FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I buy a Chimney Balloon direct from you?
Yes, if you tell us the size!
Where can I buy one?
(see Where and How much, below).
From ourselves by phone, fax or letter (we take credit cards or cheques and we don't charge extra for postage in the UK) or from some fireplace shops or from various online e-tailers.
How much is one?
Depends on the size: there are 5 standard sizes starting at £19.99 - the price goes up with size (see sizing chart). Postage is even included.
Where does it go?
About a foot up, above the fireplace opening. The front and back at least must be reasonably parallel. It doesn't matter if it is rough or lumpy. If you can stand inside the chimney, put the chimney balloon above your head, say about 8ft from the floor where it is often a lot narrower.
Can I fit it myself?
Yes, it is a very simple DIY job. In fact it’s so simple, you shouldn’t even think of it as DIY.
What can it do?
It stops draughts, heat loss, soot, debris and birds' mess and even reduces noise.
How does it work?
It's like a plastic pillow. You put it about a foot up the chimney, holding it by the handgrip to keep your hands clean, inflate it until it grips the chimney walls, turn off its tap.
Is there any ventilation?
There is a curve at one end, which forms 2 little triangular tunnels, thus giving just enough ventilation to keep the chimney dry without any draught.
Will it stop rainwater dripping onto
Normally, yes. If you have a fair amount coming down, the chimney pot fixing is probably cracked where it joins the chimney-stack.
Will it stop birds coming into the room?
Yes. It's a common problem that the Chimney Balloon solves.
Will it stop cats or kittens climbing inside the chimney?
Yes. They just love investigating dark holes!
Is it easy to remove?
Yes - open the tap on the end of the handgrip, wait a minute and it should fall out. It was designed for people having fires at week-ends. Pop it in a poly bag or newspaper.
Do I have to take it out before lighting the fire?
Yes. If you forget, it will shrink in about 40 seconds and let the smoke and fumes go up the chimney, and save your life. You'll then need a new one.
What is the material made from?
It's not rubber, because rubber perishes in chimneys. It's a fairly thin but flexible plastic tri-laminate, a special 'hi-tech' material. The outer layer is tough, the inner is an air barrier layer and the core is a heat-shrink material. It is transparent to aid fitting.
How do I remember it is there?
There's a little red label that you put in the grate, or by the gas tap.
Is it any good for children’s parties?
Well, if you haven’t got any childrens' balloon you could use one – although we don't think it will be a party that's remembered for all the right reasons.
Does it come in different sizes?
Yes - see chart. Note intermediate sizes and extra-large, up to 8' x 3'.
How do I know what size I need?
Use the sizing chart, and check by shining a torch up the chimney, or measure about a foot up above the fireplace opening where the sides are parallel. We require side-to-side and front-to-back sizes. If you can't measure right across, measure one side to middle, opposite side to middle, then add the two together.
What if my chimney is not close to a standard size?
We make all sorts of sizes, order a Special - quote side-to-side and front-to-back dimensions.
What is the biggest size you do?
The largest we have made so far is 8 feet x 3 feet. We can go bigger.
Can I put it further up the chimney?
Yes, using an extra-long handgrip plus handgrip extension kit, you can get it 2ft-6ins above your hand (about 9 ft above the floor if standing in the chimney).
What if I've ordered the wrong size?
We will swap it. If you need a larger size, you pay the difference.
How do I blow it up?
The 2 ft. long Mouth Inflation Tube is quick and easy at £2.50. If you don't want to blow, the bellows pump is good at £8.98.
Does it take much effort?
It requires very little pressure, just volume - lungs are good for this.
Can I use a car tyre pump?
No, unless it has an air-bed adaptor (same for a compressor), but a bicycle pump (not racing bike) will work for smaller sizes. Hair dryers (heat OFF!) have been known to work.
What sort of guarantee is there?
1 year, except for wear and tear. If you are dissatisfied, we will refund.
What if it is faulty?
Send it back. We will repair or replace. We want you to be a satisfied customer.
For how long can I leave it in?
As long as you want. We recommend that you inspect it every 3 months to see if it needs topping up with air. It allows a little ventilation, and it won't corrode.
How long should it last?
We would expect at least 5 years. We've been making them since 1991.
Can it be repaired?
Sometimes. We have a standard charge if over a year old.
How quickly can you send it?
If a standard size, it can sometimes be sent First Class post the same day, unless we're really, really busy.
How is it sent?
Royal Mail 2nd class. The pack size for one CB is 7" x 2", and about 15" long.
When will I get it?
We try to dispatch on the day of order or the next day. Post then takes 2 or 3 days.