Have you ever stopped to notice the contraption that sits atop the chimney on houses with fireplaces or wood stoves? You’ve probably seen them before, but do you know what they’re really there for? These cage-like contraptions are called chimney caps and they are a necessary piece of hardware for any chimney!
What does a chimney cap do?
The primary purpose of a chimney cap is to keep out anything that doesn’t belong in your chimney. This could be anything from rainwater and snow to animals like birds and squirrels. A chimney cap can also help prevent downdrafts and cold blasts of air from entering your home. Additionally, it keeps things from getting out of your chimney as well, like sparks from a burning fire.
What are the different types of chimney caps?
Different chimney cap variations have their own individual benefits. Let’s look at a few of the most popular caps:
- Standard Chimney Cap – This cap includes screening on all sides to prevent animals from nesting in your chimney. It also traps large sparks that make their way up your flue when your fireplace or wood stove is in use.
- Draft-Increasing Chimney Cap – This type of cap uses outside wind to create stronger updrafts. This kind is best for fireplaces that have existing problems with drafts. Its downside is that it uses spinning turbines that can become caked with smoke and ash over time.
- Lock Top Damper Chimney Cap – Damper caps come equipped with a stainless-steel lid attached to the frame. A long cable drops down the chimney, which is operated by a handle that is mounted in the firebox. This allows for quick and secure closing of the lock-top at the homeowner’s convenience. The damper can also be locked in the open position during a fire.
What happens if my chimney doesn’t have a cap?
Some of the dangers of not having a cap installed on your chimney are:
- Birds and other animals building nests and living in your chimney
- Water and moisture damage in your home from rainwater seeping down the chimney
- Blasts of cold air that chill your home during the winter months and decrease energy efficiency
- Smoke filling your home when downdrafts occur
Town & Country is a chimney service provider in Eldersburg, Maryland. We proudly serve Baltimore city, as well as Baltimore, Howard, Carroll, and Anne Arundel counties. For more information on chimney caps or to have one installed at your home, contact us today!