How to install your chimney balloon
For your chimney balloon to work effectively, it is crucial that you install it properly. Here is a summary of the main points to bear in mind:
- Position your chimney balloon 12-24 inches above the top of your fireplace
- Choose a position where the walls are parallel
- Position your balloon where the chimney is narrowest
- Make sure you cannot see the handgrip in the fireplace
- Ensure the chimney balloon fits well and doesn't move around
The following diagrams help demonstrate how to position your chimney balloon.
Chimney balloon inflation
The most important thing to mention is that you should never inflate your chimney balloon before inserting it up your chimney. This will cause damage to the balloon and will result in a poor fit.
Here is a step-by-step guide to inflating your chimney balloon:
- Open up the chimney balloon tap
- Blow in a small amount of air to allow the balloon to take shape
- Place the balloon in the chimney with the white label facing you
- Fully inflate the balloon using a bellows pump, mouth inflation tube or handgrip extension
Once you've fully inflated your chimney balloon, turn the tap off and make sure you remove any device you've used to help inflate it.
Check that your chimney balloon has remained in the correct position and that it has not been over inflated so that it is too tight. If you inflate the balloon with your warm breath, the balloon may contract a little as the air cools. This can cause the balloon to fall out of the chimney (often this happens during the first night). Top up the air after a few hours to prevent this.
Remember to put your red "remember" notice somewhere prominent so that you don't light your fire with the chimney balloon still in place.
Check your balloon three or four times a year to make sure it is still properly inflated and in position.
Removing your chimney balloon
When you want to remove your balloon from the chimney, you should follow the steps below:
- Open the tap on the handgrip and wait for it to fall from the chimney
- Make sure the balloon is sufficiently deflated so that it does not scrape against the inside of the chimney as you pull it out
- Roll the chimney balloon in newspaper or a plastic bag for storage
- Remember to remove the red "remember" label
If you try the first step and the chimney balloon doesn't fall out, then you can remove some of the air inside by carefully pressing the handgrip against the inside of the chimney or if you are able to reach inside, you can gently expel some air by pushing the sides of the balloon towards each other.
Repairing your chimney balloon
If you're inserting and removing your chimney balloon often then it may become damaged. Perforation can occur if the balloon has scraped against the inside of the chimney wall.
It is a straightforward job to repair any holes: simply clean the area around the damaged and use packing tape or sticky tape to seal it up.
Preventing chimney damp
The design of the chimney balloon means that a small amount of air will still be able to pass by in order to keep the chimney ventilated and prevent damp building up.
What happens if you light a fire with the chimney balloon in place?
If you forget that you have the chimney balloon installed and light a fire underneath it, the balloon will shrivel up and stop working which means the smoke and heat from the fire will be able to escape as normal.
Your chimney balloon is unlikely to go up in flames if it
remains in position but of course it may drop into the fire itself and
start to burn.