Fireplace ash pits that are cold and drafty

Q: Jason, I’m trying to determine which size Chimney Balloon to get. This is not for the chimney, but for an opening at the bottom of the fireplace that ends up going outside. (I have no idea what the opening is for, maybe as a drainage for ashes?)

The opening in the bottom of the fireplace is about 6 X 9, and it drops straight down to a large rectangular area under the house. That area has a vent to the outside of the house. The vent opening is 5″ tall X 8″ wide, but the area immediately inside the vent is much larger, probably 24 X 24.

  1. Should I get a 9 X 9 size and try to plug up one of the openings? If so, which one?
  2. Or should I get a bigger size, and try to plug the area between the openings? If so, what size? Thanks, BT

A: Hi BT, It is possible to use a Chimney Balloon to stop draft from coming in through the ash pit chute. If you really want the handle of the Chimney Balloon down and out of view you will need to get a larger 24×24 Chimney Balloon and put it in the ash chamber area (as seen in the picture). If you don’t mind the Chimney Balloon handle sticking up into the firebox area then you can put a 9×9 Chimney Balloon in the small 6″x9″ chute going down to the ash chamber as long as that chute has 6″ or more in height for the Chimney Balloon to lodge in. – Jason