Why You Should Close Your Damper During Summer

Your fireplace is a cozy centerpiece that served you well this past winter. It’s summer now, but that doesn’t mean you can ignore your fireplace. One item to check off your summer fireplace to-do list is to close the damper and keep it closed all summer, and in this post, we’ll tell you why.

Top Mount Chimney Damper in Prairie Village KSWhat is a Fireplace Damper?

The damper is an essential component that rests above the firebox. This metal piece seals the fireplace from the chimney system. Most dampers are adjustable with a lever or handle, allowing you to control the airflow when using the fireplace. If the damper was installed correctly and is in good condition, it should form an airtight seal.

Damper Myths

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths that encourage people to leave the damper open during summer, so let’s debunk those now.

Myth 1: An Open Damper Keeps Your Home Cooler

Contrary to popular belief, leaving the damper open doesn’t help your home stay cooler. The thought goes like this: Since heat rises, the warm air in your home will escape up the chimney, leaving your home cooler. However, an open damper can counteract your air conditioning system, allowing the outside air to enter and raise the temperature inside. This makes your AC system work harder and can lead to higher energy bills.

Myth 2: An Open Damper Airs Out the Chimney

Another misconception is that leaving the damper open during summer will help the chimney ventilate, reducing odors caused by soot and creosote buildup. But, an open damper can allow water to seep in, which makes the odors worse.

Myth 3: The Chimney Cap Is Enough

Some homeowners think that the chimney cap alone is enough to protect the chimney and firebox, so the open or closed damper doesn’t matter. It’s true that a properly-fitting cap will prevent debris, water, and critters from getting it; they won’t block airflow or drafts if the cap is ill-fitting or damaged.

Why You Should Keep Your Damper Open During Summer

Now that we’ve debunked the myths about leaving your damper open, here are the reasons to keep it closed.

Energy Efficiency

Closing the damper when you’re not using your fireplace is a good habit to get into in winter and summer because it can significantly impact your indoor temperature. In summer, an open damper can cause your HVAC system to work overtime to keep you cool, putting more wear and tear on the system and raising energy bills.

Preventing Foul Odors

If you own a fireplace, you know how smelly it can get after using it all winter. This odor goes away with a thorough chimney cleaning, but in the meantime, keeping the damper closed will prevent creosote and soot odors from overpowering your home.

Chimney Inspections in Leawood KSHome Protection

As mentioned, rainwater, debris, and animals can get into your home if your chimney cap is damaged or you don’t have a cap.

Call the Fluesbrothers

We’re the go-to chimney and fireplace company in Kansas City because we do it all — sweeping, inspections, repairs, installations, and rebuilds. Our technicians are certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America and the National Fireplace Institute so that you can trust their work is done safely and up to professional standards. Call us today at 913–347–8611.