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Have you got a photo of a chimney balloon? What will happen if a guest tries to start a fire in a stove system that has a balloon in it?



Jason Raddenbach

Hi Duane,
Here is a link to a picture of a Chimney Balloon installed in a round flue: http://www.chimneyballoonusa.com/blog/2009/03/is-the-fireplace-flue-tile-the-best-place-to-plug-the-chimney-with-a-chimney-balloon.html

And here is a display page of many sizes of standard Chimney Balloons: http://www.chimneyballoon.us/buychimneyballoon.html

If a person accidentally lights a fire underneath an installed Chimney Balloon the balloon is designed to burst and shrink at about 180-210 degrees Fahrenheit. That is why it is important to put the Chimney Balloon in low in the flue and near the firebox of the fireplace or wood stove, so that release will happen quickly.

Pellet Stove Guy

Creosote smell can be a problem from unused stoves, which have been burning wet wood and not cleaned regularly. In those cases a chimney balloon is a suitable option.


I have horrific smell of creosote in my house as soon as my woodstove cools down. The stove and stack are only a month old. The woodstove is on a bottom floor of a daylight basement and travels only a few feet before it vents outside. The stack then is 1 1/2 stories double insulated and not chased in. It goes at least 2 ft beyond the apex of the house. The firebox is baffled, so access to the flu is very limited. Suggestions include directional winds caps to heated insert in the stack, to burn wood 24/7, to adding more stack. These all sound great but not sure where to start.

Jason Raddenbach

If the smelly creosote happened in just one month. You really need to evaluate what type of wood you are burning and how dry it is. Burn some of your regular wood and watch the stack to see if the smoke is thick and dark or light and wispy.

To fix the problem you can look at it a few ways, but the situation you are running into is likely due to the fact that your stove is in the basement and the stack effect of air in the house is causing the chimney in intake air during times of non-use. A chimney balloon might still work for you if there is an ash clean-out port on your chimney or unit that can give you access to the flue or if one of the pipes is designed to semi-easily disconnect to give your chimney sweep access.

I wouldn't count on the cap or the longer chimney to do it for you in this one. A heated insert or burning 24/7 will do the trick but at a cost of fuel and energy.

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