Holiday Break #12 ‘Twas a Chimney Pillow for Old Saint Nick

in Build Green - Energy,Build That Green Blog,Energy Efficiency

“And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!”

- Samuel Clement Moore

This is the final tip in our 12 part series. Simply combining green values with green building can be very rewarding.  It’s my hope that by using these ideas, you’ll have received better overall value during the holidays, and struck better environmental balance in your neighborhood. And I predict going into the New Year, those are great reasons to make you feel really good!

When Santa isn’t using your chimney, here’s an easy to install, almost-invisible fireplace plug that stops your valuable heat from escaping outside.

Open or Poorly-sealed Chimney Dampers are Costly

On average, you spend a third of your yearly costs heating the house.  Then, you lose it mostly because of air leakage.  One common mistake homeowners make is forgetting to close the damper after a fire.  The fire place then becomes a wide open hole to quickly funnel your precious inside heat outdoors.

Even new dampers may not close tightly. After the first hot fire, dampers can become warped and ill-fitting.

The Draft Stopper by Batticdoor is a relatively inexpensive way to insulate and seal your fireplace between uses.

For less than $60 the Draft Stopper comes in round and rectangular shapes to fit in almost all fireplaces. Made from tough layers of plastic, the pillow fits beneath the fireplace flue, and can be easily removed and reused hundreds of times. An inconspicuous adjustable height pole holds the pillow tight up against the damper.

For a large inflatable rectangular pillow 16 in x 38 in fits masonry fireplaces.

For a smaller round pillow 18 in round fits metal zero-clearance fireplaces.

Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, it will automatically deflate within seconds of coming in contact with heat.

After your fire, close the flue.  The flue must be totally cool before re-installing the Draft Stopper.  To ready the chimney for the summer or if you never use your fireplace, clean your chimney flue before inserting the stopper to ensure a tight and effective seal.   That minimizes the amount of soot falling upon the stopper and you when it is removed again.

Energy loss through a fireplace happens year round if special measures are not taken to prevent it. Dampers aren’t air tight so heat loss happens when the fireplace is not being used. In summer, your cool air conditioning leaks out through the closed, but not sealed damper as well.

Stocking stuffer idea: Give a CO detector!  It will give you great peace of mind to locate it in the hallway outside your bedrooms closest to the fireplace. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends it.

Here’s more info about carbon monoxide detectors.

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