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Dulley's Money-Saving Tip #1090

Check and clean your chimney damper

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Now is the time of the year that you may start using your wood-burning fireplace. Check and clean your chimney damper to make sure that it closes as tightly as possible. If it leaks at all, a lot of conditioned (heated or air-conditioned) room air can leak out through the chimney year-round.

Wear some old clothes and cover the carpet near the fireplace opening with a large drop cloth. Open the chimney damper and brush the sealing contact areas with a wire brush.. This will remove any ash or carbon buildup that can keep it from sealing well. Close it and wiggle it around a little to improve the seal.

No matter what you do, most fireplace dampers do not seal well. If you notice a draft or a smoky smell, it probably just does not seal well. Consider getting an inflatable chimney pillow to fit up in the damper area when there is no fire. It seals very well.