Whether you love to decorate your living room with a grandiose fireplace, or run a factory that requires a complex heat management system, owning a proper chimney is a must.
However, without an effective chimney cap/caps, your entire system can malfunction, collapse, or in the worst case scenario lead to a serious explosion or fire accident. That’s why, knowing how to pick the best chimney cap from a market flooded with second-rate products is so important.
So, we decided to write this guide to ensure that you can make the right decision. Take this journey with us and you’ll find that we’re offering some real value here.
Chimney Caps Comparison Chart
Method Of Ventilation
Rectangular-style Mesh Screen
SMOKEWARE, Vented Chimney Cap
Metal Chimney System
HY-C, Draft King CBO8
Slightly Oval Diamond-shaped Mesh Screen
Rectangular-style Mesh Screen
Metal Chimney System
The Forever Cap, CCFS8
Metal Chimney System
Oval-style Mesh Screen
M&G DuraVent, 8DP-VC
Metal Chimney System
Square-style Mesh Screen
The Forever Cap, CCSSE1313
Diamond-style Mesh Screen
Selkirk, Metalbestos 6T-CT
Metal Chimney System
HomeSaver Pro 14601
304-grade stainless steel
Rectangular-style Mesh Screen
Benefits of Using A Chimney Cap
1. Stopping Animal Interference
Many of us had the experience of a raccoon or squirrel suddenly coming out of the fireplace and scaring the hell out of us.
However, a chimney cap equipped with a mesh screen can be your rescuer.
Chimney caps use stainless-steel mesh screens with specially designed symmetry to prevent any type of animal entering your home through the chimney top.
2. Protection From Weather Hazards
Chimney caps can protect your chimney from various weather hazards like snow storms, rains, extremely windy atmospheres, desert storms, etc.
Thus, it is able to keep your chimney system functional through tough weather conditions.
3. Preventing Sudden Fire And Exploitation Issues
Chimney caps are equipped with features like mesh screen (which prevents creosote buildup) and spark arrestor screen (which blocks release of explosive elements from combustible energy sources like wood and coal).
Thus, it can effectively prevent sudden blowouts, fire hazards, and explosions.
4. Minimizing Structural Damage And Improving Ventilation
Chimney caps are placed over chimney tops/extended flue liners. These over-the-roof parts of the chimney tend to be fragile and clog up easily.
Thus, by using a metal cap you can lower the amount of damage to the chimney’s structure and reduce clogging to ensure proper ventilation.
5. Reducing The Need For Constant Repair And Saving The Environment
Based on data collected from a large number of studies, equipping your chimney with a cap significantly decreases the amount of required repairs and decreases release of toxic elements like carcinogens, carbon monoxide, etc. into the environment.
Our Top 10 Best Chimney Caps in 2020
1. HY-C, Chimney Cover SC99
Simplicity coupled with durability has become the gold standard for modern chimney caps. And, SC99 comfortably meets that standard.
It is a single-flue chimney cap. Produced from coated stainless-steel, the product is specifically used for Masonry type chimneys, considered as one of the most ancient and widely used smoke exertion systems.
The upper part begins with a galvanized, 24-gauge steel hood. It has scalloped shaped and downward bent corners, finished with straight-lined edges. The mesh part is constructed with 0.75-inch rectangles. HY-C uses coated, 18-gauge expanded metal to produce the mesh symmetry.
This 5.05-pound cap has a 14-gauge stainless-steel base, designed with 4 square shaped corners, a twist screw attached to each one. Each screw has a metal cap for ensuring a sturdy installation. However, the product’s dimension can’t be adjusted.
It has a (15.48 x 15.52)-inch surface with a 9.28-inch height, making it eligible to fit most standard sized single flue, masonry chimney tops. The package also includes necessary installation components, deck caps, fence, and ladders.
The cap is meticulously structured for easy setting on the flue-liner that has pierced through the roof.
The manufacturer also advises that if the tiles of the flue liner are higher than 1-inch, you can use a SSLK or SCLK model leg kit for a flawless setting.
2. SMOKEWARE, Vented Chimney Cap (Compatible with The Big Green Egg, Stainless Steel Replacement Accessory)
The Big Green Egg is the “Jack of all trades” of the world of chimneys. This device can be used for so many purposes that is bound to surprise anyone who’s using it for the first time.
That’s why we’ve added SmokeWare’s vented chimney cap to the list for all the proud owners of this versatile device.
