Why should I draught-proof my chimney?
Even after completely draught-proofing your windows, doors and floors, you may still be left with a large area of concern in the shape of the chimney stack. A lot of heat can be lost through an uninsulated chimney. Unless your chimney is never used, you need to choose a temporary draught-proofing solution that can be removed as and when you want to light the fire.
Draught-proofing chimneys with a Chimney Sheep
For the most sustainable method of chimney draught-proofing, try a Chimney Sheep. These are made from 100% pure and natural sheep wool for the excluder and recycled plastic for the handle. Siting snuggly in the chimney, they provide the perfect barrier between the cold outside and the warm indoors. The Chimney Sheep has a strong and rigid centre, which allows it to remain in place up the chimney, and a more flexible outer circumference enabling each size to fit a wide variety of chimney shapes and sizes.
Draught proofing chimneys with chimney balloons
There is a really easy solution to prevent these draughts, which does not involve permanently boarding up your fireplace or blocking your chimney. You can use a chimney balloon.
A chimney balloon is essentially a balloon that you inflate in your chimney that creates a snug fit, thereby preventing hot air escaping up out of the chimney or cold air dropping down it, helping to prevent draughts in your home.
You position the balloon up in the lower regions of the chimney stack and then inflate it, which holds it in place. The balloon is designed to stop the majority of airflow, but it will still allow a little ventilation so you don’t have any damp issues.
The inflated balloon can then be left in position until you want to have a fire, at which point you deflate the bag and store it, ready for it to be re-inflated for future use. Chimney balloons come in lots of different sizes to ensure you get a snug fit within the chimney, helping to keep draughts at a minimum. They are also really simple to fit. As a rough guide, a chimney balloon will cost you approximately £25 give or take a few pounds depending on the size you buy, and you can also buy a handgrip extension kit £5-10 to help inflate the chimney balloon when it is out of normal reach.
Can you draught proof a chimney with anything else?
You can obviously opt to draught proof your chimney by simply stuffing plastic bags up it – the issue with this is twofold. Firstly, if you forget it is there and light the fire, you can actually cause a chimney fire. The second is that it will be far more difficult to ensure that you are stopping all the draughts. We have also come across people insulating their chimneys using tea towels and newspaper in the past – which again as flammable materials are a really bad idea. If you were to forget the chimney balloon was up the chimney when you light the fire, it would simply wilt and fall from the chimney – but it would not cause a fire – hence from a safety point of view, this is why we always advise them!
Chimney cowls are also a great way of ensuring maximum efficiency while also keeping out nesting birds and debris.