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Chimney Sheep Ltd commissioned a study recently by the University of Liverpool. Liverpool modelled their chimney draught excluder, made of a thick layer of felted sheep wool, in a range of different property types and geographical locations. They calculated that the product saves an average of just over 4% of household heat loss. This amounts to £65 off the typical annual heating bill, and equates to a saving of 0.19kg of carbon and 1045kwh per year.

 

Chimney Sheep Ltd have been manufacturing draught excluders for chimneys made of felted sheep wool for the last two and a half years. Managing director Sally Phillips  said ‘ Living in the Lake District means an abundance of sheep and consequently an abundance of wool. Wool is a natural insulator, and breathable too with is important for chimneys. Ms Phillips experimented with different types of wool, and different ways of utilising it, until she developed thick felted pads of wool from the hardy Herdwick sheep. This breed is renowned for its thick wiry coat, which keeps it warm throughout the winter. Other types of wool were too soft, and wouldn’t hold itself in place. The Herdwick wool has just the right properties of compressibility to squash into a range of flue shapes and sizes, but is stiff enough to hold itself in place.  

Chimney Sheep cut away chimney with sheep

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chimney Sheep™ lodges into the throat of the chimney and prevents up to 5%* of household heat from escaping – making the room feel more comfortable into the bargain. Since the company launched in the autumn of 2012 they have sold over 17,000, and demand is increasing year on year as householders become more aware of heat loss up chimneys. 

If all 12 million homes in the UK with open chimneys were fitted with a chimney draught excluder, there would be an annual saving of 12.5 billion kWh – three coal fired power stations’ worth. At this time of year there is a push for insulation and draught exclusion products – but the industry seems to ignore that big hole that is constantly open, constantly sucking warmth out of homes and constantly pulling cold air in. At a time when we are talking about whether there’s enough power to keep the lights on over the winter, it seems astonishing that such a simple energy saving measure is being overlooked. It’s time we started looking up our chimneys.

 

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The Chimney Sheep

Fireplaces are a lovely feature in a property. However, what looks like a nice character piece opens out into a whole part of the building you don’t normally see. It’s like having a window open all the time, only more so, because chimneys are designed to draw air out of a house.

Wool is a natural insulator, and breathable which is important for buildings.

if you put your hand in a chimney flue you can actually feel a really strong current of air. The Buildings Research Establishment estimate that 40 cubic metres of air travel up a chimney an hour, and if it’s cold outside, and warm inside, then the flow rate of the air is even greater. We don’t necessarily notice this warm air escaping, but it has to be replaced so cold air is sucked in from around doors, windows, through electric sockets, and even through walls, and we certainly notice these draughts.

 

 

Thermal imaging cameras capture an image of a chimney stack that’s been warmed by air rising out of the house. The fire isn’t lit, it’s just from the central heating - if you look closely, you can even see a wisp of warm air warming the night air:
Thermal imaging cameras capture an image of a chimney stack that’s been warmed by air rising out of the house.
Wool is a natural insulator, and breathable which is important for buildings. For inventor Sally Phillips, who lives in the Lake District surrounded by sheep, it seemed an obvious solution to develop a product made of sheep wool to insulate chimneys. She experimented with a range of different wool types, and the most successful was Herdwick – this is a hardy breed that lives out on the mountains all year round. The wool is the right combination of wiriness and compressibility that enables the product to lodge in the throat of the chimney and hold itself in place. The product is called, appropriately enough, a Chimney Sheep™. It is made of a thick double layer of felted sheep wool, that lodges in the throat of the chimney, where it narrows just above the fireplace. It prevents warm air from escaping, stops cold air from sinking down the chimney, and reduces household draughts.
The Chimney Sheep prevents just over 4% of household heat from escaping.
It’s been modelled by the University of Liverpool, and they calculate that it prevents just over 4% of household heat from escaping. This may not sound like much, but it’s a saving of about £65 off the average heating bill, and it makes your home more comfortable into the bargain. They also calculate that it saves an average of 1050 kWh of energy per year. There are around 11 million homes in the UK with chimneys. If every house with an open chimney had a chimney sheep fitted, the annual saving would be over 11 billion kWh’s.  A typical coal fired power station produces around 3 ½ billion kWh. So the Chimney Sheep has the potential to save over three power stations’ worth of energy per year!

Having developed the product, Sally set up a company under the same name, Chimney Sheep Ltd. There are nine standard sizes, which form the core products, but the company also sells “dangles” – ornaments that hang from the handle while the sheep is in the chimney, to decorate the fireplace. The company is just over two years old and has sold over 13,000 units. Feedback from customers has been very favourable. People report noticing an instant improvement in the comfort of their homes, a reduction in draughts and even needing to turn the thermostat down.