One of the major problems of using a Big Green Egg is the constantly shifting daisy wheel and protection of the porcelain cap. However, with a 304-grade stainless-steel construction both these problems can be solved.
The patented cap uses a unique rotation system, Nomex felted base, and a rubber tab made of Viton-Silicone. Thus, it can prevent fluctuation of the previously set parameters of your BGE. It is also weather-resistant, allowing your chimney to be functional through rain, snow, and windy weather.
The 5.5-inch diameter base with a 6-inch bottom flare provides stability. This will let you avoid cliché accidents like the cap getting cracked, falling off, or changing the ventilation settings.
The device smoothly fits medium to XL size BGE devices. The triple-vent design allows for an astonishingly accurate temperature control at both cold and humid weathers. Because, the vent settings remain untouched whether your opening or closing the cap.
The cap offers a quick-remove feature that allows spontaneous and easy cleaning when necessary. The product can also substitute as an OEM part for a wide range of BGE devices. The device is dishwasher safe, provides a self-cleaning feature, and maintains an impressive amount of durability despite rough, high-temperature use.
3. HY-C, Draft King Chimney Cap CBO8
The CB08 weighs only 4.1-pounds yet boasts a construction that’s sturdy enough to put much heavier chimney caps to shame.
The cap is specifically made for single flue chimney users. It has a dimension of (16.25 x 16.25 x 9)-inches, which would nicely fit most standard sized masonry chimneys.
Like the previous HY-C product in the list, this cap from the famous Draft King line is also equipped with a 24-gauge and coated stainless-steel hood. It even contains the manufacturer’s signature hood look: downward scallop formatted corners, margined with linear edges.
The meshes are designed through a combination of triangular and elliptical shapes. Each 0.75-inch mesh has been produced with galvanized, 18-gauge stainless steel and extended for better ventilation.
The circular, 14-gauge metal base will make any chimney top look classy and modern without being too flashy or corny. It has 4, hexagonal screws with sealing caps, spread around the base at similar distance. You simply need to bolt them on for completing the installation process.
The product comes with deck-caps and fences.
Masonry chimneys have a flue liner set in the middle, made by stacking one tile over another. However, this part often makes setting caps over the chimney tops a difficult task.
But not with this product.
With an 8-inch diameter base, the cap can be easily set over the top where the flue liner extends outwards.
4. HYC, Shelter Adjustable Single Flue Chimney Cap SCADJ-S
If you thought a chimney cap must have a base for a secure installation, think again.
The SCADJ-S uses a “mounting frame technology”, made from stainless-steel, which allows the product to securely latch onto the chimney top. Eliminating the base, the cap becomes lighter as well.
The product is designed for single flue, masonry chimney tops. It has a surface of (19.25 x 19.25)-inches with a height of 9.25-inches, which is perfect for an ideal fit for most systems.
With a mass of only 6.8-pounds, the cap uses 4 middle-bent mount frames for a quick installation, which is further strengthened by 4 internal clamps.
Each clamp has an empty ridge at its horizontal middle. The brackets lock onto these ridges and are finally secured by 4 hexagonal screws, equipped with external plates around their periphery.
The mounting brackets let you adjust the cap according to the size of the chimney top/over-the-roof flue liner. It is compatible with both square and rectangle liners, with a surface range of (8 x 8)-inch to (13 x 13)-inch. In terms of a round flue liner, it has an alignment range of 8 to 12-inches.
The hood is made from 24-gauge stainless-steel with powder-coating for preventing discoloration. Each mesh rectangle is made from 18-gauge steel, extended to 0.75-inch for better ventilation.
In fact, the mounting brackets and clamps are made from stainless-steel as well. Thus, the overall construction method significantly increases durability. The external positioning of the brackets also increases flexibility, breathing range, and spontaneity of setup.
5. HY-C, Clamp on Single Flue Liner Chimney Cap LC4
If you are a fireplace enthusiast or looking for the best chimney cap for wood stove or similar cooking devices, the LC4 is the product you need.
Through a foolproof, welded construction, HY-C has passionately designed this product to be used with devices that use large amounts of wood, coal, oil, etc. You can also use the product for outdoor cooking machines that use these fuel materials to reduce the amount of smoke and carcinogen.
The manufacturer has managed to keep the weight at 4-pounds despite using a pure, 304-grade stainless-steel construction. It has a symmetrical (16.25 x 16.25)-inch surface with a 9.25-inch height.
Both the hood and base are made of 24-gauge stainless-steel. The 0.75-inch mesh is threaded with 18-gauge metal. However, the more impressive fact is that you can remove it to perform an easy and spontaneous cleaning.
