Air pollution is responsible for 40,000 premature deaths in the UK. More than half of these are attributed to diesel fumes. Breathe London gives advice about pollution and how to reduce exposure to it. To avoid pollution in the home they advise: “Insulating your home will not only prevent heat escaping, reducing heating bills, but also help to reduce the amount of outdoor air pollution entering”. Having an open chimney is like leaving a window open all the time.
Reduce air pollution – plug the chimney
Plugging the chimney with a Chimney Sheep® is an effective means of closing the window and reducing the number of air changes in a property. BRE state that 80 cubic metres of air flows up a chimney per hour. All homes need ventilation, but this should be controlled ventilation through trickle vents etc. Airflow through chimneys represents uncontrolled ventilation. 80 cubic metres per hour is two room-fuls of air per hour, significantly increasing the amount of polluted air householders are exposed to.
The benefits of chimney draught excluders are widely known. Warm air from the central heating is drawn up unused chimney stacks, pulling in cold air from around doors and windows, creating the draughts that we feel. Plugging the gap with a chimney draught excluder immediately reduces these cold draughts significantly.
At the same time, debris is prevented from falling down the chimney, wildlife is blocked out, sound is muffled, and we save money on heating bills. These benefits have been common knowledge for a while, but something that is generally ignored is the amount of pollution we are exposed to in the home via air being pulled in by the chimney. The Chimney Sheep® has undergone thorough testing and has been found to block 94% of airflow up the chimney. It is robustly made and can be used repeatedly for over a decade.
Many Chimney Sheep® customers report that they are not needing to light their fires as often as they did before they fitted a Chimney Sheep®. Steve, 47, of Bristol, says: “We used to light the fire just to combat the cold air that was coming down the chimney. Now that we’ve got a Chimney Sheep® in the flue, we find the room stays a lot warmer so we use the fire less, which is obviously good for the environment.” Not only does the Chimney Sheep® help prevent pollution from entering the home, it contributes to the solution by reducing the amount of coal and wood smoke emitted from domestic properties.