Why It’s Important to Close Your Damper in The Summer

May 18, 2019

Now that it’s springtime, there’s one important thing to remember to do to close off your fireplace for summer: close your damper. Leaving your chimney damper open during the summer can have a number of consequences, which we will discuss below. Need more fireplace or chimney help? Call our chimney company in Cary, Apex, and Raleigh for a free chimney installation, cleaning, or repair estimate!

What is a Fireplace Damper?

A fireplace damper, chimney damper, or “throat damper” is a metal plate located at the top of your chimney’s firebox. Its job is to seal off the firebox from the rest of the chimney, and can be opened or close with a lever. When properly installed, dampers should create an airtight seal that prevents airflow between the chimney and the rest of the house.

Why Keeping your Damper Open Will Not Cool Your Home

One common misconception about fireplace dampers is that leaving them open will help keep your home cool. The thinking behind this theory is that, since warm air rises, any warm air in your home will travel up and out of the flue. However, the opposite is true. If you leave the damper open, regardless of whether it is hot or cold outside, it will allow outside air to draft in and counter the effects of your heating and cooling system. Your HVAC unit will have to work even harder, costing you money!

Keeping Your Damper Open Does Not “Air Out” Your Chimney

Another common myth about dampers is that leaving them open during the summer helps air out the chimney. Again, this is incorrect. Leaving the damper open removes the barrier between your chimney and the rest of the house, meaning chimney odors are more likely to seep through your home. This can be especially bad during the hot, humid months of summer if your chimney has significant creosote buildup. An open damper can also allow other things, like birds and bugs, to fly right into your home through the chimney!

The Chimney Cap is Not Enough to Protect Your Chimney  

The final common myth our chimney contractors often hear is that the damper does not need to be closed, because the chimney cap protects the chimney system. Although chimney caps are great at keeping water, debris, and animals out of the chimney, they do not block airflow or drafts.

Call Nexus Chimney for all your Cary, Apex, and Raleigh Fireplace Needs

Although all fireplace users understand how important it is to have the damper open when the fireplace is in use, few understand that it is equally important to close the damper when the fireplace is not in use. If your damper has been damaged by water, animals, or has lost its seal due to age, it may be time to have it repaired or replaced. If you need help with your damper, chimney cap, chimney, or fireplace, call Nexus Chimney Services today.