A chimney cap is considered essential, and by adding one you can avoid some of the most common chimney problems. It will keep out small animals and prevent birds from nest inside. One of the best reasons to get one is to keep rain out of the chimney. The following information will help you to select the right types, and to avoid installation errors.
The Right Metal
With chimney caps there are two main principles, maintenance and safety. Choosing the wrong metal can prove dangerous. Galvanized caps are not suited for gas logs as it makes the fumes become corrosive. Some types will affect the chimney draft, or allow debris to get into the chimney. If you want a cap that offers less maintenance, good types to consider are those made of copper or stainless steel.
Start by measuring the chimney, so you can avoid the problems that come with an ill-fitting cap. If the chimney has a square shape, you will need to get the length and width. For a round chimney, the inside and outside diameter measurements will be needed. If the cap is too large or too small, adjustments will have to be made before it can be installed.
One of the functions of chimney caps is to help control drafts in the house. Some caps are better at controlling drafts than others so it makes sense to spend a little more to get one of these. A vacuum chimney cap is good at preventing downdrafts. If you live in a windy area, choose a cap that has a rotating hood that responds to changes in wind direction. This will assist with improving the draft inside the house.
An Integrated Damper
A cap with an integrated damper is not necessary for every chimney, so you should understand the anatomy of your own chimney when looking for a cap. The damper helps to improve insulation, and without it you could have increased energy costs. If you have an old chimney with no damper, pick a cap that has an integrated damper to help keep your utility bills down.
A chimney cap should be properly secured to keep it from being detached by heavy wind. The best types have screws to keep them attached to the chimney. Some caps slide down into the flue, but you will have to do more to keep them from detaching from the chimney.
Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is a local, family-owned and operated company with two CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps to better serve homeowners along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to schedule an appointment for a chimney cleaning or inspection. Also follow us on Facebook for even more great information about keeping your chimney safe for years to come.