It also comes with a 1.5-inch brace, otherwise known as a band clamp, around the base. You can use the equipped gear to meticulously dictate the setting of the cap around the chimney top using the brace. The brace too, as a sure sign of quality, is made of 18-gauge pure steel.
Another perk of this product is corrosion resistance.
If you happen to live near or on a coastal area (within a 25-mile radius), you’re well aware of the damage caused to your chimney by sea wind carried salt. This cap is equipped to eliminate that worry for good.
However, it’s not compatible with masonry chimneys.
The cap can also be adjusted over extended flue liners. Though the diameter must exist between 3.5 to 4.5-inches.
6. The Forever Cap, CCFS8
The CCFS8 is one of those chimneys that can do it all. Now, let us explain why that is not just a flashy opening line.
The cap is compatible with both dual and triple wall chimney systems, stove pipes, round masonry flue liners, and chimneys that have been repaired with a chimney relining procedure.
In terms of dimension, it can be set on flue liners up to 8-inches and external pipes up to 13-inches.
The product is built from 304-grade stainless-steel while weighing only 4.76-pounds. It has an internationally standard surface of (13 x 13)-inches and height of 8-inches.
The hood is removable, allowing you a quick and convenient cleaning option. It is produced with 24-gauge pure stainless-steel, which goes through a roll forming process. This creates a cross-sectional structure, significantly increasing the structural integrity of the product.
Each 0.75-inch oval style mesh comes together to create a design that can effectively block a “creosote build-up”.
This feature is important because tar, soot, and other carcinogens get created inside the chimney due to combustion gases formed by burnt wood, coal, etc. Together these elements are known as creosote. And, if this element is allowed to increase, it can cause serious fire hazards (up to first degree).
Another interesting fact we noticed is that the 24-gauge metal base has 0.75-inch internal lip (a feature often seen in chimney crowns), which provides protection from rain by preventing water from getting inside the flue.
It has a 5-inch high mesh screen that prevents blowouts, sparks, and ensures proper exhalation of smoke. It also provides an animal-proofing feature.
7. M&G DuraVent, Simpson DuraVent DuraPlus Collection Triple-Wall Chimney Cap 8DP-VC
The first thing that caught our eyes about this product is its look.
The cap has a somewhat unconventional yet trustworthy design, which makes you feel secure to use it. But along with the aesthetic, it also has tons of useful features.
The 4.51-pound cap has an all stainless-steel build. This one piece of info can be enough to tell you about the quality of durability the product delivers.
With a 14-inch external diameter and an 8-inch internal diameter, you can comfortably use it with most insulated and triple-wall chimney pipes. However, the usage range allows you to go up to 8-inch long pipes at max.
It is also equipped with a spark arrestor screen.
This feature is extremely important, especially in cases of internal combustion devices (e.g. an insulated chimney pipe) as it blocks explosive debris. As a result, you get effective protection from serious fire hazards and future explosion risks.
Easy-remove screws let you quickly pick open the product and do an easy cleaning from time to time. The cap also delivers an external cooling feature.
It has a versatile range of use. You can use it to maintain machines like furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, boilers, and over-the-roof flue liners.
8. The Forever Cap, Single Flue Chimney Cap CCSSE1313
First of all, don’t confuse it with a Victorian carry lamp.
However, jokes aside, this 6.14-pound chimney cap is as functional as it is aesthetic.
The rectangular hood has hollow v-shaped corners, creating 4 inwardly bent shades with straight edges. It has a domed top, made from 24-Gauge pure stainless-steel.
This uniquely designed hood makes it impossible for water to gather on its top, which made us consider the product as the best chimney cap for rain and storm-induced damage management.
The hood leads to a diamond shaped mesh design, connected by 4 thickened corners for increased durability. It is also equipped by a mesh screen, which prevents animals from tampering with your chimney top.
The mesh symmetry, made up of 0.75-inch singular pieces also blocks explosive materials like soot and other carcinogens. Thus, it eliminates creosote build-up, ensuring no sudden fire hazard occurs.
The cap then seamlessly blends into a stainless- steel base, which is roll formed. This provides it a cross-sectional and united structured, increasing the toughness of the product even higher.
The base-nuts are welded to ensure that no stripping occurs through the installation. Otherwise, the heads of the screws might get deformed, which will make it very hard for you to unlock the cap for cleanup and maintenance.
