You cannot beat a roaring, crackling fire in winter for creating that warm, comforting, festive glow. But open fires and wood burners are not the most environmentally friendly method of heating your home, as it means having an open chimney. Chimney’s will draw the lovely warm air out from your home, regardless of whether the fire is going or not. It will also let chilly air into the room if no measures are in place to exclude the draught.
On top of that, wind noise down the chimney can also be very annoying and distracting. The last thing you want to hear is how awful the weather is outside when you are cosied up and warm in your home for the evening. The best way to stop the wind coming down a chimney is by dealing with the stack effect with the help of a chimney draught excluder. Allow us to explain…
What is Stack Effect?
Stack effect occurs in buildings which are maintained at a higher temperature than the temperature outside. The stack effect refers to the movement of air into and out of buildings and can be influenced by numerous factors, like how tall your house is and the difference in temperature between the inside and outside of your home. For example, if you live in a tall house and the weather is cold outside, but you have the heating on inside, there will be quite a big stack effect – and a lot of air will go up your chimney.
When we switch on our heating, the air in our home warms up. As the air warms, it becomes more buoyant. As this warm air rises, it needs to be replaced. Chimney’s act like giant hoovers, sucking warm air out of your home. This causes chilly air to be pulled in, usually from gaps around doors and windows, creating a draught that you can often feel and hear, particularly when there are ferocious winds blowing outside.
By draught-proofing your home, you will help to keep things warm and cosy, as well as use less heating energy and slashing bills. Most importantly, you will be helping our planet by cutting emissions of greenhouse gases resulting from heating up our homes and offices.
How can I draught-proof my chimney?
There are lots of options on the market to help draught-proof your chimney. We have heard good things about Chimney Sheep® chimney draught excluders. The company report that their open fire draught excluders reduce energy bills by 5%, blocking 95% of household heat from escaping. Installing one would reduce energy bills for the average household by £125 a year (based on an Energy Price Guarantee of £2,500).
We are also fans of using Chimney Balloons to tackle chimney draughts. A Chimney Balloon is designed to inflate and push against all four walls of the chimney, holding itself securely in place. There is a tiny vent in the side of the balloon which allows some airflow, to allow your chimney to “breathe.”
How to measure for and fit a chimney balloon
Chimneys can vary in size, so it is important to take some time to measure yours accurately before selecting the right size balloon for your Chimney.
The Chimney Balloon© have a comprehensive guide on how to measure for and fit your Chimney Balloon. However, if you would be more comfortable enlisting the help of a professional heating engineer, do not hesitate to book an appointment.
An open chimney is likely to be the single biggest source of air loss in a home and is often comparable to a window being left open all the time, except that the passage of warm air out is worsened by the stack effect. Blocking unwanted chimney gaps with draught excluders such as Chimney Sheep and Chimney Balloons will block a great deal of heat escaping. They are easy to source, measure and fit and are value for money, considering the heating energy, money, and emissions you will save overall.
If you need a quick quote for any plumbing or heating issue within your home, fill out our convenient online quick quote form and a member of our team will be in touch asap.