Fireplace with no damper

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  #1  
Old 12-10-16, 01:42 PM
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Fireplace with no damper

Hi, I've owned my home for a few years but have yet to use my fireplace. I decided to maybe use it this year. However when I poked my head inside it looks like my fireplace does not appear to have a damper. I can see maybe evidence that it used to have one but there is no lever inside the fireplace and there's just an open hole that goes straight up out of the chimney. I Can See Clearly up to the top of the chimney. Other than keeping animals and the cold air out what is the purpose of the damper? As long as my fireplace is completely open is it safe to use without the damper? Nevertheless I want to have it inspected but it appears to be very clean. Thank you for your input!

Beginner fireplace owner
 
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Old 12-10-16, 02:35 PM
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I assume you want to burn woo. A damper gives you the ability to slow a fire while burning and to close off the chimney when not in use. Note they don't close perfectly tight. However, a wood burning fireplace is for looks only. The net heat loss, especially without a damper, far more than any heat they give off. All of that air going up the chimney is being replaced by cold outside air leaking back in all over the house.

You should not only get it inspected but repaired by a company certified to do so, proper parts and methods. Be sure to contact your insurance company first to be sure they will even allow it to be used.

Bud
 
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Old 12-10-16, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I knew I wouldn't get a ton of heat out of it, but if it'll bring in cold air also then it might not be worth it until (someday) I have an insert installed.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 02:45 PM
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How old is the house (and the fireplace) ?

Many older homes had cast iron flue dampers, and the damper itself was removable . . . . and thus, subject to being lost or misplaced, or even broken.

With further investigation, and maybe some difficult to take photos, you may be able to ascertain the specifications for the missing damper and get a replacement . . . . or a reproduction.
 
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