There is a spring that keeps the top-mount damper open, and the controlling cable or handle is usually attached to the fireplace wall. If your fireplace doors are shut, oxygen cannot reach the flames. A fire crackling in the fireplace adds to the ambiance while the heat it generates helps to warm the area. Most dampers are constructed of cast iron or steel and will be black or rust-colored. You should be able to feel cold air by moving your hand or face into the fireplace. These knobs are generally found on the exterior of the fireplace, usually centered above the fireplace opening, but sometimes off to the side. There are two main types of chimney dampers. These fireplaces will typically have a sealed pane of glass on the front of the fireplace. The intake vent draws fresh air into the fireplace while the exhaust vent safely removes fumes of the combustion (burning) process. They both have a pull string to open the vents. Empire Comfort Systems Tahoe Clean Face Direct Vent MV Deluxe 42" LP Fireplace with Blower. Light the paper under the grate, using a fireplace match. I’ve also put together a diagram showing the different parts of a fireplace and chimney from a side on view, showing you the whole picture of what happens when you have a fire in your traditional open fireplace. Your house will quickly fill with smoke if you start a fire with a closed damper. You should be able to open and close it with a knob  (this is usually located on the front face of the fireplace) or rod (located in the fireplace, above the firebox). Gas Fireplace Operation. Gas fireplaces grow in popularity every year, and manufacturers offer a wide selection, including gas logs and self-contained fireplace units mounted to a wall. If you have a top-mount damper, pull down on the chain to see if you can close the damper. Read the label on the lever to determine which way to move the lever to open the vent, if the lever is labeled. Direct-vent hearth products are the safest option for supplemental heating. Start by identifying what kind of damper is in your chimney if you’re wondering if it’s open or closed. To find this opening, remove the airbrick or ventilation vent, or take out two bricks about 30cm above the floor. Top-mount dampers use a spring-loaded design. If you have a throat damper, the closed damper immediately above your head will block your vision. If your fireplace is located in the basement, you may even be able to feel air coming down the chimney. They look like a small rectangle iron grate, and most often located on the back wall of the firebox. Start a small but smoky fire in your fireplace, say using papers or tinder alone. A knob control on the fireplace exterior can be trickier since you might not know in which direction to turn it. Beside above, how do I know if my fireplace flue is open or closed? Cold air stored in the chimney flue can give you the impression that the damper is open. Thus, most homes already have them. An open damper will let air circulate freely in the chimney flue. Loosely crumple old newspaper and push it under the grate. You should be able to reach up and touch the closed damper. You will stop the cold drafty air in the winter and keep warm humid air from coming in during the summer months. Move the lever and watch for the damper to open. Closing your fireplace doors doesn’t make your fire burn longer. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512 USA, Tel: (800) 433-6341 Website: hartandcooley.com retrieved 2017/09/26, It is important to use a glass or ceramic door that can withstand the heat of the fire. Vented gas log sets offer a full, authentic-looking flame presentation with plenty of ambiance while ventless gas log sets provide a reliable and efficient heating source.. Vented gas logs are designed to be used in an existing wood burning fireplace with a fully functional chimney. 4.4 out of 5 stars 2. If you can’t see daylight at the top, the damper is closed. Harsch received her Certified Nurses Assistant license in 2004. It’s always a good idea to check the controls before starting a fire since a partially open damper wouldn’t allow for proper airflow even though you can feel a draft. B-VENT SIZING, Hart-Cooley [PDF], sizing guide for Type B Gas Vents for Category 1 Appliances, All Fuel Chimney for oil-fired appliances and open-face fireplaces, Hart & Cooley, 5030 Corporate Exchange Blvd. 99 She has several years of experience in the home-improvement industry, focusing on gardening, and a background in group exercise instruction. Don’t forget to close the damper to preserve your home’s conditioned (heated or cooled) air when you’re not using the fireplace. Open the fireplace vent at the top of the firebox. Cold air stored in the chimney flue can give you the impression that the damper is open. A closed throat damper will cause smoke to fill your house immediately when you start a fire. Cecilia Harsch has been writing professionally since 2009. They remain open until