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The Purpose of a Chimney Damper & It’s Lifespan

Keep the cold air out and prevent smoke from coming back into your home with a chimney damper. The accessory acts as a barrier between your fireplace and chimney. Learn more about the purpose of a damper and how they work below.

When your fireplace is in use, your chimney is the gateway between your home’s exterior and interior and it allows smoke, heat, and soot to escape the home. If your chimney damper and flue aren’t effective, and warm air is escaping your home, letting cold drafts in, it might be time to have your chimney inspected. It’s essential to have your chimney damper closed to prevent warm air from leaving your home through the chimney.

Dampers will break down over time and need to be replaced. They can become damaged from the moisture by rusting and warp becoming difficult to open and close. Homeowners can decide to have the chimney part replaced with a top-sealing damper, which is installed at the very top of the flue and forms a complete seal when it’s closed.

Most fireplaces are already equipped with a damper, which sits above the firebox at the base of the chimney. The piece isn’t complicated, it’s a metal flap and metal surround, that can easily open and close. If you’re using the chimney, ensure the metal flap piece is opened by a lever, knob, or cable to allow smoke to pass through the chimney effectively. When your fireplace isn’t in use, the metal piece of the damper is meant to be closed against the frame to prevent air exchange between the home and the chimney.

If the damper is sticking to the chimney or is damaged, call Valley Chimney Sweep & Restoration to schedule an appointment. We can inspect your chimney damper and determine if you need a replacement or just some minor repairs.

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“Great service and great quality workmanship.  Have used them for the last 10 years and have always been pleased.  Never been up sold or told that my chimney requires extensive repair.  Utilized another chimney service provider and by the end of the appointment they made me feel that I needed a completely new fireplace after only having the house built for two years.  Valley Chimney has never done that and has always taken care of my fire place.  Would highly recommend.”

‐ Johnathan P.

Chicago, IL

8940 D Route 34
Yorkville, IL 60560

(630) 553-5995


Service over 40,000 clients across the western suburbs of Chicago