These are the little trap doors that are usually right above the firebox of your fireplace. You, know, that thing you have to reach into your fireplace and open before you can light your fire? That’s the damper.
If you need a new one, we recommend Chimney Top dampers as the best,cheapest replacement for any type of damper. Atlanta Chimney Sweep Pro has replacement dampers of several types, and we can even have parts custom made if needed. Call us for all your damper needs.
What Kind of Damper Do You Have?
First you need to know the type of chimney you have. Is it an all brick and masonry chimney, or a metal fireplace insert (or prefabricated) chimney? That makes all the difference. Unless you are quite the handy(wo)man, it’s going to be hard for you to figure this out on your own. This is an area where you really need to call an honest local chimney sweep. We can tell you what is going on with your damper, usually at a glance, because we know your chimney like a surgeon knows your insides.
What Do Dampers Do?
Dampers are mainly to keep your heat from escaping, or to keep cold air from coming in when the fireplace is not in use. In days gone by, when the fire was the only heat source, dampers would be opened just enough to let all the smoke out so that less heated air would escape up the chimney. Now days, everyone just either opens or shuts them usually.
Brick Chimney Dampers
Brick chimney dampers are normally right above the firebox, but not always. For the last 20 years or so, the chimney top damper has come into use. It is hardly ever put on a new chimney, but rather is used for a far less expensive alternative to replacing an existing damper that has broken, rusted out, or failed for whatever reason. Sometimes the bricks in the firebox are so broken up over time, you have to completely rebuild the firebox. A new damper frame can be very expensive, and it may be much cheaper to go with the chimney top damper.
My Damper Won’t Open or My Damper Won’t Close
Sometimes the damper frame is ok, but the damper door is broken or missing. This can be remedied by ordering a new door many times. Sometimes there can be something behind the damper. It could be mortar that fell there when they were building the chimney, or a dead raccoon. Sometimes it was built so poorly the damper hits the sides of the smoke chamber when you try to move it. We just have to see it to know.
Metal Chimney Dampers
On fireplace insert prefab chimneys (metal), the damper is almost always built right into the fireplace box at the factory. There are some older, original prefab models that had a removable damper, but they were always falling out. 99% of what you most people have is the installed, non removable type.
If Your Damper Won’t Open
If you have had lots of giant hot fires in your prefab chimney, you might have warped the damper to the point it no longer closes. In some cases, the throat of the chimney around the damper can become misshapen and the damper may close, but not be able to reopen. Of course, this makes your chimney completely unusable until it’s repaired. Yes, Atlanta Chimney Sweep Pro can take care of this problem also.
Chimney Dampers on Top
The best, most cost effective, most modern solution to damper problems is the chimney top damper. Much cheaper by a long shot than replacing the existing damper. These dampers are installed on top of the chimney. They work for virtually any type of chimney. They are operated by a long wire that comes all the way down into the fire box. You simply reach in and grab hold of the chain at the end of the wire and you can open and close it with a small bracket attached to the side of the fireplace. (See Illustration).
These can be installed with a cap also, as long as the cap is large enough. Or there is a model available that is a cap and damper combined into one unit.
Call us today. We can take care of all of your needs with chimney dampers.