion, or damage. This deterioration makes it difficult to operate and poses a safety risk because a weakened damper might fail to open, leading to back puffing and carbon monoxide.

Signs of Smoke Leaks

A properly functioning damper should seal the fireplace shut when you’re not using it. If you see smoke entering the home when you start a fire, it could be a sign the damper isn’t opening fully. On the other hand, if you notice cold drafts or smell smoke when not using the fireplace, it means the damper isn’t forming a tight seal.

The Damper Doesn’t Stay in Place

If the damper doesn’t stay open or closed and seems to have a mind of its own, it’s a sure sign of damage. A damper that doesn’t stay in place is a safety hazard because it could close unexpectedly and lead to toxic gases building in the house.

Unusual Noises

Does your damper make grinding or scraping sounds when opening or closing? If so, this indicates a mechanical issue and could result from damaged or misaligned parts.

When to Opt For Replacement

Consult with a local chimney specialist and have them inspect the damper and flue. If repairs aren’t feasible or the damper is significantly aged, replacement might be the more cost-effective option. Modern dampers are designed for better efficiency and durability, so if yours is over 20 years old, it might be best to replace it in the long run.

chimney damper cleaning in Burlington,WI.

While the fireplace damper is a small component, it’s crucial. Regular inspection by a certified chimney specialist and prompt attention to fix issues are key to ensuring safety, efficiency, and comfort.

Call Burlington Fireplace & Solar

Burlington Fireplace & Solar is a family-owned fireplace and chimney company that has proudly served southeastern Wisconsin since 1995. We’re the go-to chimney sweep in the area, and there’s nothing our certified technicians can’t handle.

Book your appointment today at 262-763-3522.

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