Q: I have a very old fireplace that is not operational and I use strictly for decoration. the flue in masonry and unlined. It was capped/closed at the top by the previous owners. I want to get a Chimney Balloon because I suspect that there is still heat loss through this flue gave the age of the house–120+ years old.

However, I also like to burn decorative candles in the fireplace from time to time. Will the Chimney Balloon work in this case or do I need to find something more fireproof? how much space should I allow between the candles and the Chimney Balloon? Thanks.- PH

A: A Chimney Balloon will help this capped chimney retain more heat by closing it low in the flue and tight. But you don’t want it too close to the flame because it is designed to melt and release at a temperature of 180-230 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you keep the candles at least 3 feet away from the Chimney Balloon and keep the wicks trimmed you should not have a problem. But if you have 12 candles raging in the fireplace with long smokey flames you could easily get up to the 180-230 Degree flash point.

Personally, I burn a 6 candle candelabra in my fireplace in the summer and I have a 9×9 Chimney Balloon installed about 3 feet above them…and I have never had a problem. – Jason