you pull a chain or handle, usually mounted on the side of the firebox, to close them and secure the mechanism to keep the damper closed: What I am thinking of doing is knocking out the bricks on the sides of the vents (I only have half bricks on either side), cover the 4 vents with cement board, then the vents would be directed out the sides and stone veneer the walls where they vent out to bring it to code. Manufactured fireplaces generally have air intakes in the lower front corners of the firebox. Carry out a visual check. Pull the lever or cord to open and close the damper. Close all your windows and doors. Ensure your clothes dryer is off and there are no exhaust fans running when attempting to light the fire. You should be able to tell right away if there isn’t enough airflow once you get used to the chimney and what a draft coming from the flue usually feels like. If your fireplace has glass doors, open the doors 15 to 20 minutes before lighting your fire. The current position of the controls (cable, rod, handle, etc) can help you determine if the damper is open or closed as long as you’re familiar with the chimney and its controls. If you can see up into the flue, the damper is … With the doors shut all that hot air goes right up the chimney. You need to open the damper when you start a fire to allow for proper airflow and let the smoke out. Pay close attention to the frameless glass corners and robust flames of the Element4 line. So I have a wood burning fireplace and I'm trying to get it all figured out and cleaned before I light anything on fire in there. It blocks off the air flow when it's closed and lets air in when it's open. In the off chance you have: ceramic glass doors, a masonry fireplace, and do not care about any heat coming into your room – then it is OK to burn a fire with your glass doors closed. These normally slide to the right and left to open or close. If the damper is closed, then the smoke will come out of the chimney and fill out the room. Looking for a glass-free 3 sided fireplace? This illustration shows how a direct vent can be routed from the firebox directly through the wall to the outdoors, and also the optional side and top venting routes. Check to … 3. Consider the H Series 3 Sided or Peninsula options. How to Season a Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove, Monessen Hearth Systems Company: Wood Burning Fireplace, How to Make a Fire Burn Overnight in a Wood Burning Furnace, How to Start a Coal Fire in an Old-Fashioned Potbellied Stove, How to Use a Fireplace for the First Time. If you have a top-mount damper, check for daylight at the top of the flue. Note the location of the lever for the next time you build a fire. These are air intakes that you can open or close to adjust the fire and sometimes deal with a finicky fire that lets smoke into the house. A fireplace is often the main feature in a room. One of the best ways to close off drafty airflow from your fireplace, especially when it won’t be used for a while, is to create a decorative and removable cover that you can pop in and out. Some gas log fixtures are vented so that any dangerous gases produced during the burn will travel outside, just as they move up and out of a chimney in a traditional wood-burning fireplace. There is a simple solution:  Rotate it all the way in one direction and stick your head in the fireplace to check the damper position. Use our magnetic fireplace vent cover to stop the inner cold air Here are different methods you can use to determine if the damper is open or closed. Most homeowners who choose direct-vent models enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that all odors and pollutants are being vented outsid… But they will typically have vents around the doors or somewhere to allow oxygen to get into the fireplace even if the doors are closed. The chimney damper works great. Designed for simplicity and crafted with care these contemporary 3 sided fireplaces make a profound impact on the look and feel of any living space. You can reach inside of the fireplace opening and behind the lintel to touch the damper. The lever on the side is probably a fresh air supply damper, so the fire pulls fresh air (unheated) from outside. They both have a pull string to open the vents. Check along the top of the firebox until you locate the vent lever. If the stove only has one vent, the knob will be centered on the door; if it has two, they will be side by side. When most people think of chimneys, they think of fireplaces. With the vent route and appliance selected, check your list of venting components. A chimney damper prevents conditioned (warmed or cooled) house air from escaping through the flue when you’re not using the fireplace. Using a flashlight, poke your head inside the fireplace to look up into the chimney. The damper will immediately spring back up if you don’t secure the chain. A throat damper closes the base of your chimney and insulates your home from cold air. Closed doors also prevent warm air from being pushed into the room. You should be able to feel cold air by moving your hand or face into the fireplace. This damper, located at the top of the firebox, swings down to seal the throat shut when you don’t use the fireplace. 