Chimney Balloon FAQ
Q: Can I use a Chimney Balloon in any fireplace?
A: You can use a Chimney Balloon in 99% of fireplaces and stoves. You just need an unobstructed area in the chimney flue to install it.
Q: Is the Chimney Balloon easy to remove and reuse?
A: Yes - You can reuse your Chimney Balloon. To uninstall the Chimney Balloon, simply open the valve on the end of the Chimney Balloon handgrip, wait for the balloon to deflate, then gently lower the balloon out of the flue area. Then renstall the Chimney Balloon when you are done using the fireplace and the flue has cooled down again.
Q: Do I have to remove it before I light a fire?
A: Yes. If you accidentally light a fire under the Chimney Balloon it will shrivel and burst in seconds to let the smoke and fumes go up the chimney. To avoid this situation, use the provided red reminder card and put it in a prominent place (like on the gas tap or wood grate) to remind you the Chimney Balloon is inflated.
Q: How do you inflate the Chimney Balloon?
A: Each chimney balloon comes with a flexible removable inflation tube. This tube allows you to easily inflate the Chimney Balloon by mouth or with a low pressure pump (like an air or bed pump) or shop vacuum.
Q: What is the Chimney Balloon made from?
A: The "pillow" portion of the Chimney Balloon is a flexible proprietary plastic tri-laminate that took years of testing to develop. Each layer has a special chemical property to make it strong, durable and insulating. The Chimney Balloon is transparent to aid in proper sealing and fitting.
How to Install a Chimney Balloon:
Watch the Chimney Balloon Installation Video.
Step 1: Open the package and make sure you have your proper-sized Chimney Balloon, a flexible inflation tube, and the red reminder card. You can see what size Chimney Balloon you have by looking at the white cap on the top of the Chimney Balloon. If you find your inflation tube is not of adequate length, you can purchase a 1/2 inch ID (inside diameter) Poly tube of whatever length you desire, and it will work just fine.
Step 2: Unroll your Chimney Balloon so it can be easily inflated. Attach the flexible inflation tube to the hand grip that is also the air valve. Make sure the valve lever is set to the open position, with the lever parallel to the tube.
Step 3: Blow a few breaths into your Chimney Balloon so it begins to take shape like a floppy pillow. You want the balloon portion to easily go into your chimney area without scraping the sides of the chimney. DO NOT fully inflate the balloon at this time. It will likely burst if you try to install it into the chimney fully inflated!
Step 4: With safety glasses on, look into your chimney and locate the place you want the Chimney Balloon to fill. Then reach up in that location, being careful not to scrape the balloon along the sides of the chimney or catch on screws, sharp edges, or hardware or anything in your chimney that could poke a hole in the balloon. The Chimney Balloon is strong, but it can puncture. If you are wondering where you should install a Chimney Balloon see below.
Step 5: While holding the Chimney Balloon in place, you can inflate the balloon by mouth with the inflation tube. For quicker inflation use an airbed pump or tire pump. When the balloon is inflated, turn the valve to the off position (perpendicular to the tube). Depending upon the shape of your chimney, the balloon may find a resting place of its own, so gently push the balloon into place.
A properly inflated balloon is firm, but not tight like a drum. To test for proper inflation, push in slightly on the inflation tube and it should feel springy like pushing on your thigh with your finger.
Important! Make sure the inflation valve hangs freely and is not propped on anything. If you accidentally light a fire without removing your balloon, you want the Chimney Balloon to drop freely out of your chimney.
Step 6: Put the red reminder card in a highly visible place, so you will see the card before you light a fire. Such as on your burning grate or by your gas tap. You also can leave the clear inflation tube hanging from the Chimney Balloon to remind you of its presence in your chimney.
How to Measure Your Fireplace:
1) Before sizing your chimney make sure your fireplace and chimney is cold and you have no hot embers in your fireplace that can be a danger to you. If you sweep and vacuum your fireplace ash first, you will find this whole process of measuring much cleaner. But never vacuum hot ash!
2) With safety goggles on, look into your chimney with a flashlight and identify the damper (a metal flap that closes the chimney), if you have one. Also, identify the most narrow section of your chimney that you can touch with a 2 foot stick.
3) Follow these guidelines when selecting an area to install a Chimney Balloon.
- Select an area that is not interfered with by the damper flap or any hardware.
- The area must have about 6" in height of parallel or slightly sloping walls with significant texture for the balloon to grab and lodge in during inflation. (see diagrams below)
- Just above the damper, or in the bottom of the smoke shelf, is often an ideal location to install a Chimney Balloon.
- If your installation point cannot be easily touched by hand you will want to purchase an HEK Extender with your Chimney Balloon.
* Notes on smoke shelves or smoke chambers: It may be possible to find a suitable location in or above the smoke chamber, but you will need an HEK Extender to install the Balloon in a higher location.
4) Measure the length and depth of the location you choose to install a Chimney Balloon. It is possible to measure with a standard tape measure, but it is easier to measure with a foldable carpenters ruler.
5) We recommend that you buy the Chimney Balloon that is exactly the same dimension of your install location. But, it is OK to buy a Chimney Balloon that is up to 6 inches larger in either dimension than your measured opening, since you will be inflating it into place. DO NOT buy a Chimney Balloon that is too small for the measured opening.
6) If you need further instruction on how to measure your chimney call us at 1-866-708-2446.