Cable Coming Down the Flue
Q: Jason, I have a 113-year-old house with 6 fireplaces … they were originally coal-burning units .. they all have the damper on the top of the chimney … will the Chimney Ballon work with that configuration? -GB
A: Dear GB, WOW 6 fireplaces! that has to be some kind of record! It is very wise that you have a chimney top damper on these chimneys, however, the chimney top damper still allows the warm air of your home to rise up into the chimney and cool in the chimney and sink back down. You may notice a slow cool release of air from your fireplaces. That cool air is likely not outside air but just cooled inside air sinking back down again.
I have had customers with chimney top dampers that have used the Chimney Balloon on the bottom of their chimney in addition to their top damper and it has made a difference. With 6 chimneys the difference would be significant.
A: Recently a homeowner in Detroit asked me the same question you are asking when he ordered 3 Chimney Balloons for his home. He had Lock-top dampers just like you, on all three chimneys as well. After he installed the Chimney Balloon he reported that it sealed just fine despite the cable & chain. The balloon simply presses the chain against the flue wall or expands around it causing no leak or draft. You can install the Chimney Balloon with the cable tight or relaxed. The image above is a picture of the Chimney Balloon installed with the damper cable relaxed. But here is an article with a picture of a Chimney Balloon with the cable tight: http://www.chimneyballoonusa.com/blog/2007/11/my-lock-top-or-.html