How to Open a Fireplace Flue

Are you looking for a way to warm up the atmosphere of your home and add some cozy vibes without turning up the thermostat? Are you a homeowner who’s looking to reap the benefits of efficient heat from your fireplace without having to battle with endlessly hunting down firewood?

Are you wondering if there’s a solution that doesn’t require expensive heating fees or energy costs? Opening a fireplace flue may be the perfect option for you, as it is not only an easy way to bring warm air into your home but also offers a reliable source of heat that requires minimal effort on your part.

How to Open a Fireplace Flue

Look no further than your fireplace, where with just a few simple steps on how to open a fireplace flue, you can have an inviting glowing fire right in front of you. The key is knowing how to open the flue!

In this blog post, we’ll walk through the fundamental procedures so that by following our guide, anyone can be on their way to building a safe yet mesmerizing bonfire in their own home. Read on to learn all about opening {insert relevant information}—and soon enough, you’ll be basking in the warmth!

What is Fireplace Flue?

A fireplace flue, or chimney flue, is an enclosed metal channel that serves as a passageway for smoke and heat to escape your home safely. The top of the flue connects with the bottom of your chimney. It also extends into the firebox, where it helps draw air from the room up and out through your chimney. When it’s opened, air from the outside is drawn in and heated before it exits through the same flue.

Required Items

Before you begin, make sure to collect all the necessary items:

  • Fireplace tools (such as a poker and brush)
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Newspaper
  • Wood logs of your preferred size

How to Open a Fireplace Flue in 10 Ways

Now that you have all your items, it’s time to get started! Follow these steps closely, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying a warm and cozy fire in no time.

1. Open Damper Position

Start by making sure that the damper handle is in the open position. This will help ensure that smoke and fumes can escape safely through the chimney flue. Also, make sure to use a poker or brush handle to move the lever so that you don’t burn your hand.

Make Sure to Use a Poker or Brush Handle

2. Build a Fire Pit

Once the damper is open, build a fire pit in the center of your fireplace. This can be done by balling up pieces of newspaper and adding small wood logs on top. Building the fire in a pyramidal shape will help ensure that it burns evenly and efficiently.

3. Light the Fire Pit

Once your fire pit is ready, light up the newspaper using either a match or a lighter. Wait for some of the wood logs to catch flame before moving on to the next step. Lighting the fire requires extra caution and patience, as it can be very dangerous if not done properly.

4. Add Fuel to the Fire Pit

When some of the wood logs have started burning, you can begin adding more fuel to your fire pit. Make sure that there’s enough space between each log for air circulation so that it burns evenly and doesn’t get smothered.

5. Close the Damper Handle

Once your fire is burning steadily, it’s time to close the damper handle. This will help create a vacuum effect that draws smoke and fumes out of the room through the chimney flue. Make sure to use a poker or brush handle again so that you don’t burn your hand.

6. Monitor the Fire

Monitor your fire using a fireplace tool in order to keep it burning efficiently and safely. Keep checking that the flue damper is still closed and adjust fuel levels as needed in order to maintain an even heat and avoid any smoldering or smoking.

7. Clean Up After Your Fire is Complete

Once your fire has burnt out and the flue damper is closed, it’s time to clean up. Use a fireplace tool to scrape off any remaining ash from the bottom of the fire pit. Dispose of this in an appropriate location such as a metal bucket or outside on your lawn.

8. Open the Damper Handle

After the fire is completely extinguished and your cleanup process has been completed, open the damper handle once more to let any remaining smoke or fumes escape safely. Opening the damper will also help to prevent any lingering smells from your burning fire.

Open the Damper Handle Once More

9. Store Fireplace Tools Away

Finally, store away all of your fireplace tools in a safe and secure place until you’re ready to use them again. Make sure that the flue damper is still open so that it’s ready for your next bonfire.

10. Enjoy the Warmth from Your Fireplace

And voila! By now you should be feeling the warmth of your cozy fire. Enjoy basking in the heat and reap the benefits of an efficient source of energy while you’re at it. With some patience, safety precautions, and a few simple steps, anyone can master how to open a fireplace flue and enjoy a warm fire in their own home.

So what are you waiting for? Gather all the necessary materials and get ready to start building your next flame! With just a few steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating an inviting atmosphere without having to worry about expensive heating fees or energy costs.

8 Safety Precautions to Follow

Before you begin to open your fireplace flue, there are certain safety precautions that must be taken. These eight tips will ensure you stay safe while opening a fireplace flue:

  1. Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of any combustible materials that could catch fire easily. This includes furniture, rugs, papers, books, and any other flammable material.
  2. Turn off the gas if you have a gas-burning fireplace. If you don’t, gas can build up in the flue and potentially drift into your room.
  3. Make sure you have proper ventilation before lighting a fire. A good rule of thumb is to open your windows and doors at least four inches for every one hundred square feet of living space.
  4. Wear protective gear such as safety glasses and long sleeves to protect your eyes and skin from any sparks that might come up the flue. Protective gloves are also a good idea.
  5. Before igniting the fire, check to make sure that the chimney flue is completely open. This will prevent smoke from backing up into your living space. Flue dampers should be in the fully open position.
  6. To ensure your safety, never light a fire if there is an obstruction in the flue. Also, never use flammable liquids to light a fire or clean the chimney.
  7. Make sure that your smoke detector is in working order and installed near the fireplace. Replace the batteries every six months. Also, have a carbon monoxide detector installed.
  8. Make sure the ash pan is in place and that the ashes are cool before disposing of them. Place the ashes in a metal container and make sure it is at least 10 feet away from your home.
Make Sure the Ash Pan is in Place

Following these safety precautions will ensure you stay safe while opening your fireplace flue. With proper preparation, you can enjoy your fireplace all winter long.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will It Take?

It typically takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes to open a fireplace flue properly. This time will vary depending on the type of fireplace you have and its age. For instance, newer fireplaces may require additional steps, like setting up the damper or installing a chimney cap.

How Much Will It Cost?

The cost of opening a fireplace flue will vary depending on the type and complexity of your fireplace, as well as the professional you hire. In general, however, most people should expect to pay somewhere between $150-$200 for a professional inspection and opening.

What Is Involved in Opening a Fireplace Flue?

Opening a fireplace flue involves several steps. First, you will need to perform a visual inspection of the chimney and flue to check for any cracks or damage that could potentially cause a hazard. You should also inspect the interior walls of the flue for soot buildup, as this can create an inefficient draft.

If all looks good, then you can proceed with opening the damper and flue. Finally, you should check that the chimney is properly capped to prevent debris from entering and blocking the flue.

Check That the Chimney is Properly Capped


As you can see, the steps to open a fireplace flue are not complicated and should be undertaken before lighting a fire to ensure that smoke is properly vented from your home. If you’re new to owning a fireplace, removing any accumulated debris from the area surrounding the flue can help extend its life and keep your home safe.

Additionally, following these steps on how to open a fireplace flue regularly, including checking for visible problems in the flue or chimney, will help reduce the chances of having to call in a professional for repairs.

To stay on top of your fireplace maintenance needs, make sure that you inspect it frequently in order to continue enjoying its warmth for many years to come. Regularly opening and closing your flue can be an easy and effective way to protect yourself and your home while enjoying some good old-fashioned family time around a warm fire.

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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