Damper Installs and Repairs
For homes with a chimney, it’s important to keep it well-maintained so it operates safely and efficiently whenever in use. One area that homeowners want to ensure is working properly is the damper.
Purpose of a Chimney Damper
The damper plays a vital role in the efficient operation of a chimney. Its purpose is twofold. First, when the chimney is in use during the winter with a roaring fire, while warm air is being generated, so, too, is smoke. In this case, the damper is placed in the “open” position, which allows the smoke to make its way up the flue and out of the chimney escaping into the air.
When the chimney is not in use, the job of the damper is just the opposite. During these times, the damper is placed in the “closed” position. This prevents hot air from the outside from coming down the chimney flue and into the home. It also prevents cool air from inside to escape up the flue and out the chimney top.
Reasons for Repairing or Replacing a Damper
Over time, a damper can deteriorate whether from age, rust from moisture or dust and debris buildup and from rodents that have made their way inside the flue to nest atop the damper. A damper being subjected for years to intense heat when the chimney is in use can cause the damper’s material to warp, Whether damaged, deteriorated, or warped all these situations result in an inefficient chimney.
Whenever the damper is unable to seal the flue tightly and hot and cold air is allowed to flow freely into and out of the home, energy costs for the home will increase significantly because equipment, such as a central heat and air conditioning system, will not be able to maintain a consistent interior temperature. Not only will energy bills increase, the continuous on/off cycling of the equipment puts undue stress on the unit, which can lead to costly repairs on heating and cooling systems on top of the costs for a chimney damper repair or replacement.
To avoid inflated energy bills and to keep your home’s temperature consistent throughout the seasons, have the chimney inspected. It is recommended by the National Fire Protection Association that an inspection be done yearly. Whether the damper is installed at the base or top of the chimney, during the inspection, the damper is checked for any damage or deterioration, cleaned of any dust and debris, and checked that it is properly positioned and capable of sealing the flue tightly.
Be safe. Schedule an inspection with a licensed professional to ensure the chimney is not a fire hazard, and damper repairs or replacements are taken care of, if needed.