Chimney Care Company's Blog

What is a chimney damper?

Are you new to using a fireplace and wondering exactly how things work? Fortunately, fireplaces are fairly easy appliances to work. One thing you will need to learn about is your chimney damper.damper

What is a chimney damper?

A chimney damper is a small flap of metal at the base of your chimney flue. The flap sits within the seal. When the fireplace is in use, the damper is opened with a lever or chain to let smoke out. When the fireplace isn’t in use, the damper is closed to seal off the chimney opening.

Why are chimney dampers necessary?

Chimney dampers help your fireplace operate more efficiently. Without a chimney damper, the warm air from your home would flow freely up and out of your home through your chimney flue. Cold bursts of air also could blow down your chimney to chill your home. A chimney damper helps protect your home-heating bills by blocking off your chimney opening when your fireplace isn’t in use.

How do you use a chimney damper?

There’s not much to knowing how to use a chimney damper. Before you light a fire in your fireplace, open your chimney damper so that smoke can escape from your fireplace. After your fires have stopped burning, you will want to close your chimney damper to prevent air exchange through the chimney. Before closing your damper, you will want to be sure that your fire has completely stopped burning; if embers are still smoldering, your closed damper will prevent smoke and carbon monoxide from escaping your home. There are several different types of chimney dampers, and how you open and close your chimney damper will depend on your exact type of chimney damper. Some dampers are opened and closed by pulling a chain. Others have a lever or knob that is pushed and pulled to open and close.

How can you get more from your chimney damper?

Not all chimney dampers are created equally. When new fireplaces and chimneys are installed, they have a throat chimney damper. These dampers have a metal-on-metal closure that doesn’t form a tight seal. On top of that, they can rust or warp over time, making them difficult to open and close. While throat dampers are better than no dampers, they don’t completely prevent warm air from exiting your home or cold air from bursting down the chimney. So how can you get a better performance from your chimney damper? Have a top-sealing chimney damper installed. Top-sealing dampers are installed at the top of your chimney flue. They feature rubber gaskets to create a tight, complete seal when closed. Top-sealing dampers can help lower your home energy bills by preventing warm air from exiting your chimney.

If you are having problems with your chimney damper, call the Chimney Care Co. We can inspect your existing chimney damper, and if it’s due for replacement, we can outfit your chimney with a new, more efficient top-sealing chimney damper.

By Jeff Keefer | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Gas Fireplaces Need Service, Too!

Homeowners love their gas fireplaces because of easy operation and low maintenance. However, many homeowners mistake low maintenance for no maintenance. To keep your gas fireplace or heating stove operating safely year after year, schedule an annual cleaning and inspection!

Why do gas fireplaces need annual service?

Gas fireplaces burn very cleanly, without the buildup of soot and creosote that come with wood- or pellet-burning appliances. Nevertheless, they are still subject to buildup and deterioration. Here are some reasons your gas fireplace or heating stove needs annual service:

• Internal debris. Debris builds up within your gas fireplace or stove, where it can clog the burner, pilot or blowers and cause your appliance to look old and dirty. Dust can be a problem, but most of the debris in your fireplace comes from the logs. The ceramic logs within a gas fireplace or heating stove break down over time, leaving small chunks of debris that can cause problems.

• Glass deterioration. Gas fireplaces and stoves include heavy-duty glass doors that are made to stand up to heat over time. However, they can develop cracks or chips that can jeopardize the safe function of your gas appliance.

• Malfunctions. Gas appliances involve a lot of working components. There are blowers, gaskets, and pilots that can breakdown, malfunction or just stop working over time. Regular service of your gas appliance ensures that it keeps operating safely and efficiently.

• Ventilation. Even though the chimney to your gas fireplace or heating stove doesn’t run the risk of becoming clogged with flammable creosote like a wood-burning appliance would, the chimney still can become clogged or work improperly. Animals and debris can clog your gas chimney, and a chimney that isn’t functioning properly can cause a host of problems.

What does annual gas fireplace service involve?

Your annual gas fireplace service should include both a cleaning and inspection. Your technician should thoroughly clean the interior of your gas fireplace or heating stove, removing the logs to make sure they are in good repair and sweeping any debris out of the fireplace’s interior. The glass also should be cleaned and checked for signs of deterioration. Finally, your technician should inspect the soundness and operation of all of the components of your gas fireplace or heating stove. The chimney should be checked for damage and blockages.

Who can I call to service my gas fireplace or heating stove?

To prepare your gas fireplace or gas heating stove for the fall and winter, call the Chimney Care Co. to schedule an appointment! The Chimney Care Co. cleans, inspects and repairs nearly all makes and models of gas fireplaces and heating stoves. When you schedule your gas appliance service with the Chimney Care Co., you can be sure that your gas fireplace or heating stove is ready for safe and efficient operation this season!

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Chimney Care Company | 413 Wards Corner Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140