I have a fireplace that is somewhat drafty. I performed the old incense
test with my whole house fan on and I'm losing money up the chimney.
Anyone ever try a chimney ballon?? Any other ideas?? I don't use the
fireplace much(2-3 times a year).
We solved that by installing a chimney top damper that is operated by a wire
inside the fireplace. The wire pull cord had a flag on it to remind you to
open it when starting a fire. A cheaper method: wad up some fiberglas
batts up into the flue, from the fire box area. Just remember to pull it
out when it's fire time. You could use an old pillowslip to keep the wad of
insulation in one place.
You have heat going up and out as I did since my damper was broke , I
installed a cap that closes with a cable , then cold air started flowing
down and in from the cold chimney cooling air inside it. I screwed in
steel L channel recesed in the opening , cut foambord to fit and put
magnetic tape on the foamboard with weatherstripping for an airtight
seal. I painted it flat black and it just pops in or out for using the
fireplace. It made a noticable difference. No doors I saw actualy
sealed. A ballon sounds like alot of work to instal and remove and you
will still have the cold firebox convecting cold inside.
I got the magnetic tape at a local hardware store, so it shouldnt be
hard to find. I recessed the channel exactly the thickness of the
board. I have 2 pieces of foamboard glued together, one is larger and
overlaps the brick outside in front , this is the only way I could
figure to get an airtight seal. So I have an R 20 plug that helps alot ,
the room is warmer.
I made a chimney plug out of some leftover fiberglass insulation
wrapped in a couple of layers of light weight cotton canvas (heavy
works great, I just reach in & yank it out when I want to use the
It sounds as though you're going to try insulation. If you find it's too
dirty or too much of a bother, you may consider a top-mounted damper. RMR
has a combination cap/damper called the Ice Breaker that is really nice.
The springs are protected from the elements by the cap, and from the
byproducts of burning by the damper plate. Installation is pretty easy if
you're comfortable accessing your chimney top.
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