When did they start putting dampers in chimneys?

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When did they start putting dampers in chimneys?
At one time fireplace chimneys went straight to the top with nothing interfering, right?
But my fireplace chimney has a damper, which I use to keep the indoor air from escaping when there is no fire.
It can also be used to slow down a fire, perhaps? Hence the name?
Aren't dampers universal in chimneys therse days.
When did that start?
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So, you just let heat from the house flow out the chimney when the fireplace isn't being used? Don;t know about what you do in the UK, but here in the USA woodburning fireplace chimneys have commonly had dampers for half at least a half a century. And I've seen the guys on This Old House replacing old ones that didn't work correctly with new ones that fit over the top of the chimney from the outside, with a pull chain going down inside the chimney. Or is this just another case where harry doesn't know what he's talking about?

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Fireplaces are a piss poor form of heating anyway. Put in an air tight stove and you won't have to worry about it.
--
LSMFT

I look outside this morning and everything was in 3D!
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On 9/2/2010 7:55 AM, LSMFT wrote:

Exactly. An air tight stove doesn't need a damper.
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wrote:

Because an air tight stove, by design, has built-in adjustable "dampers" on the air inlet side.
An airtight stove with no dampers would either not be an "airtight", would not be a stove, or would be uncontrolable.
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On 9/2/2010 9:07 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Not sure but I don't think they call the air inlet adjustments "dampers". So with no dampers it would be controlled by the air adjustments in the stove, nothing in the flue. Ah, I did see one post somewhere that someone called them "air inlet dampers", but that isn't the norm. You can call them what you want and I'm most likely know what you are talking about, so being finicky about the correct term doesn't matter much to me. I simply haven't seen a stove manufacturer call the air inlets dampers. Maybe I don't get out enough. ;-)
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I have seen many houses with a fireplace and heated by rads. I could never figure out why a rad-type heat exchanger was not build into the fireplace. It would make the damn thing way more efficient. You would still need a boiler but the fireplace would help when in use.
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On Fri, 3 Sep 2010 17:37:07 -0700 (PDT), Jack Hammer

Well, I've seen at least in magazines, fireplaces, metal I guess, with a fan to blow air behind them to heat up the air for the room. I have no idea how many have been sold.
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On Thu, 02 Sep 2010 04:16:29 -0700, trader4 wrote:

I've lived in a few UK houses with 'open' fireplaces, the youngest probably a mid-1970's build. None of them had dampers. I've not seen many in the US, but the few that I have had all had dampers (and also doors that could be closed)
At a few of the UK places, we did have covers that would fit over the fronts of the fireplaces and at least stop air movement and stop some of the heat from escaping up the chimney.
cheers
Jules
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On Thu, 2 Sep 2010 18:46:35 +0000 (UTC), Jules Richardson

It's the mid 80's since I was in London and I noticed that the apartment was sort of chilly, by US standards. Maybe if hot air escapes out the fireplace chimney, because of no damper, the British are used to that??

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A more newsworthy question is when did they start putting doctors in chimneys?
http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheat-sheet/item/california-doctor-dies-in-chimney/strange /
<<A California doctor trying to break into her "on again, off again" boyfriend's home snuck down the chimney and got stuck there, where she died. Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac, 49, wasn't found for three days. Kotarac had tried to get into the home of her boyfriend, William Moodie, 58, with a shovel, and then climbed a ladder to the roof, where she slid feet first into the chimney. Meanwhile, Moodie slipped away unnoticed from another door, because he was hoping "to avoid confrontation.">>
I've always wonder just how smart some doctors are and how they got their medical license. Now I have even more reason to wonder . . .
-- Bobby G.
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== Getting stuck you say?...has no one ever warned Santa Claus of this danger? ==
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wrote:

