Best Chimney Balloon (Buyer’s Guide)

Chimney balloons are a relatively new invention that have been gaining popularity in recent years. If you’ve ever had a chimney fire, then you know how dangerous it can be to put water down the chimney, and may want to consider using a chimney balloon instead. In this buyer’s guide we will explore the benefits of using a chimney balloon as well as some of the best options available on the market today.

Best Choice

Chimney Balloon® 24"x12" Inflatable Fireplace Draft Blocker (Medium Chimney Pillow®)
  • The 24"×12" Chimney Balloon has a tapered edge that is designed to work with a rectangular chimney...
  • IMPORTANT - The Chimney Balloon CANNOT BE USED WITH an active vented GAS LOG SET. For safety, a...
  • FALL & WINTER BENEFITS - In cooler weather the Chimney Balloon stops cold uncomfortable fireplace...
  • SPRING & SUMMER BENEFITS - In warmer weather the Chimney Balloon stops unpleasant smoky odors,...
  • EASY D-I-Y INSTALLATION & REMOVAL –Easy Do-it-yourself installation! You can inflate it by mouth...

The Chimney Balloon® 24×12 Inflatable Blocker (Medium Chimney Pillow®) is a lightweight, durable chimney balloon designed for use in all types of woodburning fireplaces. The medium size makes it ideal for homeowners with appliances that do not exceed 16-18kW heat output and/or flue sizes of up to 13 in diameter.

Best Selling Chimney Balloons

Is your chimney in need of some maintenance? If so, you may be wondering what the best chimney balloon is for you. There are a lot of options out there and it can be hard to choose which one will work best for you. In this article we’ll help make that choice easier by going over all the different types of balloons available, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each type.

Best No. 1
Chimney Balloon® 24"x12" Inflatable Fireplace Draft Blocker (Medium Chimney Pillow®)
  • The 24"×12" Chimney Balloon has a tapered edge that is designed to work with a rectangular chimney...
  • IMPORTANT - The Chimney Balloon CANNOT BE USED WITH an active vented GAS LOG SET. For safety, a...
  • FALL & WINTER BENEFITS - In cooler weather the Chimney Balloon stops cold uncomfortable fireplace...
  • SPRING & SUMMER BENEFITS - In warmer weather the Chimney Balloon stops unpleasant smoky odors,...
  • EASY D-I-Y INSTALLATION & REMOVAL –Easy Do-it-yourself installation! You can inflate it by mouth...
Best No. 2
STORMGUARD 18SR796 Clear Chimney Draught EXCLUDER
  • For chimneys up to 700mm width x 400mm depth
  • Prevents heat loss by stopping draughts up or down a chimney
  • Easy to fit and inflate. Complete with inflation tube
  • Reduces soot falling into the hearth
  • No tools required
Best No. 3
Chimney Balloon® 45"x15" Inflatable Fireplace Draft Blocker (Extra-Large Chimney Pillow®)
  • The 45”x15” Chimney Balloon has a tapered edge that is designed to work with a rectangular...
  • IMPORTANT - The Chimney Balloon CANNOT BE USED WITH an active vented GAS LOG SET. For safety, a...
  • FALL & WINTER BENEFITS - In cooler weather the Chimney Balloon stops cold uncomfortable fireplace...
  • SPRING & SUMMER BENEFITS - In warmer weather the Chimney Balloon stops unpleasant smoky odors,...
  • EASY D-I-Y INSTALLATION & REMOVAL –Easy Do-it-yourself installation! You can inflate it by mouth...

