Troubleshooting Common Backdraft Damper Problems

A backdraft damper can be installed in the heating system to improve efficiency of the furnace and also enhance safety. The device improves combustion in the fireplace and prevents spillage which can be a source of health hazard in the house. It keeps gaseous matter such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from seeping back in the home.

Another benefit of backdraft dampers is that they keep the chimney safe and improves hygiene in the fireplace. It prevents moisture, air, leaves, debris, birds’ nests, pests and other environmental elements from settling in the chimney or fireplace. Inspect the appliance regularly to keep it in good working condition.

Poorly Adjusted Burners

If the heating device is not aligned properly in the fireplace, then it can easily interfere with the functions of a backdraft burner. In this case, test and place stoves or boilers correctly, pay attention to the size and design of the chimney so as to increase the efficiency of the damper.

Size of Flue

The device might not work as desired if the flue is too big or small compared to the installed damper. It is advisable to measure the top part of the chimney before buying an appliance to use. This makes it possible to buy correct fit for the flue and it can work effectively when installed on the chimney.

Proper Installation

The best position to install a backdraft damper is at the top part of the chimney. This allows it to perform optimally in keeping away environmental elements from entering the flue. It also improves the quality of combustions and draft so that wastes products are released and disposed efficiently.

Clogged Flue

One of the reasons why the appliance may not work as desired even when it is installed correctly is whereby the flue is clogged or blocked. Inspect the chimney regularly and remove debris, creosote and birds’ nest. Use a brush to get rid of such elements and to clear the chimney.

Depressurize the Home

If there are too many or large sized fans in the home then they can disturb atmospheric pressure in the home and affect the performance of the backdraft damper. It is advisable to use natural ventilation as opposed to creating artificial ventilation system. This can be achieved by closing or opening windows in the home.

Uninsulated Chimney Walls

Backdraft dampers work efficiently when the chimney lining and insulation are in good condition. In this case, repair broken clay or brick blocks on the surface of the flue. Seal gaps and make sure outside walls are insulated properly. This improves the effectiveness of the device. If there are problems associated with spillage in the home, consider making these repairs to the chimney.


  • To enhance the efficiency of heating system in the home and its accessory such as backdraft dampers, avoid using large sized fans in the home
  • Buy a carbon dioxide alarm and install it in the home
  • Inspect the condition of the heating system regularly. Have it examined by a professional or technician at least twice a year