Q:Where does the chimney balloon go?
A:About a foot up, above the fireplace opening. The front and back at least must be reasonably parallel. It doesn't matter if it is rough or lumpy. If you can stand inside the chimney, put it above your head, about 8ft from the floor where it is often a lot narrower.
Q:Can I fit it myself?
A:Yes, it is a very simple DIY job. The handgrip hanging down has a tap on the end.
Q:What is it for?
A:It stops draughts, heat loss, soot, debris, and birds' mess, reduces noise.
Q:How does it work?
A:It's like a plastic pillow. You put it about a foot up the chimney, holding it by the handgrip to keep your hands clean, inflate it until it grips the chimney walls, turn off the tap.
Q:Is there any ventilation?
A:There is a curve at one end, which forms 2 little triangular tunnels, thus giving just enough ventilation to keep the chimney dry without any draught. No problems since 1990 !
Q:Will it stop birds coming into the room?
A:Yes. It's a common problem that the Chimney Balloon solves.
A:Is it easy to remove?
A:Yes - open the tap on the end of the handgrip, wait a minute, and it should fall out. It was designed for people having fires at week-ends. Pop it in a poly bag or newspaper to use again.
Q:Do I have to take it out before lighting the fire?
A:Yes. If you forget, it will shrink in a few seconds. You'll then need a new one.
Q:What is the material made from?
Q:It's not rubber, because rubber perishes in chimneys. It's a fairly thin but flexible plastic tri-laminate, a special 'hi-tech' material. The outer layer is tough, the inner is an air barrier layer and the core is a heat-shrink material. It is transparent to aid fitting.
A:How do I remember it is there ?
Q:There's a little red label that you put in the grate.
Q:Does it come in different sizes?
A:Yes. There are 3 standard sizes in stock and special sizes are made to order.
Q:How do I know what size I need?
A:Measure about a foot up above the fireplace opening where the sides are parallel; we require side-to-side and front-to-back sizes in inches. If you can't measure right across, measure side to middle then add opposite side to middle.
Q:Inflation - How do I blow it up?
A:You can use an Air Bed pump, but the 600mm (24") long Mouth Inflation Tube is quicker and easier.
Q:Does it take much effort ?
A:It requires very little pressure, just volume - lungs are good for this.
Q:For how long can I leave it in ?
A:As long as you want. We recommend that you inspect it every 3 months to see if it needs topping up with air. It allows a little ventilation, and it won't corrode.
Q:How long should it last ?
A:We would expect at least 4 years. The manufacturer has been making them for 14 years now.