Chimney Balloon® 24″x12″ Inflatable Blocker

Chimney Balloon® 24"x12" Inflatable Fireplace Draft Blocker (Medium Chimney Pillow®)
  • The 24"×12" Chimney Balloon has a tapered edge that is designed to work with a rectangular chimney...
  • IMPORTANT - The Chimney Balloon CANNOT BE USED WITH an active vented GAS LOG SET. For safety, a...
  • FALL & WINTER BENEFITS - In cooler weather the Chimney Balloon stops cold uncomfortable fireplace...
  • SPRING & SUMMER BENEFITS - In warmer weather the Chimney Balloon stops unpleasant smoky odors,...
  • EASY D-I-Y INSTALLATION & REMOVAL –Easy Do-it-yourself installation! You can inflate it by mouth...

Product Description

The Chimney Balloon® 24″x12″ Inflatable Blocker (Medium Chimney Pillow®) is a lightweight, durable chimney balloon designed for use in all types of woodburning fireplaces. The medium size makes it ideal for homeowners with appliances that do not exceed 16-18kW heat output and/or flue sizes of up to 13″ in diameter.

The Chimney Balloon® 24″x12″ Inflatable Blocker is designed for use on the outside of your chimney’s flue, not inside it which can cause damage or blockages. It works by filling the entire circumference of your chimneys flue and provides an airtight seal to prevent downdrafts, smoke spillage and water infiltration.

This Chimney Balloon® does not require any assembly or installation; it is ready for use right out of the box! Additionally, it ships pre-assembled with its own inflation cylinder which means you won’t have to go hunting around your home for an empty bottle or canister to use as a makeshift pump.

Just open the box, place it over your chimney and inflate! Once inflated you will notice that its unique design provides added strength and stability – making it extremely difficult for thieves to steal this valuable item which protects both property and safety of homeowners. After inflation is completed, the Chimney Balloon® 24″x12″ Inflatable Blocker can be locked in its fully inflated position.

See also
Best Chimney Crown Repair (Buyer’s Guide)

The Chimney Balloon® will remain permanently installed on your chimney and comes with a durable, weatherproof storage bag to keep it protected when not in use. This product is backed by a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

Pros

  • Lightweight, easy to use design makes it extremely simple for homeowners to install.
  • Prevents downdrafts, smoke spillage and water infiltration.
  • Permanently installed on the chimney with its own inflation cylinder which means no makeshift pump is needed!

Cons

  • None.

Recommended?

Yes! The Chimney Balloon® 24″x12″ Inflatable Blocker is a great quality product that comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.

Chimney Balloon 36″x15″ Inflatable Blocker

Product Description

The Chimney Balloon is a 36″x15″ inflatable blocker that helps prevent animals and debris from entering your chimney. This product comes in either blue or orange, has great reviews on Amazon (with an average of five stars). It’s made with fire retardant material so you know it won’t burn, and it’s guaranteed to last for five years.

You might think that the Chimney Balloon is a good product because of all its positive reviews, but you need to do your research before deciding on which one is right for you! The 36″x15″ may be too big or small depending on your chimney size – always measure your chimney prior to making a purchase!

Another thing to consider is that you’re going to need something sturdy and durable for the Chimney Balloon, as it’s placed on top of the damper. You also want a product with a nice fit so no air or smoke can pass through – there shouldn’t be any gaps between the Chimney Balloon and your chimney walls.

Pros

  • Inexpensive, especially compared to some other products on this list.
  • Well reviewed by Amazon customers with an average of five stars.
  • Easy installation instructions are included in the package so you can start using it as soon as possible!
  • Has a nice fit and is sturdy enough for your damper.

Cons

  • Some customers have complained that it’s too small for their chimney.

Recommended?

Yes, if you’re on a budget. The Chimney Balloon is an affordable option for most people!

Chimney Balloon 24×9 Inflatable Fireplace Draft Plug

Chimney Balloon® 24"x9" Inflatable Fireplace Draft Blocker (24"x9" Chimney Pillow®)
  • The 24”×9” Chimney Balloon has a tapered edge that is designed to work with a rectangular...
  • IMPORTANT - The Chimney Balloon CANNOT BE USED WITH an active vented GAS LOG SET. For safety, a...
  • FALL & WINTER BENEFITS - In cooler weather the Chimney Balloon stops cold uncomfortable fireplace...
  • SPRING & SUMMER BENEFITS - In warmer weather the Chimney Balloon stops unpleasant smoky odors,...
  • EASY D-I-Y INSTALLATION & REMOVAL –Easy Do-it-yourself installation! You can inflate it by mouth...

