How to Use a Wood Stove Damper

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It is important to periodically check your wood stove damper.
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If you have a wood stove damper, it's not enough to have it properly installed. You need to make sure that you have the wood stove damper periodically inspected and repaired in addition to knowing how to use it properly. Once you understand how to use it, you'll be able to heat your living space efficiently.

Wood Stove Damper

A wood stove damper is a plate that is inside of a wood stove's flue. A wood stove flue is an internal shaft or duct for smoke and waste gases that are produced by fire, a gas heater, a power station or another type of fuel-burning mechanism. According to Ace Chimney Sweeps, when the damper is closed, it controls how much air is coming out of the chimney. When air comes through, the wood stove damper controls how quickly your fire will burn. In addition to this, the wood stove damper helps your living space retain heat.

According to Northeastern Chimney, a fire needs oxygen to ignite. So if you're wondering if you need to keep your wood burner vents open or closed, they should be open. By opening the wood stove damper, it allows air to get into the chimney so the fire can start. If you keep the damper open, the fire will build and the smoke and soot will vent through your chimney. You don't want to leave your wood stove damper fully open, though, because then the heated air will continue to escape, and your room won't get warm.

By closing the damper, it will reduce the oxygen levels in the chimney, and you'll have a longer fire. According to Northeastern Chimney, this also creates a downdraft. This downdraft will force the heated air back into the fireplace, which is what will heat your room.

How to Use a Damper

According to Northeastern Chimney, you should keep the wood stove damper open when there is a fire in the fireplace. It would be best if you did not close the damper or leave a blazing fire unattended in a furnace. Not only can it be a fire hazard, but you can also become susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning. Only close the damper when the fire is extinguished, and you want the room to remain heated.

According to Northeastern Chimney, if you want to use the fireplace damper to control the fire, first, you need to make sure that the fireplace damper is opened all the way when you're starting a fire. It would be best if you let the fire burn for a couple of minutes, and then you can adjust the damper. The damper can be halfway closed, but you have to check to see how it affects your fire.

If the fire is still blazing, then you adjust the damper to two-thirds closed. Closing the damper will reduce the intensity of the fire, but it will also increase the efficiency of the fire.

Wood Stove Damper Repair

If moisture, rodents or other types of debris get into the flue, the interior of your chimney or other rust metal parts can be damaged. Even high heat can cause your damper to warp over some time. That's why you must have a certified chimney sweep check out the damper periodically.

They will be able to assess if your wood stove damper or wood stove flue needs to be repaired or replaced. If your damper is damaged, then it will be difficult to control your fire.

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Allanah Dykes is a freelance writer and her work has been featured on Elite Daily, Levo League, Popsugar, Complex, Gurl, The Kitchn, HelloGiggles, Revelist, and Food 52.

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