One thing I shan’t miss about being at St Mawgan is the wind noise made by a gentle breeze outside the window of my room. I was messed in Shackleton block and the windows and walls are designed in such a way as to maximise the view and privacy along with the area of the room. It was quite clever. However after the first night I soon realised the error in the design.

The wind noise was terrible.

Shackleton Block
Shackleton Block – poor design

I had thought that this was just because the wind was in a particular direction but, no, it was noisy every day, even with very little wind.

Now, this is Cornwall, close to the sea and atop a hill. So it was rarely wind-less. The howling did not do much to help my tiredness and general lack of rest. It was quite annoying.

Chimney Balloon

I’ve lived in my house for nearly ten years. It’s an old house (built 1880) and a Victorian terrace. The back of the house overlooks fields and woods all the way to the paper mill at Aylesford. There’s always steam (or smoke – less pleasant but it’s probably steam because a lot of water is used in paper stuff) of some kind spewing from the mill.

Mostly the wind comes from the south to west in the South East of Great Britain. This means it travels freely over the open area at the back of my house and then strikes my house nearly front on.

map fields

In the map the long thin blue bit is a river (tidal section of the river) and the big blue bits are quarry lakes.

The wind hits the back of the house. This causes high local pressure while over the house the wind continues moving creating a low local pressure (Bernoulli Principle). Most of the gaps in my house are at the back of the building. This means that the wind flows through these gaps and exits through the largest hole in the house which is the chimney, which has a lower pressure at the top!

wind diagram

This situation caused draughts and noise even when there was a slight wind.

One day I got “Google happy” and just searched for a chimney balloon. I don’t know what prompted me to search for this, I may have searched for “chimney draughts” first and then found the chimney balloon. Who know? Google and Chrome but I’m not going to spend my time looking through my history.

I ordered a chimney balloon from Amazon. It’s a plastic bag that I inflated in the chimney pipe. It blocks the chimney. It stops the draughts. Simple. I’m impressed with what a simple solution it is.

The one draw back is that it has also made the dining room really quiet. I can no longer hear the outside world. This is very strange but something I’ll get used to. There were some serious winds recently and I only knew about them when I went into the bathroom (it is at the back of the house), the dining room was that quiet. Also, my feet no longer get really cold when I sit in the dining room as there is no draught (or rather minimal draught now).