Install low just above the damper

Q: Jason, We have a wood fireplace that we haven’t used since we bought the house (5 years) and who knows how long before that. So, I checked out the fireplace damper website and read the instructions for measuring my fireplace. It measured 12″ X 12″ with a carpenter’s rule, so I ordered a 12″ X 12″ Chimney Balloon. I received the Chimney Balloon and went to install it and promptly learned that the fireplace was not a comfortable and fun place to lay or sit in to install the Chimney Balloon and the enclosed plastic tubing was way too short! One trip to the hardware store to get six foot of tubing and I was in business. Since where my flue is getting “square” seems to be pretty far up (about an arm’s length or so, if I am sitting inside the fireplace) I had one heck of a time trying to get the Chimney Balloon in place. Attached is an image of the flue looking up from a sitting position. – JS

A: Dear JS, From the attached picture I think you are selecting a location that is too high to install your Chimney Balloon. It appears that there is either no damper in the fireplace or you put the camera up above the damper when you took the photo, so it would be better to choose a location that is lower and closer to the firebox to install your Chimney Balloon (See image below). A lower installation point is always preferable since you can guide the Chimney Balloon into place better with your hands while inflating and you don’t have to reach so far up to do it.This would require a larger Chimney Balloon for this installation, but if you send back the one you have we can credit the price to a larger Chimney Balloon. I am just taking an educated guess, but it looks like the flue down lower would take a 36×15 Chimney Balloon. Measure the area where the green arrows are in my picture and give us a call and we will get you a Chimney Balloon that is easier to install for this application. – Jason