Q: Jason, I couldn’t find information about deflating the Chimney Balloon in order to have a fire. About how many times can you inflate and deflate the Chimney Balloon? Thanks, KW
A: Dear KW, Deflating a Chimney Balloon is a simple process. If it is a small Chimney Balloon (9×9 or 12×12) you can just open the valve and within 10-20 seconds it will have lost enough air to remove it. Or you can use the handle to press the Chimney Balloon against the flue wall to force the air out a little faster.
With the larger Chimney Balloons, especially ones installed above the damper, you would need to give the Chimney Balloon more time to deflate since there is more air volume. If you are in a hurry, use and air bed pump on the reverse or the hose attachment to your vacuum to draw the air out quickly. Once the Chimney Balloon is flat it is easy to tuck it back down through the damper. This also helps you get maximum life from the Chimney Balloon since a deflated Chimney Balloon is much less likely to get snagged on anything or scrape along the rough masonry sides.
I recommend collecting the Chimney Balloon into a paper grocery bag or a plastic bag so any soot deposits that settled on the top of the Chimney Balloon won’t get out of the fireplace. Personally I like using a paper bag since it stands up and holds itself open.
I have a 9×9 with an HEK that I have been using since 2003 that I have installed and uninstalled 30-40 times and it is still going strong. I hope this answers your questions KW, but if you have any other questions please let me know. – Jason