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Chimney Sheep

I’ve got an open fire in my living room which is hardly ever used. It’s a useful back-up if and when the boiler breaks down or there’s an extended power cut, as it means that at least I can heat one room. And Christopher used to quite like occasionally having a roaring blaze on a bleak winter Sunday afternoon. But since he died I don’t think I’ve ever bothered to light a fire, even though I still have a large wood-pile in a corner of the garage.

The problem with an unused fireplace though is the draught and consequent heat-loss straight up the chimney. The house is difficult and expensive to heat anyway, and an open fireplace just compounds the problem. So what I really need is a temporary and removable chimney-draught-excluder, so that I can use the fire when I want to, but block it up the rest of the time. Hence the Chimney Sheep. It’s effectively a woollen cushion with an extendable plastic handle. It comes in various sizes, and you need one slightly larger than the size of the flue. You shove it up the chimney, and it stays in place with friction, blocking the draughts. Then, if you want to light a fire it’s simply a matter of tugging on the handle to remove it.

It’s easy enough to use – it took a torch, a bit of fiddling and a face full of soot to get it positioned correctly, but it’s staying in place just fine. There’s a tag which dangles off the end of the handle and hangs down into the middle of the fireplace, so you can’t fail to see it if you go to light a fire. I think it would get a bit sooty if you kept removing and replacing it, but the main cushion isn’t visible from the room, so that’s not a major problem.

It’s noticeable already that the room is warmer and less draughty than before. There’s been a heavy frost on the ground all day, but there’s not a howling gale coming down the chimney. I’m hopeful that it will pay for itself in reduced heating bills.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. pauld | 19 December 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    thought of having a woodburner fitted in there instead ?

  2. Gillian | 20 December 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    It’s on my “to-do” list, yes. But keeping the house weathertight is a higher priority!