How To Install A Fireplace Damper: A Step-Wise Guide

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Is your fireplace failing to withstand the heat of the fire? Well, that can cause your house to get extremely cold during winter. 

What about the toxic gases that are failing to escape? They can harm your health if not taken care of. Hence you need to install a damper to protect your health and house. 

How to install a fireplace damper

Firstly, you need to open the fireplace before installing the damper. Then clean the surroundings and install it according to the manual. Afterward, set it correctly and clean the surroundings. In case of replacement, an extra step is included. 

That was just the outline. The installation process is much broader than this. Stick with us till the end. We’ve got a lot more to enlighten you on this. 

Do I Need to Install a Fireplace Damper?

According to the local building code, having a damper is a must. For this reason, it’s quite natural that you’ve one too. 

But your damper might get old or damaged with time. So, you might face the same problems as not having one. 

Old houses with wood fireplaces might not have a damper attached. 

But gas fireplaces are a bit different from wooden ones. They’re remote-controlled and much more modern. But gas fireplaces can switch themselves on and cause other problems too. 

Unlike a wood fireplace, a gas fireplace must have a damper installed. It shuts the gateway of passing hot air during winter. Moreover, it saves your house from venting out the cold AC air during summer days too. 

But we can’t just assume if your fireplace has a damper or not. So you must check it beforehand.

You can use a flashlight and check inside your fireplace. Most of the time, a damper is located on top of the firebox. If your fireplace lacks a damper, you need to install one. 

When your existing damper fails to light the fireplace properly. Then you might even need to replace your old damper. We’ve explained both the installation and replacement method below- 

How To Install A Damper Inside My Fireplace: 3 Step Process

Everything has a proper way of installation. We must follow that to avoid further problems. If any of your home appliances aren’t installed properly, that can result in serious consequences. 

For instance, a wrongly installed fireplace can heat up the wall excessively. Similarly, your incorrectly installed damper may let debris enter your house. 

Hence, we’ve included this installation method for you:

Step 1 of 3: Opening The Fireplace Door And Cleaning Inside

The damper will be open inside the fireplace so your first step must be removing the screen. For that,  open the door and pull it back.

You must get the logs outside at first. Then eventually start cleaning the inner space. 

You can use a broom to clean the surface inside. Just make sure you’re wearing proper safety tools like gloves, masks, and a respirator. 

Are you not sure why the respirator is important? Well, your fireplace has lots of scraps and coal dirt. They can easily get inside your body. 

Don’t let that debris harm your respiratory system, use a respirator.

If you’re still not sure which respirator to buy,  we’ve got our best picks. You can trust us on this. 

Product 1
Product 2

Don’t forget to grab one before cleaning your fireplace. 

After we’re done with our cleaning, it’s time to proceed to the next step.

Step 2 of 3: Installing The New Damper

Don’t forget to buy your desired damper beforehand. The installation process will be written on your damper’s packet. The screws and measurements will be given alongside the damper. 

You just need to place it properly in your desired location and then attach it. You can choose the location yourself or take an expert opinion. But we’ll suggest locating it anywhere on top of the firebox. 

Different dampers have different attachment styles. So the process changes accordingly. Carefully give it a read and then install it likewise. 

On the bright side, most of them are screw attached. So you just need to tighten them as mentioned. After installing, you need to set it properly for use. 

Step 3 of 3: Setting the Newly Installed Damper and  Putting the Door Back 

Now we need to set the installed damper correctly and check if it’s working or not. 

Put the logs back to light the fire. Open the damper to check if it’s venting out gas and smoke. If yes, then your installation is successful. 

Now you can put your fireplace door back in its place. Moreover, carefully pull up the cleaning sheets to capture the remaining dust.

Hurray! We’re done with the fireplace damper installation. Hopefully, this method will help you to install without hassle. So, now, it’s time to focus on the replacing method-  

How to Replace My Old Damaged Damper

Replacing your old damper includes all the steps from the installing method. But first, you’ve to remove the damper. It’s very easy as they are designed to pop out easily. 

So you can simply locate it somewhere inside the flue. Then remove it with your hand. This process isn’t a risky one like removing backstabbed wires

Some of the types have a bit of a different mechanism. They need a Philip head screwdriver to unscrew them. The attaching mechanism will be found inside the damper manual. 

Are you not sure which screwdrivers will be the best choice for this purpose? Well, we’re here to help. This is our favorite picks of this product:

Product 1
Product 2 

Just grab the one that perfectly suits your needs and start working. 

If you still have questions or are confused about the whole process, just call an expert. These works require a minimum level of expertise so don’t take any drastic decisions.

FAQs

Question: What does a damper do on a fireplace?
Answer: Dampers are like a door. It passes the gas out of the fireplace when the fire is on. So you must keep the damper open before using the fireplace. But other times, when your fireplace is closed make sure your damper is closed too. It keeps the airflow and scrapes away from entering the house.

Question: Is a damper the same as a flue?
Answer: Most of the time people mistakenly call the damper flue. But actually, a flue is the open way of the chimney. Whereas a damper is a kind of door that helps to control the fireplace heat and air from going out.

Question: Where is the damper in my fireplace?
Answer: The fireplace damper is like a lid located in the flue.  Most of the time the damper is situated right on top of the firebox. But it can be situated on the very top of your chimney too. So the exact location of the damper can vary depending on the types.

EndNote

That’s all for today. Hopefully, now you know how to install a fireplace damper

Be very careful about the damper’s maintenance. Don’t keep it open when you’re not using the fireplace. Otherwise, birds, raccoons, and insects can get inside. 

Best of luck!

Melissa Hawkins
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