Product Description

The balloon is inside the fireplace. The opening of the draft stopper keeps cold air out, preventing backdrafting and downdrafting that can cause smoke to spill into your home or come up through your chimney where you don’t want it.

With a fire burning in the hearth, hot flue gasses are produced which rise up the chimney. As these gasses move up, they create a vacuum in the fireplace near the bottom of the firebox which pulls fresh outside air into your home through cracks around doors and windows to replace the exhausted flue gases.

This ventilation system is essential for good indoor air quality by preventing backdrafting but if it’s not working correctly, it can draw in dangerous gases like carbon monoxide into your home.

Pros

  • Prevents backdrafting and downdrafting.
  • Keeps cold air out, preventing smoke from spilling into your home or coming up through the chimney where you don’t want it.
  • Safer for indoor air quality by preventing dangerous gases like carbon monoxide from entering your home.

Cons

  • Can be difficult to install.

Recommended?

Yes. If you have a fireplace and want to prevent backdrafting, downdrafting and cold air from entering your home while preventing dangerous gases like carbon monoxide from getting in, this is the product for you. Though it can be difficult to install, once set up properly it works well. This is the best chimney balloon.

What are Chimney Balloons, and how do they work?

A chimney balloon is a soft, inflatable device that doesn’t look like your traditional fire extinguisher. Instead of spraying fire-suppressing chemicals over the flames to put them out, it simply cuts off the oxygen supply required for combustion in much the same way as closing an air vent would. The difference between this and shutting a window is that a chimney balloon can be used in situations where there’s simply no other means of access to the air vent, whether it’s too high up or not accessible.

See also
Best Heat Reclaimer (Buyer’s Guide)

Carrying on from what we mentioned earlier about fire being caused by an exothermic reaction between oxygen and fuel, when you cut off the oxygen supply by blocking the chimney with a balloon, it’s no longer able to keep burning and so will go out. The process is known as “fire stop” or “chimney fire suppression” – neither of which sounds exactly reassuring, but rest assured that it works!

As well as being more effective than traditional fire extinguishers, chimney balloons are also much less harmful to the environment. Because they don’t use chemicals which have to be collected and disposed of in environmentally friendly ways, there is no risk for ground water contamination when it comes time to clean up your property after a fire.

If the balloon has been fully inflated and is blocking your chimney, there shouldn’t be any risk of a house fire. But if it doesn’t manage to block all of the air vents or you don’t use enough than that isn’t necessarily an issue either: they will just go out on their own. You can also use more than one device, so if there are multiple air vents you’re trying to block with a single balloon then that shouldn’t be an issue.

The best Chimney Balloon for your needs?

Chimney balloons are a mechanical solution to the problem of creosote buildup in your chimney flue. They look like giant inflatable condoms and they can be used on any type of wood-fired heating appliance, such as gas stoves or pellet burners. All you have to do is place them inside each floor of your chimney and they will provide the perfect seal against smoke, soot and other flammable gases.

The most important thing to consider when buying a Chimney Balloon is size – not just for your particular chimney but also because you want it to fit snugly inside without too much play room (which would cause an air leak).

If you buy a balloon that is too small for your chimney, it will not be able to seal properly and smoke can still leak through the gaps. On the other hand, if you get one that’s far too big then there won’t have any positive effect on airflow at all!

How to install a Chimney Balloon?

