ARTICLES - General - All About Chimney Caps
Draft Increasing Caps
If you have draft problems you can use "draft increasing" or vacuum chimney caps which are designed to use the wind to create a stronger updraft. Manufacturers of these caps include:
Artis at: http://www.artiscaps.com/chimney.html
These are the same caps mentioned earlier in this article for use with metal chimneys. The manufacturers also make adapters which allow use on masonry chimneys. When considering a draft increasing cap for bout chimney, keep the following point in mind:
* Some draft increasing caps cut down on the effective cross sectional area of the chimney. This may have less importance if you have a stove hooked up to the fireplace, but might cause problems with an open fire. * Do not use mechanical caps which rely on spinning turbines or windvanes. The smoke and creosote from your stoves or fireplace will quickly gum up the workings of such caps.
Caps with integral Damper Mechanisms
Lock Top Damper
Older fireplaces often have missing or loose-fitting damper mechanisms. This can result in wasted energy as well as a cold draft in the home when the fireplace is not in use. In these cases, the answer is often a top-sealing damper, which can easily be retrofitted to the chimney top. These dampers are avaialble with an integral cap. The damper is controlled by means of a cable which runs down inside the flue and is activated with a lever on the fireplace wall. Three well known manufacturers of these damper/cap combinations are: CHIM-A-LATOR, Lock-top and Seal-Tight:
Custom or Deluxe Caps
Many cap manufacturers also produce custom caps to fit odd-sized flues or multiple flues. You can also find custom caps in copper, brass, aluminum and other finishes which compliment the style of your chimney structure. Some fine examples of such caps can be found at:
and many other sites on the web.
Electric Draft Increasing Caps
Enervex Chimney Fan
Another category of caps contains units which function as a cap AND as an electric draft inducer. If you have draft problems that are not able to be solved by other methods, this may be the ticket. These caps have electric fans built into them which are variable speed, thereby allowing you to effectively "dial a draft" on problem chimneys. Expect to spend $1000 to $2000+ installed for one of these caps.
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