A flue is the interior tube of the fireplace that extends all the way up to the top of the building and allows excess smoke from the fire to escape. Since it is essentially nothing more than a large hole in the home, fireplaces are also equipped with a damper that closes the flue when no fire is lit. Closing the flue when the fireplace is not in use prevents interior air from escaping up the chimney and increasing energy costs.
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Extinguish the fire in the fireplace, if applicable, and wait until the embers cool down completely and no longer produce any smoke. If you close the flue too soon, the smoke will back up inside your home.
Look for the device that lowers the damper, which closes the flue. The device varies by fireplace, but is typically a metal bar located at the upper part of the fireplace opening near the front, often with a loop. In some fireplaces, there is a knob located on the front of the fireplace that controls the damper.
Pull the lever or the bar toward you to lower the damper and close up the flue. If the fireplace has a knob, turn it to close the damper.
Peer up into the hole of the fireplace to ensure that you see a metal plate that is shut. If needed, hold a mirror in the centre of the fireplace pointed upward so that you don't have to bend down to check that it is closed.
Tips and warnings
- Flues must be closed off any time the fireplace is not in use, even if you have fireplace doors that are closed. Fireplace doors are not airtight and do not stop all air loss from inside the home.
- Open the flue again before you light a fire or smoke will back up inside the home.
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