This construction method prevents structural damages like bending when the product is tightened to the chimney top. It has an (18 x 18)-inch surface, along with an 8-inch height, which makes it compatible with most single flue chimney models.
It’s capable of fitting smoothly on extended flue liners, which have a surface range from (11.5 x 11.5)-inches to (14 x 14)-inches.
9. Selkirk, Metalbestos Round Top Chimney Cap 6T-CT
The 6T-CT from Selkirk’s Metalbestos series is a downright winner when it comes to making high quality innovative chimney caps.
The cap is designed with a distinct dome-shaped hood, which is equipped to the device with 4 evenly spread screws set at tapered positions. It has a strategically placed dent in the middle, allowing rain water, dust, debris, and fallen leaves to roll off the top.
The hood is finished with an extended, circular edge that manages wind circulation optimally to confirm the finest ventilation system for you.
The product is designed using a combination of slim yet sturdy metal plates, connected through multiple screws, which are placed perfectly to increase durability and structural integrity.
The base of the cap has a similar shape to the hood, including a skirt-style circular edge. This feature further improves the capability of the device to maintain wind circulation, making this model arguably the best chimney cap for wind management in the market.
Selkirk also adds a triple-leg feature which can be set outside the flue liner/chimney top for enhanced stability, along with a cinch band around them (functions similarly to a brace/clamp band). You can adjust the band using the equipped metal slider and screw holes to achieve a perfect fit for your installation.
10. HomeSaver Pro, Chimney Cap 14601
The 3 main qualities that can describe this product is: simplicity, efficacy, and durability. Let us show you why.
The cap is made purely out of 304-grade stainless steel, including the 4 installation screws at the base. It has a perfect square dimension, with a surface of (8 X 8)-inches and a height of 8-inches.
This is a single flue chimney cap. The product offers a dimension range of (6.5 X 6.5)-inches to (9 X 9)-inches in terms of over-the-roof flue liner installation.
It is designed with a 24-gauge metal hood that offers a flat top surrounded by a rolled edge. The hood has 4 elevated & hollow v-shaped corners, with a rolled edge on each one’s top. This choice of curving produces 4 inwardly bent shades with lighter rolled edges.
HomeSaver uses an 18-gauge metal mesh screen, crafted with 0.75-inch triangular units for the product. Users have reported a high level of satisfaction about the screen’s ability to prevent animal interference and trapping flammable debris to avoid fire hazards.
The upper part is set on an 18-gauge, multi-layered base. The combination of different sized layers improves the strength of attachment between mesh screen and the base. The base is also equipped with 3 hand-crafted rolled edges and a shallow channel to increase durability and structural strength.
The manufacturer also provides 4 stainless-steel screws, which are welded to prevent screw-head damage and equipped with hexagonal heads for an easy and quick removal.
Chimney Cap Buying Guide For House Owners
1. Choose The Right Cap For The Right System
The days when only masonry chimneys existed are long gone.
Along with single, double, and triple flue masonry chimneys, you also have the option to use insulated chimney pipes, dual & triple wall chimney systems, boiler chimneys, stove chimney pipes, etc.
So, choosing a compatible chimney cap is an obvious yet important factor.
For example, in terms of masonry chimneys, a mesh screen equipped cap will serve you better than a ventilator equipped cap. On the other hand, for boiler chimneys and wall chimney systems, a ventilator equipped cap is definitely a wiser option to choose compared with a mesh style chimney cap.
2. Opt For An Easy, Secure & Flexible Installation
Always go for a chimney cap that provides the 3 qualities mentioned in the title.
An easy installation system will save you time, energy, and the expense of hiring a professional to set up the device.
In terms of security, get a cap with a sturdy base. That means getting a base made of industry-grade (e.g. type 304, type 416, etc.) and roll formed stainless-steel, preferably equipped with extra features like hand-crafted rolled edges and shallow channels.
If you prefer a base-free chimney cap, make sure it comes with mounting brackets, internal clamps, and 3/4 legged support structure for better stability. Because these tools are able to provide a similarly durable installation as a base equipped chimney cap.
Additionally, buy caps that provide welded installation screws. The welding will protect the screw-head from deformation, which will allow you to easily open up, repair, and clean the chimney cap.
Also, get hex-headed setting screws, as they are easier and quicker to remove and reinstall than regular screws.
For flexibility, buy caps that come equipped with braces, band clamps, or cinch bands. These features will allow you to precisely adjust the diameter of the cap’s base, letting you achieve a perfect fit for your chimney top.
