Tips for Choosing a Chimney Cap
When a chimney is built, a chimney cap isn’t typically included, even though it is essential to the longevity of chimney and fireplace components and can have other important benefits as well. You have plenty of options when choosing a chimney cap to have installed on your chimney. Among those options are price range, special functions, and aesthetics.
Purpose of a Chimney Cap
Every type of chimney cap serves the basic purpose of keeping rain, sleet, snow, and debris from entering the chimney flue. If you have a chimney cap with wire mesh, the chimney cap will also keep birds and other types of wildlife out of your chimney. The mesh also serves as a spark guard, to help prevent hot embers from escaping onto the roof and possibly starting a fire.
Specialty Chimney Caps
Sometimes chimney caps serve additional functions, though they are far less common than those mentioned above.
- You can get a draft-increasing chimney cap to create stronger updrafts. This is helpful in decreasing troublesome downdrafts. Draft-increasing chimney caps are typically designed for use with pre-fab metal chimneys. An adaptor would be needed to use this type of chimney cap on a masonry chimney.
- For draft problems that have no other solution, an electric draft-increasing chimney cap can be used.
- You can also get a chimney cap that is combined with a damper at the top of your flue. A cable is included with this type of damper, and it is operated from the fireplace using a lever.
Options in Chimney Cap Materials
The basic materials used for chimney caps are, in order of cost and aesthetic appeal–from lowest to highest and worst to best–are: Galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel, and copper.
Galvanized steel chimney caps are the most affordable and also the least durable. They rust much more quickly than chimney caps made with other materials. It costs less in the long run to buy a stainless steel chimney cap, which is more expensive but also far more durable.
Aluminum chimney caps are somewhat inexpensive, but they also corrode quickly and need either repair or replacement far sooner than the more expensive kinds.
A stainless steel chimney cap is the best choice when you are going for reliable performance plus reasonable cost. Stainless steel chimney caps are strong, sturdy, durable, and resistant to corrosion. They often come with extended or lifetime warranties. If you would like your chimney cap to contribute to the overall appeal of your home exterior, get either a stainless steel or a copper chimney cap.
Copper chimney caps are extremely durable and high in cost. They qualify as decorative chimney caps, providing significant aesthetic appeal to a home. They cost roughly twice what a stainless steel chimney cap costs and about four times the cost of those made with galvanized steel. Many people forego the work involved with maintaining the original color of the copper. Fortunately, most people agree that the aging effect of a copper chimney cap is every bit as appealing as one kept shiny and polished.
Help from Experts
It is highly recommended that a chimney cap be installed on every chimney, even if it is the most basic model available. In a way, you can’t go wrong, no matter which chimney cap you choose. However, you can make it easier to select a chimney cap when you have the help of the experts at Chimney Saver Solutions. The chimney professionals are experts at chimney cap installation and can help to ensure that you purchase the correct size for your chimney. Contact Chimney Saver Solutions today at 804-440-5000 for chimney cap installation, a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, and all of your chimney-related needs.