You can take a look at a few of these common solutions to a drafty chimney to determine if there’s anything you can do on your own to solve the problem. However, noticed a cold draft from the fire whilst it's not on which must be coming down the flue. Exactly how much air is drawn out of your chimney depends on the ‘stack effect’, which relates to the movement of air into and out of buildings. There was a lot of this done to old houses, probably in the era when they introduced central heat, but I never hear of it anymore. By starting the fire with pieces of wood of fast-burning wood types (poplar, pine, willow, alder, etc.) Chimneys and fireplaces: If you don't use your fireplace, you could fit a cap over the chimney pot (best done by a professional) or fit a chimney draught excluder from any good DIY store. Since improper installation could result in a chimney fire or chimney blockage, hire a professional service. B J D BUILDING/ROOFING. You can cap your chimney or – if you use it occasionally – block the draught with an inflatable chimney balloon. Blocking a chimney can cause problem in the flue itself over time. This article has been viewed 43,514 times. Dampers are designed to work in chimneys, which means that they have to be able to function around fire and hot air. I couldn’t decide whether to block off the chimney or just leave it open. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year so build-up does not form. Cheltenham • Member since 29 Oct 2008 • 34 jobs, 100% positive feedback. Buy a guard in a color that accents the inside of your house. Besides, a properly-sized chimney guard is larger than the fireplace opening. I've got a Field Controls Chimney Top Draft inducer that I picked up off Ebay new for about $350. Nope! The obstruction will block the ability for the chimney to draft properly and will need to be removed prior to starting another fire. I want to block it up, as a lot of cold air is coming down (and heat escaping up) but am finding it difficult. This fan often includes an option for different speed levels. One way to stop drafts from fireplaces is to insert a piece of thick foam insulation covered with decorative fabric at the fireplace opening when you aren’t using the fireplace. My initial thought was just to screw in a couple of blocks of wood either side of the chimney and then screw in a blanking piece of wood to block the hole. Once the balloon is in your chimney, you should inflate it as much as possible so no air can sneak in at the sides of the chimney. Chimney problems sometimes become so frustrating that homeowners want more than to cap a chimney, they want the chimney removed, torn down or at the very least they ask us to seal a chimney off completely.. It’s often chimney leaks or unwanted cold air from the fireplace, otherwise known as a draft. Can i block my chimney? Pick another answer! Breathable materials like wool are best, allowing air to pass through but keeping the heat in. Im sure it should be blocked off. The table below shows how heat in the chimney and chimney height work together to produce draft. Definitely not! The reason to open the damper when you have a fire lit has to do with what comes out of a fire, not what goes into it. Please see our Obstruction Removal details for further instruction on how to handle your situation and call a professional chimney sweep to assess your problem. Not quite! References. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Keep a reminder card or tie something to the handle of the balloon so you don’t forget it’s there. Common Causes of a Drafty Chimney When closed, a damper stops cold air from coming down your chimney, but it also stops smoke from escaping out the top. Chimney Sheep takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide the service that you have requested from us. We don’t think about it often, but chimneys aren’t a one-way passage for air to move out of our houses. Can i do this and what materials should i use. Can anyone suggest how to make or buy a simple block to stop a draft coming in or warm air going out. If you put it inside the fireplace, it will track ash and soot into your house when you move it to start a fire. Having an open chimney is like leaving a window open all the time. consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Draft guards are sold in hardware stores or online. Pick another answer! Clay chimney pots are an old-fashioned, but effective method of increasing chimney height and improving draft. And you will soon make the money back. Longest time well it’s out in the morning. Your support helps wikiHow to create more in-depth illustrated articles and videos and to share our trusted brand of instructional content with millions of people all over the world. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. This means that your chimney can let a lot of air in and out of your home. An 8 inch chimney 18 ft good draft. As this warm air rises, it needs to be replaced. We need to keep warm air in our homes. A plugged or closed damper, or even a blocked off chimney flue are some simple problems that can be easily fixed. You will also use less heating, which is a win win: reducing your bills and helping the planet. The point of a chimney guard is to block the fireplace opening as much as possible. How to diagnose poor chimney draft for a smoky fireplace, woodstove, or heating boiler/furnace. how to block chimney hole Chimneys are designed to draw fumes out of a property, and they continue syphoning air out whether the fire is lit or not. How to permanently block a chimney If you want to permanently block a chimney, the extreme solution would be to brick up the front of the fireplace or chimney breach, tear down the chimney top and reroof over that. Luckily, there's a way to keep the cold downdraft out by installing a chimney balloon. With no references to supermarket tabloid magazines size really does matter when it comes to the length of a chimney. I put that up the chimney first and then squeezed the insulation as small as possible to get it into the hole and then let it expand into the chimney stack leaving the pipe to provide a small amount of ventilation. Height: the taller the chimney, the more draft it will produce at a given temperature difference. Chimney-Top Chill Blocker The damper inside the chimney -- just above the firebox or area where a fire is built -- helps keep cold air, birds and animals out when the fireplace is not in use. Correct! and a lighter block, a warm air flow through the chimney is quickly developed. Hire a professional to install a damper if you don’t have one. Also, creosote build-up can partially block the screens on the chimney caps, and that would reduce the drafting capability of the flue system. Some of the main chimney blockage causes are: Wrong chimney height. It is also necessary to cap the chimney pot to allow air circulation through the chimney while keeping rain, birds etc out. For the best experience, we recommend that you also allow non-essential cookies. Block out cold drafts in fall and winter. Block chimney draughts. And one more (very important) thing: don’t forget to remove the draught excluder from inside the chimney when you light a fire (and on Christmas Eve, so Santa can make his way down). 