A fireplace damper is most commonly found in the throat of a
chimney made of masonry, sitting above the firebox. The damper
is designed to seal your fireplace shut whenever you are not
burning a fire. In order to keep heated air from escaping your
home, a damper is necessary. Otherwise, the air will flow up the
chimney, thus not providing any warmth to your home. Keep in mind
that both wood burning and gas fireplaces use dampers.
One of the features of your fireplace that needs to be checked by
a professional every year is the damper. When you have an overall
check up of your fireplace, the damper should automatically be a
part of the package. When your damper remains open, even just a
little bit, or if your damper leaks, you could be spending hundreds,
if not thousands, of dollars every year for nothing.
The majority of fireplace dampers have a metal-to-metal form that
when sitting together appropriately, it prevents leakage. However,
as years pass, that metal can start to warp due to all the heat
from fires and moisture from rainy and cold seasons. When this
occurs, the seal starts to loosen, which starts to allow warm air
to escape up the chimney instead of into your room.
In the past several years, new damper technologies have been
designed and if your damper is old and worthless, you might
consider having a more updated one installed. The cost of a
damper is reasonable and a professional can replace or repair
yours with little trouble.
Just remember, your fireplace should be a source of heat for your
home. If your damper is not doing its job properly, the fireplace
is losing its effectiveness and your heating bills skyrocket. Your
fireplace is a valuable asset to your home so you need to ensure it
is always in the best working condition possible.