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WHAT IS A CHIMNEY PLUG? THE ULTIMATE BUYERS GUIDE
A chimney plug is a device that is put inside the chimney flue, blocking cold drafts or heat loss by sealing off your chimney flue when it’s not in use, it works by creating an airtight seal inside the chimney and in return you save money.
So continue reading to see how to use these energy-saving flue pugs and see which one suits your fireplace needs.
First, let’s look at how they work.
What is a Chimney Plug and How Does it Work?
A chimney stopper or plug can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit almost every chimney flue, they are made with different materials such as metal, fiberglass, foam, plastic, and more.
There are a number of different types of flue plugs or chimney draft stoppers available on the market, including inflatable plugs, foam inserts, and adjustable flue blockers, some chimney draught stoppers (the name used in the UK) are designed to be installed permanently, while others are intended to be used on a temporary basis.
Square Chimney Flue 12″X12″
Many people consider these to be better than inflatable pillows or balloons.
The flueblocker is a perfect way to save energy and block odors & debris, take a look by clicking the button.
You can install them by sliding them into the flue from the top or bottom, depending on the design, most are installed inside just above your fireplace damper, so installing a chimney balloon or chimney sheep, etc can be an easy DIY project
Once this plug is in place, it will stop cold air from coming into your home through the chimney and prevents warm air from escaping, this is very important because it can help to improve energy efficiency and almost definitely lower your heating costs, I know everyone likes that, and as an added bonus It will also prevent animals, debris, and rainwater from entering the firebox.
It is important to mention that a chimney balloon or plug should only be used when the fireplace or stove is not in use, and it should be removed before using the fireplace or stove again, I know I’m stating the obvious but we are all forgetful at times.
Benefits of Using a Chimney Plug
A plug, also known as a chimney balloon or draught stopper among other names used for these devices, and there are several benefits to using them, take a look at some of the benefits below:
A chimney blocker will definitely help to prevent drafts and will improve the efficiency of your home by stopping warm drafting up your flue in the winter and or cool air from escaping in the summer.
By preventing drafts and improving energy efficiency, a plug can help to drastically reduce heating and cooling costs, because you may be losing 50% or more of the heat in your home each day, and I don’t know anyone who can afford that.
Fireplace Blocker Blanket
The fireplace blanket blocks drafts and air from flowing in and out of your chimney, this is a great way to save energy while your fireplace is not in use.
They can also help to prevent odors from entering your home because you are sealing off the chimney flue, some times smoke from a neighbor’s fireplace can flow down into yours if it is not sealed correctly, also when some fireplaces have downdraft problems the smell of creosote in your own chimney can come down the chimney and into your home, by using a flue plug you will eliminate those dirty fireplace odors forever.
Plugs can prevent animals, birds, and insects from entering your flue and making their way down into your home, no one wants animals inside, especially in a seasonal cottage or chalet, they could cause damage and you won’t know until the next time you’re there.
If you live in an area with busy traffic and cars passing all day out on the street, a plug can also help reduce noise pollution, also it will prevent wind noises among other annoying outside sounds.
Easy to install
There are relatively easy to install and typically inflate with a manual or electric pump, other common ones are made of a durable felt-like material and are called chimney sheep.
It’s important to notice that, before installing a flue plug, it is important to make sure that the chimney and flue are in good condition and that there are no potential safety hazards, like falling clay tiles or water and moisture because of a lack of a rain cap on top of the chimney.
A plug is a cost-effective solution for sealing off a chimney that is not noticeable, and is especially cheap when compared to other options like rain caps, dampers, or damper caps.
These other options are also good in their own way bet are also much more expensive, for example, a chimney top damper will cost around $290 plus the installation costs of around $100 more.
Temporary or permanent solution
A fireplace blocker is a great temporary solution for people who only use the fireplace occasionally or for the winter season, this way you can remove it when you need to use it again.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits let’s look at the different types to see what will work for your home.
For chimneys up to 36″ and it is easy to fit and inflate, it comes complete with an inflation tube.
See the size that fits your chimney by clicking the button below.
