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Is my fireplace damper open or closed? So confused.
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Nov 9, 2007, 09:47 PM
 
I'm living in a rented house with a couple of roommates and this will be my first winter here. It's the first place I've lived in that has a fireplace. The house is very old, and pretty drafty as is, but I'm trying to minimize that. So I want to make sure that the damper is closed (we have no intention of using it). It operates by a chain and hook.

Is the damper closed when the chain is pulled down and attached to the hook, or is it closed when it is off the hook and in a "rest" position? Help from the fireplace-savvy would be appreciated.

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Nov 9, 2007, 10:01 PM
 
In my house the damper is closed when he chain is pulled down and attached to the hook. You should be able to verify the damper's position with a flashlight. Open and closed ought to be visible just by looking up to see when it closes and opens.
( Last edited by davidflas; Nov 10, 2007 at 12:54 PM. )
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Nov 9, 2007, 10:07 PM
 
I know the problem, and davidflas is right. But the damper probably doesn't seal off the air flow anyway. Here is the best 12 American dollars you will buy this winter: a roll of foil faced fiberglass insulation. Cut a piece to fit the chimney, stuff it up there. Chimneys are designed to pull warm air up and out. This winter that is going to mean a whole lotta dollar bills.
     
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Nov 9, 2007, 10:10 PM
 
The only way to know is to get a flashlight and look. Just use an old pillow and jam it up in there to seal it off.
     
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Nov 9, 2007, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
The only way to know is to get a flashlight and look. Just use an old pillow and jam it up in there to seal it off.
I agree on the "looking up the flue with a flashlight" tactic-there is NO standard for damper controls so you MUST look to see which way the controls work.

But I wouldn't use a pillow for sealing the flue. I'd use something more like a cheap "Nurf" type ball that's a bit bigger than the opening. There's nothing about a cheap ball that would make anyone want to keep it (I've known people to get pretty attached to their pillows) and it should seal it off much better than a pillow.

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Nov 9, 2007, 10:40 PM
 
Why not use it? There's few things nicer on a cold fall night than an open fire.
( Last edited by Mastrap; Nov 9, 2007 at 11:05 PM. )
     
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Nov 9, 2007, 10:57 PM
 
Thanks, everyone. I'll just take a closer look for myself.

We aren't going to use the fireplace because we can't! There's a crack in the firebox that lets smoke into the basement apartment.

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Nov 10, 2007, 01:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by SpaceMonkey View Post
Thanks, everyone. I'll just take a closer look for myself.

We aren't going to use the fireplace because we can't! There's a crack in the firebox that lets smoke into the basement apartment.
Well does your downstairs neighbor like smoked foods? If they do, go in with them on some ham, sausage, cheddar, salmon, or whatever else you like. Light that sucker up with some hickory or mesquite and have the warmest and tastiest holiday season with you new neighbir friend.

*As the old saying goes: when life gives you smoke, smoke your meat*
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