In order to install a Chimney Balloon, you will need:

  • A ladder that can access your roof. A telescoping pole or a rope and pulley system that goes into the chimney pipe from the outside of the house is helpful for this step. Some people have even used a cherry picker truck-mounted crane with little success.
  • A Chimney Balloon kit that includes: A balloon, an inflation hose or tube, and metal clamp(s).
  • Attach the clamp around the chimney pipe so it is just above where you want to place your balloons (about 12-18″). Make sure there are no sharp edges on both ends of the clamp as this could puncture the balloon.
  • Insert your inflation tube into one of the provided balloons, and then attach it to a compressed air tank or pump (with an appropriate nozzle).
  • Take off any tape around the mouthpiece of the balloon and inflate with enough air so that you can fit it down inside your chimney pipe. If you have a double-walled chimney pipe, use the same process to inflate your second balloon.
  • If you are doing an exterior installation, then insert one inflated balloon into each end of the clamp and tighten down with pliers or a screwdriver so they stay in place as you pull them out together from inside the house through the fireplace.
  • If you are doing an interior installation, then simply pull the balloons out of your chimney and let them rest inside near the fireplace opening so that they completely block off any airflow through your flue.
  • Now just remove or deflate air from all balloons until they fit nicely into their respective sections of the clamp.

Why should you use a Chimney Balloon instead of other methods?

A Chimney Balloon is a great way to keep your chimney clear of creosote buildup without the need for an expensive cleaning service. The best part about using a Chimney Balloon is that it’s completely non-destructive, so you can use it as often as needed to prevent dangerous carbon monoxide buildups in your home.

See also
Best LCD Electric Fireplace (Buyer’s Guide)

The Chimney Balloon works by using a special inflatable and reusable device that is inserted into the chimney. It creates an airtight seal on your flue, which prevents pollution from entering back inside of your home as well as preventing animals like racoons or squirrels from nesting in it.

Some other reasons why you should use a Chimney Balloon include:

  • Works for both wood and gas burning fireplaces.
  • Reusable so one balloon can last indefinitely.
  • Non-destructive, allowing you to use it as often as needed without damage to your chimney or fireplace.
  • Can be used with all types of flues, including single or double wall.
  • Comes in a variety of sizes to fit almost any modern fireplace.

Safety precautions when using a Chimney Balloon

  • Always wear safety glasses when using a Chimney Balloon.
  • Do not wear loose or dangling clothing while using a Chimney Balloon.
  • Do not use on metal chimneys, fireplaces with ceramic logs and glass doors, gas appliances without venting to the outside, solid fuel stoves (e.g., coal) or fireboxes, or woodstoves with glass doors.
  • Since 1991, Chimney Balloon has helped homeowners save time and money while enjoying worry-free chimneys. Their patented design absorbs soot build up in flues by creating an airtight seal within the chimney stack to block out dangerous gases and smoke for good. The result is a clean, safe and airtight chimney.
  • In addition to keeping your family safe from harmful gases and smoke, a clean flue reduces creosote build up by as much as 90%, which can prevent a potentially dangerous chimney fire that could destroy your home.
  • Before the invention of Chimney Balloon, homeowners have had few options for keeping their chimneys clean from soot.

Environmental Protection

A chimney balloon helps reduce the number of pollutants in the air, such as carbon monoxide and other harmful substances. A new study shows that a clogged or leaky fireplace can emit more than ten times the amount of fine particulate matter (PM) allowed by EPA standards while your chimney is not in use. As we will discuss below, a properly installed and maintained chimney can help reduce these pollutants. However, if there has been no use of the fireplace for 12 months or more it is recommended that you have your system inspected by a professional to ensure that air quality standards are met.