 The company is just over two years old and has sold over 13,000 units.It is sold predominantly online, but there are an increasing number of outlets, and the company is looking to expand its distributer network. It is sold by Amazon in the USA and Europe. They are also trying to get the product accepted as a standard insulation measure alongside the raft of other measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation, and door and window sealing. “I’m amazed that chimney insulation is ignored by the industry” says Sally, “when it is a comparatively easy save. For £20 you can get an insulation product that will save around £65 and 1.9kg of carbon a year. It will pay for itself in several months.” To be accepted as a member of the National Insulation Association, the product must be extensively tested and accredited. “We take our product seriously” says Sally, “it may have a bit of a jokey name but it plugs a gap in the market and we are undergoing the testing criteria required in order to be adopted by the mainstream industry”.

 

 

 

Chimney Sheep Wins the Kevin Mcloud 'Green Hero' Award at Grand Designs

Each year Kevin McCloud hand picks a selection of the best eco-innovations on the market. As the face of the Grand Designs brand, Kevin McCloud has documented hundreds of buildings over the past two decades. This has given Kevin an enormously wide knowledge of materials, the latest technologies and new sustainable practices out there in the construction market, making him a touchstone for innovative ideas and inventive products.

The Green Hero Chimney Sheep

Chimney Sheep Ltd have been manufacturing draught excluders for chimneys made of felted sheep wool for the last two and a half years. Managing director Sally Phillips invented the product as a consequence of being a voluntary batworker for Natural England in the Cumbrian Lake District. “So many times I’ve been called out to peoples’ houses who have a bat flying about and they don’t know what to do about it. The doors and windows are all closed, and the only way it could have got in was down the chimney. This started an obsession with looking up chimneys, and I became aware of just how many open flues there are and how much heat is being lost.” Living in the Lake District means an abundance of sheep and consequently an abundance of wool. Wool is a natural insulator, and breathable too with is important for chimneys. Ms Phillips experimented with different types of wool, and different ways of utilising it, until she developed thick felted pads of wool from the hardy Herdwick sheep. This breed is renowned for its thick wiry coat, which keeps it warm throughout the winter. Other types of wool were too soft, and wouldn’t hold itself in place. The Herdwick wool has just the right properties of compressibility to squash into a range of flue shapes and sizes, but is stiff enough to hold itself in place.

The Chimney Sheep™ lodges into the throat of the chimney and prevents up to 5%* of household heat from escaping – making the room feel more comfortable into the bargain. Since the company launched in the autumn of 2012 they have sold over 17,000, and demand is increasing year on year as householders become more aware of heat loss up chimneys.

Kevin's Green Heroes was first launched at Grand Designs Live London in 2010 inspired by his passion for

innovative eco-friendly product design and green building products. This dedicated feature that sits in the heart of the live show gives a platform to un-sung product designers to showcase their innovations and designs to a large audience, allowing the products to achieve wider recognition in the consumer market. Chimney Sheep Ltd is trying to encourage the insulation industry to include chimney insulation as part of the raft of standard measures – being chosen as a Green Hero is an excellent opportunity to communicate this message.

Key features of the Chimney Sheep™:
Stops warm air escaping
Stops cold air sinking down  chimney
Made of sustainable materials
Saves money
Saves energy
Saves carbon
Stops wildlife and debris from getting down the chimney

How to use your Chimney Sheep

 

 

Chimney Sheep Wins Prestigious Award for Innovation

It’s that time of the year again. Nights are getting longer and darker and lists of top ten tips on how to save energy in the home are making the rounds. How many mention putting a draught excluder in your chimney? Around 11 million homes in the UK have open chimneys that suck warm air from the central heating out of the home – it’s like leaving a window open all the time. It’s estimated that nearly 5% of household heat escapes up the chimney of an average home. Yet this source of heat loss is hardly ever mentioned, though it’s one of the easiest to fix.

The problem is easily resolved by fitting a Chimney Sheep™, a plug of thick Herdwick felt on a handle, that can be pushed into the chimney throat and removed any time the fire needs to be lit. In an age of high-tech gadgets, the Chimney Sheep™ is about as low tech as you Winners of the CN group Business awardscan get.  That is why Chimney Sheep Ltd were surprised and delighted to be awarded the CN Group Business Award in the Innovation category, beating off high-tech companies for the prestigious award.

Founder Sally Phillips said, “I am grateful to CN Group for recognising that although it is a simple product, it is unique and original and saves customers money, makes their homes more comfortable and cuts carbon emissions. It is intuitive to use – once the problem is explained, customers immediately understand the Chimney Sheep™ and how it works.”

 

 

Contact Details

Address:
Chimney Sheep Ltd

Chimney Sheep Sally with Victorian Fireplace

25A Solway Trading Estate

Maryport

Cumbria

CA15 8NF

Email:

info@chimneysheep.co.uk

Phone: 01900 269427

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http://chimneysheep.co.uk/