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The Home Depot

How to Stop Chimney Drafts

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fireplace & Chimney > How to Stop Chimney Drafts
How to Stop Chimney Drafts

If you feel a chill or draft inside your home despite closing all the doors and windows, you should check the fireplace since this might be the root of your problem. Such a draft will not only lower the temperature inside your house, it will result in higher heating costs and force you to spend money on something that you should not have to. It is not any different than taking about $20 a month, depending on the size of your home, and throwing it down the gutter. Hence, it is important that you locate the source of the draft at the earliest and plug it up. Chimney dampers, pipe dampers, chimney balloons, and fireplace drafts are among the solutions available.

  1. 1.Proper Compliance

    Fireplaces that are not properly closed when not in use can cost you hundreds of dollars in excessive energy bills all year round.

    Though a separate permit may not be required when installing a damper or a balloon, building codes must be checked to ensure that the ones you are using comply with the regulations.


    Installing these is not a difficult job if you have the necessary guidelines and tips. As with any home improvement project, adopting safety measures and using protective gear is essential. You can finish installing dampers or balloons in under an hour.

  2. 2.Chimney Dampers

    Chimney-top dampers are an effective means of sealing the air in your home and these are quite easily installable by an amateur. A damper can fit any clay flue or brick surface and is affixed with some silicone adhesive. There are different varieties of chimney dampers available including the ones with rain caps and a screen cage. The damper can be opened and shut with a cable that runs down the flue into the firebox.


    There are also dampers which can control the exhaust of the fire and bring about a controlled burn. Doing this will help reduce the amount of wood needed for burning, while providing more heat for a longer time. Perhaps the only disadvantage with a damper is that it might act as an obstacle in the flue and lead to a little smoke emanating from the fireplace.

  3. 3.Chimney Balloons

    These are economical and an outstanding choice for doing away with fireplace drafts. A chimney balloon can be inflated to the desired size and this increases its versatility and thus, it can be used in chimneys of different dimensions with ease. Chimney balloons are made of strong plastic which can withstand the sharp corners inside the chimney as well as mortar in the flue. The balloon also has a valve which makes deflation a breeze. During installation, the inflation tube is left hanging below the chimney balloon. In the event there is an accidental fire in the fireplace, the balloon will deflate and fall, preventing any backup of smoke. Chimney balloons usually come with a card which you can use to notify people not to light a fire while the balloon is in place.

  4. 4.Pipe Dampers

    These pipe dampers are more suitable for older wood stoves. These can help create a controlled and efficient burn while helping the wood last longer. Pipe dampers should not be shut all the way and must be allowed to vent. These vents are used to control the speed with which the wood burns in a wood stove.

  5. 5.Fireplace Drafts

    These drafts are metal plates that can help control the flow of air into and out of the fireplace through the chimney. They can be operated manually or electronically through a control panel. The draft can be closed when the fireplace is not being used and this can keep the cold air from entering the house. Half-opened drafts can help a fire to burn hotter and increase the efficiency of the fireplace.

  6. 6.Automated Zone Dampers

    These are more expensive than all the other options and are more suited to large homes or commercial establishments and apartment buildings. These electronically controlled dampers are used in an HVAC system. It functions with the help of an electrical motor that can open or close the damper.

  7. 7.Clean Breathing

    It is important to choose the right option for your home when aiming to stop chimney drafts. You must ensure that the one you choose does not end up blocking the outlet of smoke and other gases. Smoke or gases that accumulate inside the home can turn into a health hazard if they are breathed too much by anyone. If you have a pet inside your home the pet obviously cannot open the door to escape and when you return from work or running errands, your pet could have suffered catastrophically. Breathing in smoke can be severely detrimental for small children and babies as well.

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