How do I make a chimney pillow?

by Marilyn

Prior house owners ruined the damper in the fireplace. It does not close. Glass fireplace doors do not stop the draft of warm furnace air escaping up the chimney. I have heard a chimney pillow stops the heat escape. Does anyone know how to make it ? Right after we moved in, the warm air attracted starlings to our chimney, who then fell in and came into the house. In exasperation , I tried to place a sheet of plastic over the fireplace opening. The draft grabbed the 8x10 sheet of plastic and pulled it inside the chimney.

  6 answers
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Nov 13, 2018

    Hi Marilyn! I would get some estimates for repair. You may also need a cap on your chimney to keep out birds.

  • Obviously you are not in CA. We have rules and regulations for everything. Why? Because people do some really crazy stuff that could cause their neighbors great harm.

    I recommend having a spark arrestor installed as it prevents animals from falling through and into your house. There are internal and external. In CA you can't have a fireplace without one.

    See if these help.

  • Vimarhonor Vimarhonor on Nov 13, 2018

    Hello Marilyn,

    I tried making a wooden cover/ screen but that was ineffective.

    We look at the chimney balloons as an option on Amazon but with them costing $50 and needeing to be removed and replaced with fireplace use -we decided to purchase a pull down option that works marvelously.

    The balloons are available in many sizes, you would need measurements to determine your size and cost.

    Fireplace dampers are inefficient due to warping and misalignment from frequent heating and cooling. A bad damper can cost you up to 30% more on your heating bill. Your fireplace damper is releasing your indoor heat and letting in cold outside air! The Chimney Balloon is a inflatable blocker that prevents drafts from a chimney caused by a broken, warped, or missing flue damper. It even works in chimneys that have no damper! The Chimney Balloon stops this heat loss by acting as a chimney blocker to insulate your fireplace and save you money, heat, and comfort.

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Nov 13, 2018

    Don't know for sure what a "pillow" is but I took big roll of insulation put it in black heavy duty contractors plastic garbage bag pushed all air out tied it tight then shoved it up into stack.If you can close damper do it then shove up "pillow"(?Iguess it could be a pillow) if not oh well. If damper is open doesn't matter chimney stack gets smaller after that so "pillow"could be smaller,just make sure the pillow is big enuf that it'll stay up there once it's wedged in.If damper is closed space is larger to fill. It was really hard to get up in I used piece of 2x4 for help. The heavier the garbage bag the better so you can pull it out if you need to.If it won't stay use few pieces of rebar or 2x4 to prop/hold/keep it up there. If you can see them and it's an eye sore paint them blck and put them to the sides of fireplace.I put a big mirror-bounces the light in room around some so that area isn't so dark- just inside of fireplace opening to cover it( just inside mesh screen) then piled up elk antlers in front with some candles.The "pillow" made huge difference it was so drafty even for AC in summer.You can buy chimney sweep brushes at fireplace store to get plastic out of chimney or you can go on roof with small weighted object on rope and lower it down thru chimney to try to dislodge it. Be careful not to damage anything.It doesn't really matter unless you decide to build a fire don't forget it's in there.

  • Joseph Glackin Joseph Glackin on Nov 13, 2018

    Here you go. Good for a laugh, if nothing else.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jan 02, 2024

    Hi Marilyn, hope this helps you. First you should have a chimney inspection and get it cleaned, they can likely replace the flue at this time as well. Then once it's all okayed as safe, pick up a fireplace insert. These units draw fresh air from outside and don't create the heat stealing vacuum that an open fireplace does.