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Why Your Damper Should Work Year-Round

Now that summer is here, you probably won’t think about your fireplace until the leaves start turning and the temperature drops. But it’s essential to ensure your damper works throughout the year, and in this post, we’ll tell you why.

Top Mount Chimney Damper in Chesterfield Township NJWhat is a Damper?

The damper is a device that keeps cold air out when your chimney’s not in use. When using your wood burning fireplace, the damper is open to allow smoke and combustion byproducts to go up the flue and out.

However, when you’re finished using your fireplace, close the damper to keep the heat in. Another function of the damper is to regulate how long you want your fire to burn. Adjusting the damper controls the oxygen flow, giving you the power to control the fire.

Why Your Damper Should Work Year-Round

Although the damper is mainly used to control your fireplace, it still has other functions that you need to consider the rest of the year, and here are a few.

Energy Efficiency

Because the damper is a seal that keeps heat in, it’s also helpful in keeping cold air in.


During the summer, when you’re running your HVAC system, you don’t want that cold air to escape up the chimney, causing your system to work harder and driving up your energy bills. Keeping your damper closed during summer helps maintain indoor temperatures by keeping the cold air in the house.

Pest Control

A chimney gives pests and animals easy access to your home. Imagine squirrels, birds, raccoons, or other critters sliding down the chimney and running amok in your house. Closing the damper creates a barrier to keep unwanted guests from getting in.

Moisture Prevention

Another reason to use your damper year-round is to prevent moisture from getting in. When it rains, a closed damper keeps water from seeping into the fireplace, which can wear down the masonry materials and lead to mold and mildew. A mold infestation is a nightmare for homeowners, not only because of how expensive it is to remove, but for the health risks it presents to residents with breathing issues or allergies.

How to Know If Your Damper Needs Repairs

Now that you know how important a functioning damper is throughout the year, let’s look at how to know when it’s damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced.

  • Closed chimney damper in Groveville NJVisible Damage: Check the damper for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, rust, warping, or missing parts.
  • Poor Seal: A damper that doesn’t seal correctly is useless, check the seal for gaps or deterioration that could allow air to escape or moisture to get in.
  • Pest Infestation: As mentioned, it’s easy for pests and critters to access your home through the chimney. If you have a pest problem, check the damper to see if they’re getting in through it.
  • Moisture Issues: Besides pests, if you notice water in your firebox, you have an increase in mold and mildew buildup, or your home smells musty, it could be that water is seeping through the damper because it’s not tightly sealed.
  • Difficult Operation: The damper should open and close effortlessly. When it becomes difficult to use, it usually means it needs repairs or replacement.

Call the Pros at Mercer County Chimney Services

Mercer County Chimney Services is the go-to chimney and fireplace contractor for residents throughout Hamilton, NJ, and Mercer County.

Our technicians are fully licensed and certified experts, so you can trust them to do the job right the first time. Call us whether you need damper repair or replacement, chimney inspection, cleaning, maintenance, rebuilding, or repairs. Book your appointment today at 609–802–5288.