The Top 10 Things You Need to Know to Get the Right Chimney Caps
1. You are going to need to get on your roof twice: Once to measure for your chimney cap and once to install it. Sorry; there’s no way around it!
2. If you have one square or rectangular flue, you can use either a cap that attaches to the flue itself (a Single Flue Chimney Cap) or one that attaches to the cement crown of the chimney (a Top Mount Chimney Cap).
|Single Flue Chimney Caps||Top Mount Chimney Caps|
3. If you have two or more square or rectangular flues on the same chimney, you can attach a chimney cap to each flue. An often less expensive and tidier solution is to use a Top Mount Chimney Cap that fits over both flues.
4. If you have a round flue with two or three concentric pipes within it, you must select a chimney cap for Air Cooled flues. Their special design insures that the air continues to circulate properly to avoid overheating.
|Chimney Caps for Air Cooled Flues|
5. Even round flues that are not air insulated require chimney caps that match their characteristics. Match the style of your non-air insulated round flue with the images below and click the link for the appropriate chimney caps:
|Chimney Caps for Masonry,
|Chimney Caps for
Flexible Metal Liner
|Chimney Caps for
Single Metal Pipe
such as Stovepipe
|Chimney Caps for Solid Pack Flue or
Double Wall Insulated Flue
|Chimney Caps for Solid Pack Flue with
6. If you want to cover the entire cement crown with a chimney cap, you have two choices: One is to use a Top Mount Chimney Cap that attaches to the cement crown with flanges. The other is to use a cap that fits over the entire chimney like a lid of a shoe box and attaches to the brick sides of the chimney, an Outside Mount Chimney Cap. Band-around chimney caps are typically less expensive than other Outside Mount Chimney Caps.
7. Unless you are using a chimney cap that attaches to the flue itself, you need one with a screen at least 5 inches taller that the tallest flue. That makes sure your fireplace will draft properly and safely.
8. If you have a fireplace that blows smoke into your room on windy days, you will want a chimney cap designed to prevent back-puffing such as a Vacu-Stack chimney cap for a masonry or single wall flue or a Vacu-Stack for air cooled flues. If your fireplace smokes even on calm days, an Enervex chimney fan is guaranteed to end all smokiness, regardless of the cause.
9. Galvanized chimney caps only last 3 to 7 years before rusting out. Stainless steel and copper ones have Lifetime Warranties. If you live in a saltwater environment, you will definitely want a stainless steel chimney cap. A copper chimney cap, as it ages, may discolor a white or beige chimney such as a limestone chimney.
10. A traditional alternative to a chimney cap is a clay chimney pot. Note, however, that a chimney pot will not provide the screening needed to keep animals out of your chimney.