What are the types of Chimney draft plugs that are available?
There are many different types of chimney plugs on the market, each has its own unique benefits and features so let’s look at the list and see which one is right for you:
- Inflatable chimney plugs: The Inflatable plug are the most common type you can buy, they are typically made from durable, heat-resistant materials such as silicone or neoprene, the majority of them are inflated using a manual or electric pump and can be easily removed when you want to use your fireplace, you can also buy them with a handle that makes
- Chimney sheep: Chimney sheep are an alternative to inflatable plugs because they are more like an insulated felt type of material, and they can be easily pushed up into almost any damper or flue, they are water and weather resistant making them another great choice.
- Permanent Chimney Plug: These are designed to be permanently sealed within the chimney flue, they are usually made of cast-in-place refractory materials, these are typically used in cases where there’s no need of using the fireplace anymore and the homeowner wants to seal it permanently.
- Custom Chimney Plug: Custom chimney plugs that are made to fit the exact dimensions of a specific chimney flue, and are typically used for older homes or unique chimney designs they are typically made with sheets of insulation and metal.
How to Choose the Right Chimney Plug for Your Home
Here are a few important things to consider when choosing the plug that is right for you:
- Size: Measure the dimensions of your chimney flue to ensure that you purchase a plug that is the correct size, not too big or too small.
- Permanent or temporary: Some plugs are designed to be installed permanently, while others are designed for temporary use, consider your needs and the intended use, this way you can determine which type of plug is right for you.
- Ease of installation: buy one that you know will be easy to install, some plugs require special tools or a professional to install them, but most can be easily installed by most homeowners.
- Price: Compare the price of different plugs to find one that fits your budget, it is good to keep in mind that a more expensive plug may offer better features or be made from higher-quality materials, prices range from $17.99 to $150.00.
Installing an inflatable chimney plug
Installing a plug is an easy process that can be a DIY project for any homeowner, here are the basic steps involved in installing a common inflatable flue plug:
- The first step is to determine the size of the chimney flue is to measure, you can do this by measuring the inside dimensions of the flue, any measuring tape will do, also you will need to get your hands dirty so if you have some wear some gloves
- Once you have determined the size of the chimney flue, select a chimney plug that is slightly smaller than the flue.
- Before installing your plug, make sure the chimney flue is clean and free of creosote.
- Carefully insert the deflated plug into the chimney flue, and make sure the plug is inserted all the way into the chimney and is centered inside.
- Use a manual or electric pump to inflate the plug once it is in place, be careful not to over-inflate the plug this can cause damage or it may break inside the chimney.
- once you have inflated the plug, check for leaks by feeling around the edges for any air leaks, if there are any leaks, deflate the plug and re-position it, then try again.
As you can see the installation process is simple and most people can do it on their own without any difficulty if you do find this difficult to install, you can also ask a handyman or chimney sweep to install it for you.
The different materials used in flue plugs
Take a look at the variety of materials that plugs can be made of below:
Metal draft stoppers work well and are generally made of stainless steel or aluminum, these can be difficult to install and you may need help, metal is a good way to go if you need a custom flue plug size.
Fiberglass plugs are lightweight, easy to install, and can withstand extreme temperatures, normally they are less durable than metal stoppers.
Foam plugs are also made from insulation materials and they can be easy to install and mold to the shape of the chimney, but they might not be as durable as metal or fiberglass.
Some are made of Canvas material and open like an umbrella, these are the least popular of all flue plugs but they also work very well to stop chimney drafts, the nice thing about waterproof canvas is that you won’t have moisture enter your chimney.
Last but definitely not least chimney blockers or plugs made of Wool are really amazing and work well one of the best you can buy is made by a company called chimney sheep, the wool they are made of is about 1 inch thick and are flexible enough to make a tight seal in your chimney, this material is also weatherproof.
Final thoughts about chimney draft plugs
If you are looking for a great way to save energy in your home that buying a chimney plug is a great way to do that, whether you have a working damper or not most fireplaces have air that moves through them and into your fireplace.
A plug will save you money, stop odors and animals from entering your chimney so the benefits are amazing.
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