Chimney Caps Increase the Performance of Your Chimney
First, do you have any of these problems with your fireplace and chimney?
- Fireplace doesn’t seem to be all that efficient in creating heat
- Occasional (or constant) drafts can be felt in the room near the fireplace
- There is water damage in areas close to the chimney
- Smoke is backing up into the house (this is a serious one, so definitely keep reading)
The next questions are simple: Does your chimney have a cap on it? If so, is it in proper working order?
Chimneys without caps or caps that are in bad repair can cause a host of problems for homeowners. The good news is that of all the possible repair/rebuild projects for a fireplace and chimney, purchasing and installing a chimney cap is among the easiest and least expensive.
What kind of chimney cap do I need?
There are many different types of chimneys. They can be made of stone, metal, brick or pipe material. Chimneys serve both wood-burning fireplaces and stoves as well as gas fireplaces and stoves that are of the vented variety. But regardless of the chimney style and the kind of appliance it’s connected to, they all need to be able to provide proper drafting while protecting against outside elements.
Running a chimney without a cap will allow damaging moisture from rain to enter the system. Also, anything that’s in the air outside your home will be able to get into the chimney – this includes live animals (which may become dead animals), twigs, leaves and other types of clogging debris.
To determine the right kind of chimney cap for your chimney, you’ll need to get up on the roof and discover how many flues there are (usually a stone square or one or two pipes). Do the pipes jut out from the base? Get measurements, and write this information down, so you’ll have it when you visit your hearth store to buy a chimney cap.
As mentioned, there are a variety of styles of chimney caps, but in the long run they’re all designed to allow for proper drafting and protection against the elements. If you’re not familiar with your fireplace and chimney system, your best move is to consult with an experienced chimney sweep technician, who will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Chimney cap designs
You’ll find these products made from materials such as copper, galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum and brass. It’s generally accepted that copper will be the most durable and long-lasting. Copper chimney caps can be allowed to weather and develop a “traditional” look, or they can be treated so that they maintain their shine.
A good hearth products retailer will be able to show you multiple styles that will meet your needs and your budget. While looks might be important to some people, the main thing is getting a chimney cap that works right for your particular system.
Homeowners can install chimney caps themselves, but unless you’re familiar with chimneys, it’s advisable to hire a professional for this job. A skilled chimney sweep can not only install the cap properly, he or she can also perform an inspection of the chimney, the chimney liner, the flue and other components that might be damaged or not fully functional.
Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie offers homeowners a full line of chimney cleaning, repair, inspection and maintenance services. Our retail store, Ashleigh’s Hearth & Home, has a wide selection of chimney caps and other related products. Stop in and see us at 3647 Albany Post Road, or call (845) 471-1071.