Is a damper and a fireplace flue the same thing? Having a fireplace is incredibly beneficial for the cold Indiana winters, but it also comes with a big responsibility. To keep your fireplace working and safe, you must perform the proper fireplace and chimney maintenance. Keeping track of all the different parts of your fireplace can get confusing for the typical Indianapolis homeowner. 

Two of the key parts to understand are the damper and flue. These two terms often get mixed up, even though they are not synonymous. However, they are both involved in a certain function of your fireplace. 

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the fireplace damper and flue. 

What’s a Flue?

The flue is a pipe or tube that brings smoke from your fireplace out of your home. The smoke from your chimney is drawn out of your house via the chimney flue. If you did not have a flue, the smoke and gases would stay in your home and pose a serious hazard. 

All wood-burning fireplaces have a chimney flue. The flue can be a simple pipe or a duct, but it must be the right size for your capacity of your fire system. To protect your flue, you should have a flue liner. The flue liner helps shield the flue from the toxic gases and extreme heat it is exposed to. 

What’s a Damper?

The flue damper is inside the flue. The primary function of the damper is to regulate the airflow of the flue. To ensure the flue can carry the hazardous gases out of your home,  you’ll need the damper to be open. 

How the Damper and Flue are Related

The damper and flue are two different parts, but they are related and involved in the same function. The flue is the inside tunnel of your chimney that brings gases from your fireplace out of your home, while the damper closes or opens the access to the flue. 

When to Open or Close Your Damper

While the damper is necessary for the flue to do its job, the damper should not always be open. Before lighting a fire or using the fireplace, you should fully open the damper. Keep the damper fully open until all of the embers in your fireplace are done burning. 

Some people believe that partially closing the damper while using the fireplace may preserve heat, but that’s not the case. Instead, a partially or fully closed damper will lock the passage to the flue, which will cause smoke to enter your home. 

When you are not using the fireplace, close the damper to prevent a draft and keep the controlled air inside your home from escaping. An open damper works like a window and can allow heat to escape your home. To ensure you keep the heat in your home, close the damper when your fireplace is not in use. 

Signs of a Broken Damper

A broken damper will not allow your flue to have proper airflow, and it will need to be addressed quickly. Excessive heat or smoke in your home while using your fireplace are signs of a damper that’s not functioning correctly. Damaged dampers pose a smoke and carbon monoxide hazard and must be handled as soon as possible. 

Damper and Flue Services 

To keep your fireplace and chimney working correctly and safely, you must regularly clean and inspect it. A chimney sweep and inspection is a small investment that can save you a lot of time and money down the line. An experienced chimney sweep will be able to quickly identify any issues with your chimney flue or damper, so that you can resolve any minor issues before they become more severe down the line. 

Whether you have more questions about fireplace parts like the damper or flue, or you need maintenance and repair, your dedicated Brick + Ember Outfitters of Indianapolis are here to help. Our knowledgeable experts can help with all of your fireplace and chimney needs. We offer affordable, high-quality chimney sweeps and inspection, as well as all the services you need to  take care of your fireplace. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have and explain how our services can help you optimize your fireplace for years to come. To learn more about our fireplace and chimney services or to schedule your appointment, contact Brick + Ember Outfitters Indianapolis today at 1-317-500-1250 or OFFICE@BRICKANDEMBER.COM