5.0 out of 5 stars 3. Ensure that the fire is extinguished, then close the vent tightly to keep the cold air from entering your home. If you have a throat damper with a rod control inside the fireplace, check to see if you can push or lift the rod further. You risk damage to the interior of your home, your belongings, and, most importantly, your health when a closed damper causes smoke to become trapped in the house. Top-mount dampers use a spring-loaded design. Check up into the chimney from your fireplace. Only 3 left in stock - order soon. Fireplace Anatomy 101. Telling whether a damper is open or closed will be easier as you become familiar with your chimney. A closed vent can cause smoke to billow into the room, but using the fireplace vents properly ensures enough air feeds the fire and the smoke escapes up the chimney. How to tell if the damper is open or closed depends on the type of damper you have. A top-mount damper seals the chimney cap. Hold a lit taper in front of the opening — a flame drawn towards it indicates a clear chimney, while a still flame is a sign that the chimney is in some way obstructed. The chimney damper works great. $1,999.00 $ 1,999. One way to improve air flow is to install an outside air source. Contact us today to have one of our skilled chimney sweeps evaluate your chimney and fireplace. Close the doors and vents to extinguish a fire and save the logs for another time. 65. Allowing your fireplace doors to remain open will promote better airflow. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. It’s easy to check if a throat damper is open or closed since it’s built into the fireplace and can be seen at the top of the firebox. You know the flue is open if you can see the sky or have a throat dumper. Perform a visual check. Most direct vents are terminated horizontally directly through a wall, but they can also be routed through a top vent or side vent. Venting Components. Having smoke fill your house is more than an unpleasant experience. If the damper is closed, smoke will come out of the chimney and enter the room. Direct-vent systems transfer the combustion fumes and pollutants outside the home via a chimney or an opening on the exterior of the home. For most wood-burning fireplaces with a single venting system, the choice is simple. The throat, or upper portion, of the firebrick that lines the back of your fireplace should have a slight angle to guide smoke up and out while reducing cold air intake and may slant towards the throat damper. Chimney Flashing Leaking? These knobs are generally found on the exterior of the fireplace, usually centered above the fireplace opening, but sometimes off to the side. If you find yourself in an unfamiliar house, it’s best to perform a visual check after looking at the control position. Some gas log fixtures are vented so that any dangerous gases produced during the burn will travel outside, just as they move up and out of a chimney in a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Being sure that the fireplace will vent properly is very important to the safety of the home as a whole. The question is about these vents located on the front left and right sides of the fireplace. The position of the damper control will depend on the which damper you have installed. What to Do with a Leaky Chimney, Chimney Damper Repair | How to Identify a Broken Damper. Never leave a fireplace burning unattended. A fireplace damper is a device that can be manually opened or closed with the purpose of allowing gases and other byproducts from a fireplace to be safely vented from a building when open, but to also prevent air from escaping the building when a fireplace isn’t being used. This, in turn, insulates the entire chimney flue. Place a kindling between the two logs such as dry leaves, twigs, bark, dried pine needles or small pieces of split, dried softwood. You’ll pay $3,500 to $8,000 or more, depending on fireplace quality and the amount of remodeling … According to the Residential Cost Handbook, a gas fireplace has the potential to add an average of $5,900 to the value of a home. They produce tall, golden flames and are a very realistic-looking replacement for real wood logs. You need to leave your chimney’s damper partially open to vent the carbon monoxide that the gas fire produces, so much of the heat generated by a vented gas log set goes up the chimney. Priddy Chimney Sweeps is licensed, bonded, and insured in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. The question is about these vents located on the front left and right sides of the fireplace. 