How to Plug Drafts in Fireplaces

Written by ehow home & garden editor
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A fireplace easily can bring cold drafts into you home. There are several ways to plug fireplace drafts, but many are not fully effective. Follow these directions to successfully block that cold air passing down through your chimney.

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  1. 1

    Buy a good quality chimney draft stopper such as the popular urethane pillow, which is easy to assemble. Choose a product that matches the size of your fireplace.

  2. 2

    Inspect the fireplace chimney with a flashlight. Look for any sharp metal or screws sticking out of the damper or accumulation of soot and rubble. Remove obstructions with a long stick or brush or scrape off the soot and dirt. If you spot a problem with the chimney damper, hire a technician for a professional repair or replacement.

  3. 3

    Assemble the urethane pillow according to the directions on the box. Fill it with air using an air pump to give it a shape. Use the support handle of the pillow draft to plug it tightly below the damper. Inflate the draft with the air pump until it seals off the airway near the mouth of the fireplace.

  4. 4

    Before using the fireplace, deflate the draft by opening the valve of the pillow. Remove the draft with the handle and place it in a bag for future use. Reinsert the draft after using the fireplace--wait until it has completely cooled.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use newspapers or fiberglass as drafts to block the fireplace. They catch fire easily and leave unwanted residue.
  • Do not use bricks as fireplace drafts because cold air can squeeze through the cracks. In addition, is not advisable to completely block the fireplace with cement bricks.
  • Do not seal off the fireplace chimney at its highest point. Block it by using the draft as close to the hearth as possible so that hot air does not travel down once it cools.

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