Damper Repair in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning to Maintain Air Regulation
A damper is a very important part of many HVAC systems, in both homes and commercial spaces. If you have a fireplace, you have a damper for your chimney. There are several different types, some having a very specific purpose or application.
If you have a fireplace damper in need of repair, there are several things that can occur. The signs that will appear can be as subtle as having trouble keeping a home heated in the winter, to smoke pouring into the home when a fire is lit, instead of escaping through the chimney. A chimney cleaning service will often be the first to notice an issue with a damper, in cases where a homeowner calls one out before the winter, to be sure the fireplace is in clean, safe ,and working order.
The issues generally occur with the damper itself, and are not overly difficult to repair. A throat damper, a very common type of damper in traditional fireplaces for example, sits directly above the fire in a fireplace. Since most of these are made of iron, they are often a cause for poor heat conservation in a home, as well as being prone to rusting. Replacing this type of damper with a different type of fireplace damper, such as a top sealing version, can aid in heat preservation, as well as help prevent water damage, due to the efficient design.
A functioning damper, however, may not always be enough. The best laid fires can burn sluggishly, or let a little smoke into the room, and be a general nuisance to try and keep going. Since a fire requires a certain degree of airflow to function, any interruption in the balance between heat, circulation, and fuel availability will cause the fire to go out, or smoke too much. A common and useful fix for this, if the damper itself is intact, is to install a chimney fan. If you already have a chimney fan in place, and are experiencing the above issues, then the fan may be stuck, or have stopped functioning altogether.
Damper repair can be done yourself, rather than having a technician visit, if you know what to look for. Most dampers can be easily accessed by making sure one's fireplace is cleaned out, and checking upwards with a flashlight. There will normally be four bolts holding the rod in place. Turn the damper sideways after removing the bolts, and it should be easily removed.
When replacing your old part, make sure to compare it to your new one. If they are not the same size, you will be unable to install it, or it may not function effectively, or at all. Having a manual damper that doesn't work properly, as mentioned earlier, can not only be a drain on resources by letting air warm air escape your home through the chimney, but also be a hazard if smoke it let into the house.
If you experience continued issues with your fireplace damper repair, it may be necessary to call a technician, to ensure the safety of you and your home.