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  • Why do I need a Chimney Cap?

    Why do I need a Chimney Cap?


    Fall is just around the corner here on the north shore of Lake Michigan and soon that brisk, cool air will settle in along with frosty mornings and chilly evenings. Fireplaces and woodstoves will be fired up and fall leaves will rustle as neighborhood children play in the yard. Squirrels will be building nests and animals will be looking for a warm home. Will it be in your chimney? A screened chimney cap can prevent cold critters from using your chimney as a warm snuggly place to hole up over the winter months.

    Another important consideration is whether you have adequate spark protection on your chimney cap. Can you imagine what would happen if a spark from your chimney landed on your neighbor’s pile of leaves? Chimney Caps with spark arrestors minimize the chance of this happening. They are so effective that in dry parts of the country, like California, special spark protection is required by code to be installed to prevent forest fires. The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 also recommends spark protection on woodburning chimneys. Screens also prevent debris from entering your chimney which could cause a blockage.

    A chimney with no cap is like an large open rain gauge. It is very important to prevent the entry of rain and snow. The lid on a chimney cap is similar in principal to an umbrella keeping the chimney dry. Entry of moisture can lead to freeze/thaw damage, leakage into the home, damaged dry wall, plaster and more.

    Do you have a woodburning fireplace? If you do, then you could be losing “paid” energy dollars. A chimney cap and damper combination like the Energy Top+ can actually pay for itself in energy savings. A conventional fireplace damper has, at best, a metal-to-metal seal. Sometimes the damper plate will be warped, damaged or even missing. This is comparative to having your screen door open. As a test you can insert a dollar bill between the damper plate and housing. Close the damper. if you can pull out the dollar bill you are losing heat and air-conditioning. The Energy Top+ Damper Cap provides a tight seal while providing protection for your chimney.

    All in all, a screened chimney cap is one of the best investments you can make in your home. It will protect your investment, keep your home critter free, minimize sparks and can even reduce energy loss. We would be happy to provide a free quote for you. Just call us at 847-918-9016 or email us for more information.

    Posted by Karen Stickels Lamansky, author of Design Ideas for Fireplaces, published by Creative Homeowner Press.

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