2 2 Answers from MyBuilder Chimney & Fireplace Specialists. Click on another answer to find the right one... Not necessarily! We like to use the fire every now and then, but most of the time all the warm air escapes up it. Select Your Cookie Preferences. In fact, you should remove the balloon before you start a fire, so smoke and gas can escape up the chimney. An alternative that’s caught our eye is … Best Answer. It … What’s the best way to block up our chimney during cold weather? I dont use the fire. But would like to stop the draft coming down the chimney and be able to use it if needed. Then all you need to do is deflate it when you want to use your chimney again. How to diagnose poor chimney draft for a smoky fireplace, woodstove, or heating boiler/furnace. how to block off draft from fireplace? A throat damper sits just above the area the fire is lit and requires more work to install. To help clear the air in your home, open a few windows. You could go for an inflatable draught excluder, which will fit snugly inside your chimney. I have a decorative fireplace in my rented flat, (no actual heating just a metal cover) and behind it a large (pretty cavernous) stone space that leads up to the chimney. How to diagnose poor chimney draft for a smoky fireplace, woodstove, or heating boiler/furnace. MY ACCOUNT LOG IN; Join Now | Member Log In. Draught dodger: A chimney balloon is designed to block draughts and soot but can be inflated or deflated so that the chimney can remain in use. 6. Sometimes, the problem is not in the chimney itself, but it is in the house or in the room where the fireplace is. 18 things to check if your chimney has bad draft or your fireplace is smoky. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. It's a modern house so it has a precast flue and what looks like a six inch flue pipe coming out of the roof with a cowl on top! Electric Draft Chimney Cap. The size of a chimney needs to be built relative to the size of the appliance that will vent into it. vegplot: Blocking a chimney can cause problem in the flue itself over time. Use pliers or an oven mitt to prevent any burns. It is basically a heavy chimney cap, all stainless, with a heavy duty fan built in. If it has a leak, replace the balloon. Oooh i just looked on that chimney balloon site - looks brilliant! Is using a rubbish/bin bag full of newspaper balls stuffed up a non-working fireplace an adequate way of preventing heat loss from a room? Read on for another quiz question. . This happens because of poor maintenance or maybe even structural issues. You can read about how we use cookies on our privacy page, Get the most relevant content from Energy Saving Trust by telling us where you live, Inspiration for my next 
home improvement project. Last Updated: March 28, 2019 No. Following these draught-proofing tips will help make your home cosier and cut your energy bills. Some External Factors. If you need to make the balloon fit better, push the corners of the balloon up into the chimney with your fingers. but it's hit or miss if I have to do that. Hi, I have a small open fire that is in constant use every night in the winter but obviously not in use much by day and in the summer. Since there is no component such as a blower or fan forcing the exhaust out of the chimney, the outside air and inside air have to work together to draw out the smoke and gas. Step by step video on how to install a Chimney Balloon or Chimney Pillow in order to stop cold chimney drafts and eliminate fireplace odor and smoke smell. By cutting out draughts, you can keep your home nice and cosy. Yup! Learn more... Everyone likes to cozy up in front of a fireplace during the cold months. Please see our Obstruction Removal details for further instruction on how to handle your situation and call a professional chimney sweep to assess your problem. A fire doesn't need the chimney to be open in order to get enough oxygen, so inflating your chimney balloon won't put a fire out. These include a blocked chimney flue, an incorrect firebox size, or installation mishaps. A top damper sits on top of the chimney and has a cord that runs down the length of the chimney. By using our site, you agree to our. Pick another answer! Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 a year*. Be careful operating any metal cords or levers after a fire is lit. Why should you open the damper before you light a fire in the fireplace? A large tree near the chimney, for example, might result in poor air circulation and a resulting backdraft. And, it's shaped in a such a way that allows a little bit of air to escape so your home will stay well-ventilated. If you have an open chimney, draught-proofing your chimney when you’re not using it could save around £15 a year*. But if you inflate it too much, you won't be able to get it into your chimney at all. Please consider making a contribution to wikiHow today. 0. Depending on the size of your chimney, you might not need to inflate it completely to get a good seal, but you should get as close as possible to full inflation. We want to eventually put multiple fuel stove in lounge but until we can afford this what can we do to stop the noise and drafts? Place the balloon back into the chimney so it fits firmly. Use the Swiss or reverse lighting method. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you’ll save money as well as making your home snug and warm. How to Fix a Chimney Backdraft. We’ve calculated that a chimney draught excluder can save you £17 per year – as well as 70kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Since I heated with wood before I would say it’s just bad. A flue functions with something known as the stack effect which utilizes pressure differential to create natural ventilation and air flow. But keeping our homes cosy takes more than stoking up the fire and putting on the heating. How much could you save by draught-proofing? Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you may be able to turn down your thermostat, saving even more on your energy bills. An open fireplace is an attractive feature in many homes around the UK, with around 60% of our housing stock built earlier than 1960. However, the noisy wind and the old black deposits that keep getting dumped down it have made up my mind! wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. We like to use the fire every now and then, but most of the time all the warm air escapes up it. Made of inflatable urethane or cut-to-size foam, they fit snugly up against your damper to lessen the chilling effect of a cold-air draft inside your home. wikiHow's. This provides better insulation and protection, from moisture and birds as well as draughts. As summer winds down, it’s time to start thinking about the cooler weather that’s just around the corner. Click on another answer to find the right one... How should you position a draft guard over the opening of a cold fireplace? Chimneys act like giant hoovers, sucking air out of your home. laura_statton. As mentioned before, the chimney needs the stack effect to function. Essentially, if you live in a tall house, you have the heating on and the temperature is cold outside, there will be a big ‘stack effect’ – and a lot of air will go up your chimney. Important update! Finding a job is hard. This article describes how the location of the chimney on an exterior wall, imbedded in the wall, or located inside of the building affects chimney draft and performance. Reinflate the chimney balloon once the chimney is cold. 5 5 Answers from MyBuilder Chimney & Fireplace Specialists . A blockage of the chimney draft is a common chimney problem. The other option is getting your chimney fitted with a ‘cap’, normally made from terracotta. This problem most commonly arises when a gas insert is installed and the liner is not properly sized or insulated for the new upgrade. These are made from 100% pure and natural sheep wool for the excluder and recycled plastic for the handle. Important update! Sometimes, due to the insufficient height of the chimney, the so called, ambient updraft effect take place. The damper inside your chimney is meant to keep the cold air out but since dampers are typically made of cast iron, they don’t entirely keep the cold away. Haven't had to block my chimney since installing it in 2008. A job well done! What’s the best way to block up our chimney during cold weather? Click on another answer to find the right one... Nope! Close! To draught-proof your home, you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. And chimneys draw air out, whether or not the fire is going. You could also consider feed external air in at the base of the chimney so internal warm air loss is reduced. 1. Place the balloon in the chimney, inflate it until it fills the space and you’re done. Extending the height of the chimney top can often solve the problem, as taller chimneys draft more efficiently than shorter ones. We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. The wool is compressive so it will squash to fit a range of shapes and sizes. If you’ve spent money heating your home, then this is like letting money blow away up your chimney! And it can be trimmed down a little with sharp scissors if necessary. 2. Before putting the balloon in your chimney, you should inflate it just enough that the balloon spreads out and can be easily fit into the chimney. However, a properly functioning chimney is vital to both your heating performance and your safety.. Chimney problems sometimes become so frustrating that homeowners want more than to cap a chimney, they want the chimney removed, torn down or at the very least they ask us to seal a chimney off completely.. It’s often chimney leaks or unwanted cold air from the fireplace, otherwise known as a draft. out the owners knew the chimney was blocked but just forgot to tell the babysitter not to use it Even if don't have kids the above could still happen if you have friends or family staying and you forget or don't get chance to warn them not to use the fire . A chimney draught excluder is also a temporary device. We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. Best Answer. And you will soon make the money back. This creates what’s known as a draft. Regardless of the motivation many homeowners often reach this conclusion. The Chimney Balloon effectively blocks the chimney, stopping warm air from escaping and stopping cold air from getting in. This insulated cover will also stop the smell from the fireplace. How to Block Cold Air From a Chimney. how to block off draft from fireplace? Guess again! What’s next in energy innovation and policy? Draft Factors. If you smell smoke or gas after you've lit a fire, open the damper as soon as you can--but don't grab the lever with your bare hand, because it'll be hot! Both have drafts and the wind howls so much so that we have to turn tv up to drown it out! In the dead of summer if I smell any creosote smell from a reverse draft I might light a candle inside the firebox or place a box of baking soda inside . A damper rests inside of or on top of your chimney and prevents drafts from coming down the chimney. Block Downdrafts. 11822. The warmth will create the draft in the fireplace and keep the fire going. Chimney balloons can be reused as long as it holds air. But it is more expensive, costing more like £150. Every day at wikiHow, we work hard to give you access to instructions and information that will help you live a better life, whether it's keeping you safer, healthier, or improving your well-being. How To Block A Chimney Draft Before starting a repair, gather an extension ladder, bricks, piping, newspaper, and matches. But they’re semi-rigid so cost a bit more. 0. I have a open chimney and a electric fire (not very safe i know). For the most sustainable method of chimney draught-proofing, try a Chimney Sheep. It’s also a passage to allow air in, and if you live somewhere windy, when the wind is blowing in a certain direction, it can cause a downdraft. Ventilation needs to be provided to the chimney space to avoid moisture collecting on the soot and smoke deposits within the chimney and forming damp areas, this can easily be achieved by building in an air-brick as the fireplace opening is bricked up.