Learn How to Properly Close a Chimney Flue

February 17, 2015

There's nothing like a cold, Des Moines winter to make you glad you have a fireplace, which, in addition to adding ambiance, can help lower your heating bills. However, unless you know how to close a chimney flue, you may find yourself faced with a cold draft from outdoors. Read on to learn why closing your flue is important and the steps needed to complete the task.

Form and Function

A fireplace flue is designed to lead smoke outdoors when your fireplace is being used. Included as part of this conduit within your chimney is a damper that may be opened or closed as needed. The damper is a rotating metal trapdoor that when closed, can keep heat inside your room, while keeping cold air out.

How to Close a Chimney Flue

Before the flue is closed, it's important to ensure there's no longer anything burning in the fireplace. From there, just a few minutes are needed to complete the following steps:

  • Attempting to close your flue too soon can trap residual smoke and carbon monoxide indoors, while being very hot to the touch. Allow time for all surfaces to cool before proceeding.
  • Using a flashlight, look inside your fireplace to locate a lever or set of pull chains, which may have rings on the ends. These are typically found on the interior front wall of the fireplace.
  • If there's a lever, move it side to side or up and down to release it before sliding it horizontally. This motion will cause the damper to slowly lower in to the closed position, so the lever will remain loose.
  • For pull chains, pull the longer one to extricate the damper and the shorter to close the flue.
  • Be sure to reverse the procedure to reopen the flue prior to your next fire.
For more tips on how to close a chimney flue, call the experts at Lozier Heating & Cooling. We've been serving homeowners in the Des Moines area since 1906. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "Maksim Kabakou/Shutterstock"