Safety Tips for Using a Chimney Balloon

  • Assemble the balloon and brush before using it – this can result in injury if done incorrectly. Failure to do so may allow gases into the room, increasing risk of fire or explosion. Be sure that anyone who will use your chimney is aware of all safety precautions prior to doing so!
  • Never inflate the balloon while indoors – this can cause injury to you or your home. Ensure that there is ample ventilation and fresh air in the surrounding area before inflating!
  • Check all connections between brush and nozzle, as well as hose and gas meter prior to use for damage/leaks. The chimney must be closed off from drafts during inflation; blowing air into the chimney may result in injury.
  • Assemble balloon and brush before use, do not inflate indoors or blow into chimney; check for leaks/damage prior to inflation.
  • Never hold nozzle when inflating – it can be hot!
  • Chimneys over six feet should have two balloons installed simultaneously.
  • Keep an eye on the balloon. If it is losing shape or has become misshapen, stop using immediately!
  • If you are not sure of how to use a chimney balloon safely seek professional advice before continuing.
  • Be aware that this isn’t foolproof – be diligent when in your home and check for carbon monoxide regularly.
  • Never use a chimney balloon with other appliances or flues that do not have their own chimney balloons installed; if the appliance has its own vent you cannot rely on this alone to protect your home and family from CO poisoning!
Chimney Balloon® 24"x12" Inflatable Fireplace Draft Blocker (Medium Chimney Pillow®)
  • The 24"×12" Chimney Balloon has a tapered edge that is designed to work with a rectangular chimney...
  • IMPORTANT - The Chimney Balloon CANNOT BE USED WITH an active vented GAS LOG SET. For safety, a...
  • FALL & WINTER BENEFITS - In cooler weather the Chimney Balloon stops cold uncomfortable fireplace...
  • SPRING & SUMMER BENEFITS - In warmer weather the Chimney Balloon stops unpleasant smoky odors,...
  • EASY D-I-Y INSTALLATION & REMOVAL –Easy Do-it-yourself installation! You can inflate it by mouth...

FAQs

What is a chimney balloon?

The Chimney Balloon’s job is to prevent the buildup of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide (CO) and other combustion byproducts like sulfur dioxide, formaldehyde and nitric oxide. A common way for these dangerous toxins to enter your home is through gaps in poorly designed or improperly installed chimneys.

Is a Chimney Balloon the same as a smoke cap?

No, but both serve similar purposes. While a smoke cap is designed to prevent leakage of air from your home into the chimney and vice versa during times when you are not using it (e.g., overnight), a chimney balloon acts as a smoke cap but also caps off your chimney during times when you are using it (e.g., cooking, showering).

What is the difference between a Chimney Balloon and an Air Duct Booster?

Both devices serve similar purposes in preventing air from leaking into or out of your home through vents and gaps in ducts. The primary difference is that the Chimney Balloon only prevents air (and toxins) from escaping through gaps in your chimney, whereas an Air Duct Booster also acts as a smoke cap for your home’s vents and can prevent cold or hot air leakage during times when you are not using them (e.g., overnight).

How does a Chimney Balloon work?

A chimney balloon is installed by inserting it through your existing damper and up into the top of your chimney. The device then inflates to create an airtight seal that prevents toxins from escaping out of gaps in or around your flue, which can occur when you use gas appliances, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves or central heating systems.

How do you know when it’s time to replace your Chimney Balloon?

Typically, a chimney balloon will last around one year and should be replaced immediately if there are signs of damage such as punctures in the fabric, tears along seams or exposure to extreme heat.

How do you install a Chimney Balloon?

First attach the included alligator clips to your damper handle and then clip them onto the balloon’s two nylon ropes, which are used to pull it up into place inside of your chimney. Next, remove the metal wire that was holding in place any old smoke cap or chimney balloon that you are replacing. Finally, put the Chimney Balloon in place and secure it to your flue with metal wire.

Conclusion

In the end, it all comes down to budget and preference. If you are looking for a simple way to get rid of your chimney odors without spending too much money or time on preparations before installation, then the Chimfex is probably right for you! It’s super easy to install with no electricity needed, so it should be a piece of cake for any homeowner. Plus, you can use it as a secondary heat source in the colder months thanks to its thermal efficiency and insulation properties! We hope we were able to help you decide on your chimney balloon – happy shopping!