5 Compelling Reasons to Install a Chimney Cap

Lydia Schapiro
Written by Lydia Schapiro
Updated October 12, 2021
roof with chimney cap
Benjamin Clapp - stock.adobe.com

Installing a chimney cap will improve the quality of your home by preventing interior damage and eliminating an open pathway for critters

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If you live in a house that creaks, you’ve probably had some moments of fear when you hear odd noises at night. Is it a person? A rodent? If you don’t have a chimney cap, this is a valid worry, since animals have, essentially, a direct pathway through the chimney into your house. A chimney cap eliminates this problem, preventing not only critters, but debris and hazardous material from entering your home.

What Is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap typically sits right on top of the chimney crown, which is located on the top of the chimney. Under the cap is the flue, which is the pipe/duct that allows smoke to leave the home. An uncapped chimney, though, can let rain and precipitation flow into your home. Usually made of steel or copper mesh, chimney caps are protectors of the chimney and entire house—installing a chimney cap is a smart way to help maintain your chimney and home. 

Below we’ve listed some of the major reasons for installing a chimney cap.

1. Save Money

When it gets chilly (or snowy), we love to get all warm and bundled up. If you don’t have a chimney cap, getting warm may be difficult. The reason for this is that when it’s cold and windy, downdrafts can affect your home’s temperature and your energy bills shoot up. 

Not only are these cold gusts uncomfortable, but they also can cause smoke, ember, and ash to blow into your house and damage your home. With a chimney cap, your home temperature will be more stable and in turn, your energy bills will decrease.

2. Prevent Fires

Chimney caps help control sparks and consequently prevent fires. This is a two-sided relationship: The chimney cap keeps embers from coming into the chimney, but also prevents embers from going up and out of the chimney onto the roof, which decreases the likelihood of having a roof fire.

3. Reduce Moisture

roof with chimney cap
Larysa - stock.adobe.com

When you have an uncapped chimney and rain, the result is inevitably increased moisture in the house. Excess water in your chimney can also lead to issues such as damage to your chimney liners, dampers, and chimney mortar joints. 

Moisture can also damage your walls and ceiling. Plus, it can lead to mold and mildew growth which can spread to your home and be a health hazard. By installing a chimney cap, you’ll prevent structural water damage that would likely result in moisture damage and costly repairs later.

4. Keep Animals Out

roof with chimney cap
Lost_in_the_Midwest - stock.adobe.com

Sure, some of the neighborhood critters can be cute, but it’s all fun and games until you find a raccoon or baby bird in your chimney. Although you might question whether animals would be attracted to the chimney, out of which gusts of smoke shoot, the dark, warm environment majorly appeals to critters.

When animals make their way into the chimney, they can get stuck and cause extreme clogging and bad odors. Installing a cap can help you prevent animals from getting in your chimney, and in turn, save you from cleaning costs.

5. Preserve Your Chimney Liner

A chimney typically has a lining that is either clay, ceramic, or metal, and its purpose is protecting the chimney walls and containing smoke and debris. Chimney liners limit the amount of heat transfer within the chimney, ultimately preventing fire hazards. 

A chimney cap will help maintain your chimney liner by reducing the amount of debris and excess water that passes through the chimney. Consequently, this preserves your chimney’s performance quality, and is more cost-effective than repairing a damaged chimney liner.

Cost to DIY Chimney Cap Installation vs. Hire a Pro

If you have done your research and are pretty much a homeowner expert, you can certainly install a chimney cap yourself. However, if you are not as confident, worried about safety, have questions, and/or want to request additional services, you’ll want to arrange for your local chimney repair services.

Definitely don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re not confident doing the installation yourself, since if it’s not installed correctly, you won't reap the benefits of a chimney cap and it can be dangerous going up on your roof.

If you opt for DIY chimney cap installation, you can expect it to take an hour or less. This project involves some risk, as you do have to climb onto your roof. The cost to install a chimney cap yourself typically costs $100 to $200. 

The cost to install a chimney cap is $300 on average, but can range from $75 to $100. The cap itself is typically somewhere from $35 to $550, but varies based on your selection, while Installation costs for a chimney cap usually range from $100 to $200.

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