When you think about it, there are many potentially dangerous items we bring into our homes, from appliances to the electricity on which they run. One of the most prominent is, of course, our heating systems. While they serve to provide us with warmth and comfort, they can also put us at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, house fire, and other hazards. This is why we do everything possible to mitigate the risk and ensure heating systems are operating safely and efficiently. Your chimney cap plays a big role in this.

Is a Chimney Cap Necessary?

First, let’s back up: what is a chimney cap? It is a two-part protective covering. The first part is mesh, usually made from copper or steel that fits over the top of the chimney crown (i.e. the very top of the structure). On top of the mesh is a metal cap. It’s a seemingly very simple addition to a chimney – so why is it so important?

Chimney caps:

  • Help prevent fire. You want a fire in your stove or fireplace and only in your stove or fireplace! A cap helps catch sparks or embers that make escape up the chimney and out the flue. Worst case scenario, it can start a fire on your roof. The mesh component keeps these hazardous sparks where they belong.
  • Keep water out. Moisture is the enemy when it comes to your chimney. It can accumulate and cause extensive mold and mildew growth; rust and corrode metal components, including the flue; and seep into the joints of brick and mortar chimneys, causing them to deteriorate far faster than they should. The chimney cap is an effective layer of protection from moisture.
  • Increase efficiency – and comfort. Chimneys work by allowing smoke and gasses to escape from the house, but they are also designed to allow cool air in to create an efficient cycle that results in a nice, warm fire. If you do not have a cap, though, gusts can blow back down. Essentially, your fire has to work harder to keep your house warm (meaning you’ll burn more fuel). Besides being chilly, there is also the chance that smoke, ash, and embers can return down the flue and into your home.
  • Keep unwanted visitors out. Santa notwithstanding, we don’t really want anything coming down our chimneys. A cap prevents squirrels, rats, mice, raccoons, and birds from trying to seek shelter here. Pests can wreak havoc on the integrity of your chimney.

Think about it like this: a chimney cap is necessary because it keeps the things you want in (e.g. fire, warmth) in while keeping the things you want out (e.g. water, animals) out. Learn more here.

A chimney can function without a cap – but we do not recommend it. First, it is required by international building code but more importantly, it helps keep you, your household, and your property safer. Increased efficiency and longevity are certainly nice bonuses as well!

Get In Touch with Brick + Ember

Want to install a chimney cap? Need to replace your current model? Contact the Brick + Ember team to see just how easy it is to improve the safety, efficiency, and comfort of your heating system.