🌟 Use Code SAVE5 to Get 5% Off on Planika and Decoflame. Hurry, Limited Time Only! Offer Expires Monday. 🌟
Save 5% on Planika! Use Code: SAVE5 🌟 Hurry, Ends Monday!
Skip to content
What Is A Damper?

What Is A Damper?

What Is A Damper?

If you have a chimney, then you might be wondering how you can keep the air out to stop the fire from being extinguished and how to keep the cold air out.

Well, this is where a chimney damper will really come in handy.


A chimney damper is basically an appliance that is placed at the top of your chimney. The purpose of this device is to prevent smoke from entering the house while also keeping the cold air out.

This helps to reduce the chances of having a fire inside your home.
It is important for you to know that if there are no chimneys in your home, then you should not use any type of dampers.

What Is A Chimney Damper?

Chimney dampers are used to control the flow of air through the chimney flue. They are usually installed on the roof of your home or attached to the chimney itself.

These devices help to regulate the amount of air flowing into the chimney so that it does not cause too much heat to enter your home.

These appliances are made with different materials like metal, plastic, ceramic, etc. You need to make sure that you choose one that suits your needs.

What Is A Chimney Damper?

What Types Of Dampers Are There?

There are many types of dampers available but they fall under two main categories: throat and top-sealing.

Throat dampers are designed to block the entire opening of the chimney flue whereas top-sealing dampers only cover the upper part of the chimney flues.

Throat dampers are more common than top-sealing dampers because they offer better protection against fires. However, top-sealing dampens are easier to install and maintain.

What Types Of Dampers Are There?

Throat Dampers

The throat dampers are designed to completely seal off the chimney flue when closed. Some of these dampers are adjustable which means that you can adjust them according to the size of your chimney flue.

These usually have a cast iron or steel handle that you can use to open the lid on your fireplace. This lid will separate the flue and the firebox, which is very important for keeping the smoke out of your home.

There are 3 types of throat dampers: poker, rotary and pivot. Here is a breakdown of each one and what they do.

Throat Dampers


Poker dampers are considered the most basic form of throat dampers. It has a flat base plate that fits over the chimney flue and an angled poker that allows you to push up and down to open and close the damper.

This type of damper usually has fishbone grooves in the side that will help you to hold this in place.


Rotary dampers are similar to poker dampers except they have a rotating disc instead of a poker. They are usually opened with a key.


Pivot dampers are the easiest to operate. They have a pivoting lid that opens and closes by turning a knob. This type is very similar to the poker damper. It comes with grooves that allow you to set the height of the damper.

Top Sealing Dampers

Top sealing dampers are designed to cover just the top part of the chimney. They are usually made of metal and are easy to clean.

They are usually controlled using either a lever or a pull chain. When you lift up the damper, the hot air escapes and the cold air enters your home.

These are located at the upper portion of the chimney, rather than the lower portion. Therefore, if there is any leakage from the chimney, it will be directed towards the top of the chimney.

You can also buy dampers that combine both features. For example, some dampers come with a rotary mechanism that controls the opening and closing of the damper.

The advantage of combining these two mechanisms is that you get maximum safety and efficiency.

You should always check whether the damper is working properly before installing it in your chimney. If you find that the damper does not work well, then you need to replace it immediately.

When Should You Open Your Damper?

When Should You Open Your Damper?
If you want to know when you should open your damper, here are some things you need to consider:
  1. Check the temperature inside your house. If the temperature is low, then this might be an indication that there is too much cold air and you might need to close it.
  2. Make sure the damper is functioning properly. If you notice that the damper is not working correctly, then you need to fix it right away.
  3. Consider your family’s health. If you think that your children are suffering from asthma, then you should keep the damper closed all the time.
  4. Look at the weather forecast. If the weather is going to be dry, then you should leave the damper closed. However, if it is going to rain, then you should open the damper so that the water cannot enter your chimney.
  5. Check the wind direction. If you live in a region where the wind blows from the south, then you should open your dampers during the winter months. On the other hand, if you live in a region that experiences winds from the north, then you should close the dampers during summer.

How Can You Tell If Your Damper Is Open Or Closed?

There are several ways to tell if your damper is open or closed. Here are some of them:
  1. Listen for sounds. If you hear a whistling sound coming out of your chimney, then you should assume that the damper is open.
  2. Feel the draft. If you feel a strong draft coming out of your chimneys, then you should assume the damper is closed.
  3. Observe smoke. Smoke rising from your chimney indicates that the damper is closed because smoke rises upwards.


The best way to ensure that you do not experience problems related to your chimney is to make sure that you maintain it properly.

In addition to cleaning it regularly, you should also inspect it every year.
Inspecting your chimney annually is important because it helps you identify potential issues early on.

It is also necessary because it allows you to take action before something serious happens.

Previous article How To Check Your Fireplace For Carbon Monoxide
Next article How Hot Does A Fireplace Get?