Does a Wood Stove Need a Damper? Yes, but…

  • Yes, a wood stove needs a damper. A wood stove should have an adjustable damper to have the best draft possible
  • A damper helps protect against creosote buildup on your fireplace (here’s what creosote smells like)
  • The damper on your wood-burning fireplace should only be fully open when you start the fire.
  • Once the fire is roaring, it should be closed about halfway in order to keep the fire’s heat inside and the wood burning efficiently.
  • A damper is a must for regulated airflow from the chimney
  • Traditional homes need a damper for proper insulation and airflow

The amount of air flowing through the chimney mainly depends on the type of fuel you are burning. Typically, the flow of air is said to be 15 cubic feet per minute.

Depending on the level of airflow you want, you can purchase manual or automatic dampers.

If there is less draft moving up the chimney, creosote can accumulate. Remember that creosote is a dangerous substance that when allowed to accumulate excessively can have adverse effects on your health.

So, do you need a damper for your wood stove?

Importance of a Damper

You might have heard that a damper should be open for the fire to burn effectively. An adjustable damper becomes helpful when adjusting it to be counter-intuitive. However, it makes little sense if the main aim of having a damper on your wood stove was to regulate the free flow of air.

However, this is not always the case because a well-designed and quality stove should not produce smoke. Keep in mind that the damper opening helps in providing more airflow. In most cases, this results in cooler temperatures and increased operating efficiency.

It is worth noting that a wood stove damper is one of the most essential parts of a wood-burning stove. The main function of the damper is to regulate the flow of air into the firebox.

This not only regulates heat, but also draft. Besides, the damper aims at preventing air from entering the chimney more so when you don’t want it to enter.

Your wood stove should have a properly functioning damper for it to be safe and efficient. Some people claim that a thermostat should regulate airflow. Other people think that there are better options for their situation.

Reasons Why You Need a Damper for Your Wood Stove

Regulate Heat

A damper is aimed at regulating heat on your wood stove. With a well-designed damper, you will lose little heat through your chimney. Remember that you are required to close the damper when you are not using your fireplace.

By doing it, you will end up saving a lot of money on heating costs. This means that you don’t have to stoke fire more often to maintain warmth. Are wood burning stoves airtight?

Increased Efficiency

Increase Efficiency of Your Unit

You will reduce airflow drastically when you close the damper. You can always do this when you are not using your fireplace. In the end, you will be able to burn less fuel and in the process save money on heating costs.

Control Airflow

Control Airflow

A damper controls airflow within your home space area. For instance, if your floor plan shares an area with your kitchen, closing the fireplace damper will ensure that heat does not escape into other areas when you need it most.

It is the Best Practice

Best Practice for woodstove Damper

Having a damper installed is considered the best practice whether you decide to use one for personal reasons or you are advised to install it.

It becomes even more crucial when you have limited options to have excess smoke and other harmful byproducts of combustion escape your kitchen space. All in all, a well-made damper will minimize problems for anyone living in that area.

You guarantee your family members’ safety while at the same time saving on heating costs.

Functions of a Damper on Wood Stove

A damper is simply a metal designed to regulate air from entering the chimney. It ensures constant heat in your fireplace and prevents drafts from coming into other rooms next to your fireplace. It is recommended to install an open damper on a fireplace.

Every fireplace should have a damper although it depends on its age and level of insulation.

Nowadays, modern designed homes don’t need a damper. Keep in mind that such homes are built to facilitate better insulation when compared to older homes. Old farmhouses on the other hand are known to have poor insulation.

You might not have the right damper if you are not sure about it. It is good to know that dampers are affordable. Therefore, it’s best to install one. People with modern homes which boast excellent insulation don’t need to have a damper.

In that case, you can keep your damper close when you are not using the stove. Older homes must have a damper installed right away if the homeowner wants to have their appliances operate safely.

Safety Tips When Using Damper

Make sure that the stove pipe is clean. Excessive accumulation of creosote in the stovepipe can lead to a fire in the chimney. Always use enough wood if you prefer proper combustion in your fireplace.

This will help you avoid drafts- helping keep your home warm. Besides, the woodstove should be placed at least three feet from the walls and furniture- learn what to put on the wall behind the wood stove. There is no need of risking the ember catching fire.

When using the wood stove, always keep the window open. You will lack enough oxygen which is a must for proper combustion if there is a lot of smoke buildup. Avoid using garbage and wet firewood on your wood-burning stove.

Research has shown that chemicals released by plastic materials and wet firewood is harmful to human health and can be disastrous to the environment.

Final Thoughts

Wood stoves are made to burn from the top to down. Therefore, an adjustable damper is a must to avoid creating excess pressure. The right damper will ensure regulated airflow through the stove pipe.

With a damper on your wood stove, you should have fewer worries about dangerous conditions inside the walls. The best thing about a damper is that it guarantees little creosote buildup.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


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