Drafty Fireplace? We Can Help By Repairing Or Replacing Your Damper

If you’re like a lot of other homeowners, you’re tired of feeling cool air coming in in the winter or hot air coming in through your fireplace. What’s worse is losing that valuable hot or cold air up through the chimney, increasing your utility bills in order to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Why pay to heat or cool the outside?

Battling a drafty fireplace is not only a waste of energy and money, but it can also be a serious health hazard. A drafty fireplace can pull harmful fumes from the fire, including smoke and carbon monoxide, back into your home.

chimney blowing smoke

What Is a Chimney Damper and What Does It Do?

A chimney damper is a flat metal plate that typically sits right above the firebox. With a simple pull of a chain or lever, you can open or close it and control the airflow through the chimney. Working dampers are beneficial because they help regulate airflow, improve efficiency, improve safety by preventing downdrafts, and protect your fireplace.

The damper is responsible for opening up the flue when you’re ready to light a fire and for closing off the flue when the fire has died down. But like any mechanical part, dampers can break, rust, or fail. When this happens, you’ll likely have a draftier, smokier fireplace that makes it nearly impossible to enjoy nights by the fire.

Throat Damper vs. Top-Sealing Damper

Traditional throat dampers got their name because they were traditionally installed down in the throat of the chimney, just above the fireplace. These are the problems with that:

  • throat dampers take a beating from the heat and byproducts of the fire
  • throat dampers provide a metal-on-metal seal

To prevent future damper problems and to really eliminate downdrafts and conditioned air loss, you need a damper that’s out of the direct line of fire and that provides an airtight seal when closed. That’s where top-sealing or top-mounted dampers come in.

These dampers aren’t installed in the throat of the system, but instead are mounted up at the top of the chimney flue. Because of their placement, they keep out all of these:

  • water
  • animals
  • birds
  • outside air

They also feature a rubber gasket that works to completely seal the chimney (keeping conditioned air inside and outside air out), which is something that even a new throat damper can’t promise.

When Is It Time To Replace, Rather Than Repair?

If you have a fireplace that isn’t drafting properly, the good news is the solution to your problem may be as simple as having your fireplace damper repaired or replaced. Your damper may be stuck open, broken, or may just provide a poor seal, but we can help. We carry many common damper replacement parts on our trucks and we’ll carefully inspect the damper and let you know what we recommend. Sometimes repairs are as easy as inserting a missing hinge pin!

While repairs are sometimes a five-minute fix, making repairs to a throat damper isn’t always the best option. If your current damper is old and ineffective, it might be time to consider a top-sealing damper upgrade! Most homeowners find that these dampers pay for themselves in energy savings in just a couple of years!


Call On Sleep Easy — Voted Kansas City’s Best Chimney Company On HomeAdvisor For The Last Several Years

Is it time to have your damper repaired or replaced? The team here at Sleep Easy has been meeting the damper repair/replacement needs of the greater Kansas City area for more than three decades and we’re confident we can help you enjoy a more comfortable, energy-efficient home. Call 816-471-4435 today and let our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney sweeps take care of you — we’re here to help.
You can also request an appointment onlineclick here to get started. 


We do chimney relining with stainless steel so you don’t have to worry about chimney liner problems again. What other chimney and fireplace repair do you want to know about? Contact us today for more information.