3. Look For Easy Cleaning Features
A chimney cap that is hard to clean will defeat almost half the purpose of purchasing it in the first place. A cap that provides easy and spontaneous cleaning features can notably increase longevity, prevent accidents, and improve airflow & ventilation.
Look for attributes like a removable mesh screen, quick-remove screws, properly sized mesh blocks, dishwasher safety, self-cleaning feature, etc. to recognize a cap that’ll be simple and smooth to clean on a regular basis.
4. Purchase Caps With Industry-grade Construction
This factor alone largely determines the durability of your chimney cap.
We recommend buying caps that offer a full stainless-steel build, mutually compatible and effective gauge range, powder coating on the exterior, welded and hex-headed screws, thickened corners, etc. to ensure you’re getting a robust construction.
Also, purchase caps equipped with roll-framed bases, as they provide superior toughness and shock-resistance due to their cross-sectional/non-fragmented internal structure.
5. Evaluate the Mesh Screen
The shape of the mesh blocks and the overall mesh symmetry should also be considered while purchasing a chimney cap.
For example, certain shaped mesh blocks like diamond, rectangular, oval, etc. can more effectively prevent creosote growth, which can save you from potential fire hazards and explosions.
Also, ensure to get a mesh screen that is designed with appropriately sized mesh blocks. That means if the blocks are too wide it won’t be able to provide effective protection against animal tampering. On the other hand, if they are too narrow, you’ll fail to get a proper ventilation.
Our recommended size per block would be 0.75-inch, as it’s able to balance both factors properly.
Other features like a removable mesh screen, protection against corrosion and rust, thickened corners for increased toughness, a proper screen height to block out animal tampering, etc. are also indicators of a quality mesh screen.
6. Specifically For Non-Masonry Chimney Systems
In terms of only non-masonry chimneys, you can look for certain features to ensure a successful purchase.
For example, proper vent placement, a non-rotatory feature (which won’t change pre-made settings while opening and closing digital chimney systems like the BGE), high temperature tolerance, strong structural integrity (e.g. won’t break, bend, or fall off while installing), etc.
7. Special Features
Finally, it never hurts to get something extra.
So, you can look for some of those features like necessary installation equipment that comes with the package, deck caps, inside lip equipped base to stop water from getting in, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Style Of Mesh Screen Is The Best For Me?
Answer: If you are planning to purchase a mesh screen equipped chimney cap, we recommend going for either a rectangular, diamond, or oval style.
These particular shaped mesh blocks tend to be most effective at blocking creosote buildup. Thus, they can protect you from potential fire hazards and explosions.
2. What Is Creosote Buildup?
Answer: Since chimneys burn combustion fuels like wood or coal to generate heat, byproducts like soot, tar, etc. is created. They can create a layer inside the flue liner and lead to serious accidents like a chimney fire or explosion.
Therefore, it’s necessary to buy chimney caps that can prevent this phenomenon and save you from future disasters.
3. How Often Do I Need To Clean My Chimney Cap?
Answer: It depends on multiple factors, such as the atmosphere of your area, type and quality of the chimney system, amounts of fuel being burnt per day, etc.
However, a general rule of thumb is to look at your chimney cap from down below (if it’s a mesh screen equipped cap). If you can see through the machine, then an immediate cleaning isn’t necessary.
However, if the mesh screen is not transparent from a reasonable distance, then you should clean it quickly to avoid clogging issues and potential accidents.
In terms of more complex cap devices (e.g. a wall chimney system), you may need to open it up from time to time and take a closer look for determining if a cleaning is necessary.
4. How To Measure The Correct Size Of The Chimney Cap I Need?
Answer: There are several ways to perform this task.
However, the easiest one is simply to read the product description or user manual. This way, you’ll know the exact dimension of the cap needed to protect your chimney system.
5. What Is An Extended Flue Liner?
Answer: An extended flue liner is simply the part of the flue liner that is situated over the roof of the room/part of the house where your chimney system is installed. It is commonly known as the chimney top as well as the part where you need to install the chimney cap.
Choosing the perfect option in any case is bound to be a difficult task.
This becomes even more evident when you try to purchase the best chimney cap to keep the home warm by maintaining an intricate chimney system, or try to run your factory smoothly that requires a complex heat management system.
However, though difficult, the task is not impossible. And, that’s exactly what we’ve tried to show you in this guide.
The journey to buy the ideal chimney cap may be a bit shaky. But, don’t worry. This guide will be right along with you to make the job easier.