As summer winds down and fall approaches here in Indianapolis, you may be looking forward to the first chilly night you’ll spend warming up around the fire at home. That’s why at B+E, we think it’s time to refresh your knowledge on fireplace safety and give you a quick rundown on fireplace dampers.

What is a fireplace damper and what does it do?

A fireplace damper is a typically metal or ceramic device usually located in the throat of your chimney that can be opened or closed. When closed, a damper prevents warm air from escaping through your chimney when the fireplace is not in use and prevents animals and debris from outside from entering your home. When opened, it acts as a vent for all the gases and byproducts released by the fire. It can also control the efficiency and intensity of a fire by being partially closed. 

When should it be open?

Your fireplace damper should typically only be open when the fireplace is in use. This is important because it ensures that the smoke and gases from the fire are vented from your home. A closed damper will cause these gases and smoke to enter and fill the room when the fireplace is in use, which can be dangerous and have negative health consequences. 

You may wonder if you should also keep your fireplace damper open during the summer to allow air into your home on hot Indianapolis days, but typically it won’t make a difference, so this is unnecessary. It’s best to keep the damper closed any time the fireplace is not being used, including during the warmer months.

When should it be closed?

Keep your fireplace damper closed when your fireplace is not in use. This will prevent your heated or cooled air from escaping your home through the fireplace and chimney, as well as block drafts from outside. A closed damper will prevent rain, debris, and animals from entering your home through the fireplace, too. You may also keep the damper partially closed while your fireplace is in use to control the fire’s intensity, but it should not be fully closed. 

Brick + Ember Outfitters for your fireplace maintenance and repairs

Need any help with your fireplace or have any questions? Our dedicated and knowledgeable team at Brick + Ember Outfitters can help. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to schedule an appointment at (317) 500 1250 or send us an email at today.