How can I tell if my chimney flue is shut?

Would the arm, to open and close it, point out-ward or in-ward (toward the Chimney wall)? We just bought this house and are clueless.

The simplest way to tell is to strike a match and hold it close to the fireplace opening. If the lit match is drawn in the direction of the Fireplace as if there is wind blowing – trying to send it up the chimney, your flue is open. If the lit match appears to simply stay straight up and simply burn itself out, then you flue is closed. If lighting and holding a match does not appeal to you, then use a candle. The open or closed flue will have the same effect.

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7 Responses to How can I tell if my chimney flue is shut?

  1. j swiss says:

    Get a flashlight and look up in there if you can, or when the fire is lit, if it is super smokey its closed.
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  2. woodie says:

    I just built and moved into this home, we have a woodstove, so no flue. But generally if the arm is in, it’s closed.
    References :
    From previous homes, including childhood home.

  3. stjoe307 says:

    The simplest way to tell is to strike a match and hold it close to the fireplace opening. If the lit match is drawn in the direction of the fireplace as if there is wind blowing – trying to send it up the chimney, your flue is open. If the lit match appears to simply stay straight up and simply burn itself out, then you flue is closed. If lighting and holding a match does not appeal to you, then use a candle. The open or closed flue will have the same effect.
    References :
    Personal experience

  4. Steve C says:

    use half of a page of news paper don’t wad it up just light it you will be able to tell if it is open or not .
    References :

  5. cowboydoc says:

    Look up it, if you see daylight, it’s open, if not, it’s closed.
    References :

  6. 45 cal says:

    Look up the chimney you can see the flue>
    References :

  7. Bricky Local 9 PA says:

    its called the damper and it leads to the flue…you should be able to see if its open or closed…
    References :

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