died.
to
because
=Getting stuck you say?...has no one ever warned Santa Claus of this danger? = The only ending to the story that could be worse would be if no one noticed the ooze and started a fire in the fireplace.
Reminds me of a story my cop buddy told me about a man who had hanged himself in a tool shed - and no one noticed until the smell began to waft through the neighborhood. All that was left was a dessicated hanging bag of bones with a big, black greasy spot under it and a smell that could knock you down. The shed was tight enough to keep out the larger critters, but the insects had no trouble at all getting in. Worse, still, this happened at about the same time the movie "The Human Stain" was released, leading to an inordinate amount of very black humor in the squadroom. I can only imagine what that house would have smelled like if the doctor had been in the chimney for that long. I wonder if you can ever get that horrible smell out?
If an anorexic lady doctor can't fit, in what chimney are Santa's remains to be found?
-- Bobby G.
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Don't know. I know from lots of personal experience, that it almost never comes out of clothes and it is hard to get it out of your hair. ABout the only thing I don't miss about fire service is the annual pulling the week old floater from the river festival (grin). The saddest was the guy who committed suicide in his 6-month old Corvette in August and wasn't found for over a week. (OH, the HUMANITY!).
--
I want to find a voracious, small-minded predator
and name it after the IRS.
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The most unsettling part of that story: "Moodies housekeeper noticed a strange smell and fluids leaking from the chimney" Eww.
R
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wrote:

died.
to
because
<The most unsettling part of that story: "Moodies housekeeper noticed a strange smell and fluids leaking from the chimney" Eww.>
The only worse outcome I can think of is if the guy lit a fire with her wedged in the chimney and he died from carbon monoxide poisoning. A modern day "Romeo and Juliet" love story.
-- Bobby G.
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fireplace isn't being used?
In the "bad old days" (and even before that) the fireplace was used 24/7 in the "heating season."
The dampers are only needed when fireplaces are more of a decorative accessory than a source of heat.
Today, unless you have essentially FREE wood, a fireplace just doesn't make much sense.
If you have one, the odds are that you really will not be using it much so you want a damper.
If you use LPG for your "fireplace," you may be better off with a "ventless" fireplace. Your would semi-permanently block off the fireplace flue.
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On Sun, 5 Sep 2010 02:56:26 -0400, "John Gilmer"

You're picturing a cabin with a single fireplace. Our old place had at least 7 [I said 6 before- but remembered the one that had been removed- and suspect the kitchen had one, too.]
The big main fireplace that was taken out long before I was alive probably was burning 24/7 -- and the kitchen fireplace, if there was one, probably burned year round. But the drawing room, dining room, and all the bedroom fireplaces that were still there were dampered & likely the servants fired them up as needed.

We agree here-- if you want heat, a fireplace is a loser- even if your wood is free. Put in an insert- add a stove. [and for my money, I'd only do that if the wood was free. I went to propane many years ago & have always been glad I did. Even since propane became more expensive than wood.

That what I replaced my wood stove with. No mess, no work, more control. And for 6-8 years it was cheaper than buying wood, too.
Only caveat is 'read up on sizing it for your space'. A too large ventless will create CO risks.
Jim
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In theory, YES.
I would recommend that anyone burning fuel for heat should have a CO detector or two.
Get the type that shows "peak" exposure.
I have lived in "mixed fuel" places for over 20 years. The only time the CO detector registered non-zero was from my cooking stuff from my ELECTRIC stove.
Center gas heat, gas water heater, or "ventless" gas heating never got the CO detector off from ZERO!

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Well, modern SOP for anyone with a "flame" appliance (stove, furnace, insert, ventless heater) is to also have a battery operated, digital readout, CO detector.
But most/all ventless units have an "Oxygen depletion sensor" which cuts off the heat when the O2 level falls below something like 16%.
Since the ventless units work with grossly excess air, operation on the "edge" of O2 depletion isn't going to produce any detectable CO.
BTW: The "exygen depletion sensor" is simply a clever relationship between the pilot light and the thermopyle that operates the gas valve. When the O2 levels fall, the flame shifts away from the thermopyle and the gas is shut off.
If one grossly "supersizes" a ventless unit but the unit has a thermostat it's unlikely to get to the point where the O2 level starts to fall.
There are two potential problems with the ventless units:
1) (as your mentioned) if you have a "tight" house, it actually might make a dent in the house interior O2 level. If the "safety systems" fail, that can cause a CO problem.
2) Some folks are sensitive to the combustion products (including "burnt dust") from these ventless units.
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