Can an upper damper coexist with an insert?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Annapolitan

New Member
Jan 24, 2019
1
Annapolis, MD
First time poster.

We have a masonry wood-burning fireplace that has:
1. a lower damper right above the firebox with a lever
2. An upper damper on top of brick chimney with a long cable and chain that you pull to close
3. A little metal opening at the back that you open to feed the fire with fresh air from outside and close when not in use
5. A small trap door to an ash pit below.

We’d like to put an insert (leaning Towards a gas insert but am also considering wood) into the fireplace but have the following questions.

1. If we do gas, both dampers have to go (or be clamped/welded open) due to building code?
2. Is there a way to preserve the upper damper if we do an insert, either wood or gas? I don’t see how we would still access the chain (pull to close damper) with an insert in there.
3. Going in a completely different direction and probably very naively, are there any products that can put a nearly air-tight door/front facade with tempered glass on the front of a fireplace? To make the fireplace operate a little more like a woodstove? Maybe even with the ability to regulate the air intake?
 

wooduser

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2018
679
seattle, wa
3. Going in a completely different direction and probably very naively, are there any products that can put a nearly air-tight door/front facade with tempered glass on the front of a fireplace? To make the fireplace operate a little more like a woodstove? Maybe even with the ability to regulate the air intake?


There are lots of manufacturers of custom fireplace doors. They aren't going to turn you fireplace into a wood stove by any means, but they allow more control over the vast quantities of heated room air that are customarily sucked up the chimney by a fireplace.