How to Install a Fireplace Damper

man removing front of a fireplace

A fireplace damper, usually located at the very bottom of the chimney, will keep the warm air in the room from escaping from the home. When the fireplace is not in use, the damper should be turned in the shut or closed position to prevent the cold air from entering into the room or the home. Fireplace dampers are used in both gas fireplaces and wood burning stove fireplaces. Below is a quick guide on how to install a damper in your fireplace.

Step 1 - Open the Fireplace Doors

Open the doors completely to your fireplace. Pull back the screen.

Step 2 - Remove Logs and Clean Fireplace

cleaning a fireplace

Since you will be down at the bottom of your fireplace, this is a good time to pull out the logs and give the space a little clean. Before you proceed, spread out several old sheets or drop cloths over the floor and furniture. This will help to protect your open surfaces from getting soot and other dirt or grime on them while you clean the fireplace.

Remove the logs and place them nearby. Use a broom to sweep up the excess soot and dirt that has accumulated at the base of your fireplace. If you have excess build up in your chimney, it's a good time to clean it out as well. Be sure to wear the proper safety equipment.

Step 3 - Remove the Existing Damper

Locate the damper and remove it from the chimney. Most dampers are designed to simply pop out, but some models require that you use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove them.

Step 4 - Purchase a New Damper

Take your old damper with you to a chimney supply store. You can sometimes find these parts at large big box home improvement centers as well. Make sure you purchase a damper that is similar in style and function as the one you have removed.

Step 5 - Install New Damper

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to install it into your fireplace. Tighten as required.

Step 6 - Open Damper

Open the damper so that you can test it. A damper should always be in the open position when you are burning a fire. This will prevent unnecessary smoke and odors from penetrating into the room during the time when the fire is burning.

Step 7 - Replace the Logs

logs in a fireplace

Put the logs and the log cradle back into the base of the fireplace.

Step 8 - Clean Up

Clean up in and around the fireplace. Put the screen back in the closed position and close the doors (if there are glass doors present). In addition, pull up the tarps or sheets carefully in order to capture any remaining dust or grime.