99% of the time your fireplace doors should be OPEN when you are burning a fire. An open damper will let air circulate freely in the chimney flue. Alternatively, shine a flashlight up the flue to view the vent damper if your lever is not labeled. Uniflasy Gas Fireplace Ceramic Log Set for Indoor and Outdoor Gas Inserts, Fireplaces, Fire Pits, Ventless, Propane, Vent-Free, Gel, Electric, Realistic Wood Log Set Fireplace Decoration, 10 Pcs $73.99 $ 73 . A closed damper can restrict airflow and become a safety issue since smoke would fill your house. It’s an easy way of figuring out which direction closes and opens the damper if the knob has no index markings. FREE Shipping. Pictures and keepsakes are displayed on the mantel, and during the holidays, the pictures are exchanged for Christmas stockings. Superior B-Vent Gas Fireplace BRT2000 Brochure The BRT2000 Series, offered in three distinct models BRT20/23/25, provides excellent value without compromise on quality or design. Note: This is not a foolproof method if you have a top-mount damper. The video walks through the simple steps on starting and operating a gas fireplace. If your vents do not have an open/close feature then you need to cover the vents when the fireplace is not in use. Here’s how to tell if the damper is open or closed. Fireplaces have a chimney that goes out the side or up through the roof - it is imperative that this remain open as this is how the smoke leaves your house. The advantage of a top-mount damper over its throat-mounted cousin is that it prevents animals and debris from falling into the flue. Start a fire. The resulting draft will burn wood and coals as quickly as possible. If the damper is open, smoke will exit out of the chimney. I’ve also put together a diagram showing the different parts of a fireplace and chimney from a side on view, showing you the whole picture of what happens when you have a fire in your traditional open fireplace. Building codes in most parts of the country have require these during new construction. Throat dampers are a common option because they’re convenient. Fireplace dampers come in two main types: Chimney top and throat. Throat dampers typically have a rod that you push or lift to adjust the position of the damper (circled below): Some chimneys have a knob that rotates a rod to adjust the damper. I would like to preserve its functionality, but cover the ugly vents. If the flue is open, the smoke will go out of the chimney without any problem. 00. The CO2 Detector is OK where it is - just add another. You should get into the habit of checking whether the damper is open or not before starting a fire for safety reasons. She attended Tarrant County College and studied English composition. She writes mainly home improvement, health and travel articles for various online publications. Note: This is not a foolproof method if you have a top-mount damper. Carry out a visual check Direct vent gas fireplaces come in many designs, ranging from traditional to modern. … Opening a fireplace damper depends on the model of the fireplace, but generally there is a lever that slides back and forth to open and close it. They produce tall, golden flames and are a very realistic-looking replacement for real wood logs. Direct-vent fireplace with ceramic glass. This is also a good exercise to do before starting a fire to ensure that the top-mount damper is open all the way. Feel for a Draft. A fireplace damper is a little metal flap that sits inside your flue. Let the flames die and the coals cool completely before closing the vent. Gas fireplaces grow in popularity every year, and manufacturers offer a wide selection, including gas logs and self-contained fireplace units mounted to a wall. When a fire is completely out, you can close these intakes just as … Pay attention to which position is open and which position is closed when the damper is installed. The open position is the default, and you will have to pull on a chain or cable and work against the spring to close the damper. If you have a chimney with a closed top-mount damper It might take a few minutes for smoke to start filling the house, but you will eventually notice that there isn’t enough airflow. A closed vent can cause smoke to billow into the room, but using the fireplace vents properly ensures enough air feeds the fire and the smoke escapes up the chimney. 4. Ideally, you'd want to route the vent pipe to the corner of a room or in a closet to avoid its visibility. $94.65 $ 94. And, schedule a visit from a Chimney Sweep to explain the mysteries of your particular fireplace and chimney, as well as clean it. As long as the vent is fully open, the chimney will heat, and the smoke will vent properly. A visual check is one of the surest ways of checking whether the damper is open or not. For thousands of years, humans have gathered around the open fire for a sense of safety and community, and the fireplace is still the focus of family living in many homes, especially around the holidays. 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