How to operate fireplace damper,

Damper Operation,

If you have a wood burning fireplace in your house that was built after 1950 if most likely has a damper you can open and close.

QUICK TIP:  If you leave the damper open in winter long after the fire has burned out you are wasting 5-600+ feet per min of heated air up the chimney.. That means the warm air, you know the air you pay to heat, is going up the chimney, which means every 4-5 hrs the entire contents of warm air is being exchanged for cold outside air you have to heat again costing you more money..  SO the theme here is CLOSE the damper asap after burning a fire.


Now when the fire is burning the damper should be open but how far?  Some fireplaces especially prefab types the damper can only be open or closed.. no way to adjust the thing.

Now some fireplace including some masonry and some prefab types you can adjust the damper during the burning of a fire.. My fireplace is a prefab type with the damper handle on the top and front of firebox.

2015-02-15 18.02.15

Its the round looking thing in the center of the fire it looks like.. I also have a Stainless steel fireback in my unit to help protect the back wall refectory from damage and it help put more heat in the room.


2015-02-15 18.02.53 looking up the damper is wide open and you can see the handle is pushed all the way to the right. this is a nice burning fire going with little smoke coming off the logs.


2015-02-15 18.02.31 In this shot the damper is appx half way closed during the fire. Now you may have to adjust the damper moving somewhat more open if you put a new log on for a few minutes.  After the fire burns down you can close the damper down a bit more..


I typically close my damper all the way when there is just a bunch of coals left and not a lot of smell.  Do be sure close the damper that night if can(come back down stair before bed to close the damper, a warm fireplace will increase the flow up a chimney by a factor of 3)  and leave the fireplace door open to allow all the heat of the bricks and firebox to continue to warm the house.


This trick will allow more heat to enter the room with less air going up the flue.  Sorta like a firehose.. when you are fighting a fire you need all the flow, but if you are trying to water plants on the deck you my only need a small amount..

give this a try and feel the difference.


PS the stainless steel fireback can be used in both masonry and prefab fireplaces.




This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Carl’s Corner

    Carl Newton: WolfPack Fan,
    Carolina Hurricanes Fan,
    Carolina Panthers Fan

    Well a new year is upon us and during this time in late Jan the temps are running above normal. This will end I hear the middle of Feb with temps coming back to normal and COLD..

    We still get a lot of folks calling to ask for a second opinion where another local company was call and they found a LOT of stuff wrong with your 20 plus year old chimney most of the time with a quote of 4-5K or more.

    A lot of the things they "recommend" are to bring your chimney up to 2018/2019 code standards which is not necessary unless you are doing major repairs on the chimney or it is being torn down and rebuilt.

    Chimneys built in the 60 and 70's had different code requirement than a chimney built in 2018/2019.


    PS, If you have gotten a quote for chimney repairs, ie.. you need a chimney liner -liner work, parging smoke chamber etc. or you have been told "you might burn your house down" or "this could create a problem" stuff, that seem HIGH give us a call and let see what we can do for you.

  • Woodburning and gas burning fireplaces. Are they ready for winter.

    Is your Fireplace or Gas Logs ready to go.. If not or for a service give us a call.

    In a power outage a fireplace or gas logs may be your only form of heat so make sure they are working in top form. Give us a call to set up appt 919-772-8110

    have a good week

    PS: if you do NOT have a Carbon Monoxide detector and you have gas logs.. GET ONE.. NOW... I recommend the combo CO / Smoke battery powered detectors at Lowe's Home depot or most hardware stores..

    If yours are over 10 yrs old replace it.. (there's a date on back) If there is not a date of manf on back GET rid of it.

  • Interesting Info/Links

    • Want to find out more about vacation rentals? Timeshare Resorts.
    • Own Timeshare and exchange with RCI? You need to read this info. IT'S IMPORTANT TO LEARN MORE.



    if you need a good photo resizer that works with batchs of images give this a try. Fotosizer - Freeware Batch Image and Photo resizing made easy