Basic Home Improvements : How to Work a Fireplace Damper

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hi I'm Tim Gipson I'm going to talk to

you about how to work your fireplace

damper now the damper is this lever

that's located in the top of your

fireplace about the midpoint and dampers

and inserts like this what it is it's

basically just a round flap that is

either in the closed position so it's

covering it's closing your chimney flue

or it's in the open position allowing

air flow up through your chimney flue

and of course whenever we're not using

the fireplace we want to make sure that

this damper is either in the closed

position and then before we light our

fire we always want to make sure it's in

the open position and that make sure we

get proper air flow now if you like your

fire and you start getting some smoke or

if it happens to be gas logs if you

start smell some fumes in there it's

probably a pretty good indication that

your damper is is closed now if you've

already lit your fire and you either

have some smoke that's coming into the

house or you smell some fumes from the

gas and you're going to come and open

your damper it's very important to know

that this is all made of metal so it

could be potentially very hot so in that

case you don't want to open it with a

pair of pliers or you can use something

like an oven mitt to come up and grab

this and open this now if you open your

damper and you still get some smoke or

you get some fumes in it could mean that

your chimney needs to be cleaned the

creosote buildup can cause a problem

where you actually get a downdraft

through your chimney and you don't get

proper drafting or it's pulling the

fumes and the smoke out of your chimney

so again you want to make sure that your

damper is fully open when you have a

fire that is lit and you want to make

sure it's fully closed to keep from any

heat from escaping up through your

chimney when it's not in use so I'm Tim

Gipson and that's how to work your

fireplace damper