381-8 Old Riverhead Road

Westhampton Beach, NY

Tel. 631-998-0780

Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am to 5pm / Sat. By Appointment / Sun. Closed

Our Company Blog

When and how to open and close your damper

While we have no doubt that your fireplace and chimney are well-maintained and inspected regularly, all the various parts can still be confusing to the homeowner. There is so much that isn’t seen from the exterior, and it is hard to remember that there is a lot more going on inside your stove and fireplace. The damper is one of the most essential parts of the fireplace, and is the most important for ventilation, saving you time and money in the long-term.

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What is a damper?

Anyone who has ever lit a fire with good intentions and ended up with a smoke-filled house has quickly realized the importance of a damper. A damper is a metal or ceramic flap that controls the passing of various gases in and out of your home. They are found in fireplaces with both wood and gas fires because both emit gas. A manual control by some sort of handle, latch, or chain moves the flap located in the chimney. A very simple device, yet necessary to keep in top working order.

How to open and close a damper:

The handle, lever, or chain, is usually located in the firebox. To open or close it, move or pull the device into the open position. If you are unsure of the position, it will be clear after a fire is lit. Use a pair of pliers or an oven mitt if it’s hot to the touch to change the position. The damper is imperative in keeping your house well ventilated when a fire is lit in your fireplace or stove, and should remain completely open until the initial smoke subsides. Once the fire is established, the damper can then be adjusted to control its intensity. When the fire begins to die down, slowly close the damper as the smoke subsides, only closing it fully when there is no longer any flame or visible smoke. By keeping it completely closed when the chimney isn’t in use, it also saves you money by keeping cold air from coming into your warm house. The best benefit of a damper is that you control the airflow, not Mother Nature.

As always, we emphasize the importance of keeping your chimney professionally swept and inspected. During our exams we check to see that your damper is in working order, but knowing how to work your damper will come in handy on these cool nights! Keeping your fireplace clear of ash and soot will also allow the damper to do its job more effectively, and will save you money in the long run. For other questions give Beach Stove and Fireplace a call at 631-998-0780 and we will answer any confusion you may have about the mysterious chimney.

By Julie Dismore on September 23rd, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Maximizing the Heat

Enjoy the warmth your fireplace has to offer by maximizing it's heating potential and increasing energy efficiency.

Enjoy the warmth your fireplace has to offer by maximizing it’s heating potential and increasing energy efficiency.

Our fireplaces create a comforting ambiance on a cold winter day, but the warmth, unfortunately, is usually more show than substance. The explanation is firmly entrenched in the realm of science. We’re all aware that hot air rises; as such, the majority of the heat produced by your fire attempts to escape through your chimney. Not only that, this fleeing hot air creates an updraft that sucks even more warm air up and out of the room. The goal here, then, is finding ways to keep the hot air from fleeing and, instead, coaxing it to remain in your living space.

The Benefits of Burning Seasoned Wood

An easy first step to increasing the performance and heating efficiency of your fireplace is to burn seasoned firewood. Freshly cut wood—also referred to as green firewood—burns inefficiently and produces large amounts of smoke with little to no real heat to speak of. The majority of the heat energy produced from burning the wood is used to evaporate the excess moisture in the wood rather than going into actually heating your home; this excess moisture also attempts to put the fire out as it’s burning. Seasoned wood, on the other hand, has had ample time to dry and burns much more efficiently than its green counterparts.

Adjusting your Damper to Maximize Heat Output

Once you’ve got your seasoned firewood arranged in the fireplace, you can open the damper as wide as possible to increase the amount of air to the fire. This will improve the combustion and increase the amount of heat produced by the fire. It’s important to note here, however, that one drawback to this increased combustion is that your wood will ultimately burn faster, which will cause you to have to add seasoned wood more often to get a nice continuous flow of heat.

Annual Chimney Inspection and Sweeping

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep yearly can also make it possible to boost your heating performance, as the process removes creosote buildup inside that can significantly restrict air flow. Once your fireplace and chimney have been cleaned, you can replace the screen in front of the fireplace with tempered glass doors, and keep the doors closed while the fire is burning. Doing this will increase the temperature of the fire in your fireplace and reduce the amount of warm air that the fire draws from the room.

Following the steps mentioned above will enable your fireplace to provide your home with more heat than it might have otherwise produced. Beach Stove & Fireplace takes pride in the services provided to each and every one of our customers. We encourage you to take a minute to call or ask one of our technicians what is available for your particular unit that can help it last longer and/or perform better. You won’t be disappointed that you called!

Chimney Maintenance — What You Need to Know


Whether you are purchasing a home with a working chimney or wanting to use your current fireplace when the weather gets cooler, there are some basic maintenance tips for ensuring safety and efficiency.Chimney Maintenance Image - Westhampton NY - Beach Stove and Fireplace

  • Your chimney should be inspected and cleaned annually. This ensures that the chimney is structurally intact and ready to use safely.
  • When scheduling your chimney cleaning and inspection, only use NCSG (National Chimney Sweep Guild) certified chimney sweeps.
  • Regardless of how often your chimney and fireplace have been used, the fireplace and chimney still need a thorough cleaning prior to the new season. Some prefer to have them cleaned in the spring (stating the benefit of having the creosote buildup removed and avoiding any musty smells over a hot summer), while others recommend an early autumn cleaning (this will ensure that any birds or debris that may have gotten into the chimney during the spring and summer will be removed before the fireplace and chimney get going).
  • Never use the chimney unless the damper is fully open.
  • Creosote is a substance created by flue gas residue and unburned wood particles. It is highly combustible and any buildup that isn’t removed makes your chimney and home at risk for a chimney fire.
  • Never burn trash or plastics in your chimney. This can also add to the buildup in your chimney.
  • A chimney cap can prevent water, debris, and animals from getting into your chimney. If you do not have one installed, consult with a certified sweep to determine the best cap for you chimney. This is a preventative measure designed to help keep your chimney free of contaminants.
  • Chimney Swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty. If a swift makes its home in your chimney, it cannot be removed until the birds migrate south for the winter. Consult a professional sweep about dealing with Chimney Swifts.
  • You should use some type of fireplace screen when your fireplace is in use. This can prevent embers from inadvertently escaping the fireplace as well as prevent children and animals from reaching into the fire.
  • Your chimney has a protective liner inside of it. These lines can be made from a variety of materials, such as stainless steel and clay. The liner should be checked periodically to ensure structural integrity. The liner protects the inside of the chimney from intense heat which can damage the chimney.

Responsibly using a chimney means not skipping annual check-ups. Your fireplace will heat more proficiently and you can feel more secure when you build your first fire of the season.

By Julie Dismore on July 18th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment

Our Location

Beach Stove and Fireplace is located on Old Riverhead Road between Montauk Highway and Sunrise Highway. From Sunrise Highway take exit 63 south, travel 1.2 miles and turn right at the 381 complex (just north of Gabreski Airport)