A fire in the fireplace can make a home feel even more warm and cozy during the cold winter months. However, an unused fireplace is a source for drafts resulting in chilly indoor temperatures and higher heating costs. Cold air sinks while warm air rises, so when outdoor temperatures are colder than inside, the warm air escapes up the chimney while the cold, drafty air sinks in. To prevent this problem you will need to install one of several different types of products. The option you choose will depend on the type of fireplace you have and the amount of effort that you wish to put in to preventing drafts inside your home.
Installing an Inflatable Draft Blocker
- When the fireplace is cold, insert the chimney pillow into the fireplace opening with the inflation area facing down.
- Push the pillow up the chimney stack parallel to the floor until it is no longer visible from across the room.
- Attach the included pump to the inflation hose on the chimney balloon and pump it until the balloon is almost completely inflated.
- Push a narrow PVC pipe or plastic tube into one corner of the chimney shaft along the side of the balloon to provide additional ventilation into the chimney space.
- Finish inflating the balloon, remove the pump and close the inflation nozzle.
- Tie the string with the reminder tag to the fireplace grate or screen. The string will prevent the balloon from drifting away if a strong updraft occurs and the reminder tag will remind you to remove the balloon when you want to use the fireplace.
- Inspect the balloon every couple of weeks, adding more air when necessary.
- Remember to deflate and remove the balloon prior to using your fireplace.
- Measure the front of the fireplace opening to determine the minimum size and height for a fireplace door.
- Purchase a glass fireplace door that is specially designed to insulate against drafts. These are different from the folding screen style doors that are purely decorative.
- If you plan on burning wood in the fireplace then you will also need to purchase a mesh screen designed to go between the fire and the glass in order to keep the embers inside.
- Place the glass door against the fireplace opening. Ensure that it covers the opening completely. Keep the door in place while the fireplace is in use to prevent heat from escaping the room.
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