Chimney caps, fireplace screens, and fireplace grates; do these terms sound familiar? These accessories all impact your fireplace experience. They can improve its use or prevent some problems. Here is an overview of why they are useful and some tips to get the most out of fireplace accessories.
A chimney cap, also called a spark arrester, consists of four parts: the roof, the base, the screen, and the columns. Installed at the top of a chimney, it is much more than decorative, it serves as a guard against various potential intrusions or ejections.
- This accessory prevents rain infiltration, potentially detrimental to your fireplace since it can cause mold growth,
- Strong winds can affect draft, and thus combustion, by rushing in through the chimney. The cap will lessen the effect of wind in this situation,
- It prevents small animals from entering into your chimney. This might be the case of this grey bird called Chimney Swift which, because of its status protected by American and Canadian laws, would be rather complex to move.
- A spark could go up the chimney and then ignite your roof. The screen will act as a spark arrester and ensure sparks do not come out of the chimney.
A few tips on how to choose your chimney cap
Several chimney cap models are available on the market. Besides aesthetics, some criteria are of great importance:
- Its material: You can select from several materials including copper, concrete, and terracotta. Stainless steel is an excellent choice since it does not rust. Its price may, however, put off some homeowners. If you choose another option, do not forget to maintain it regularly.
- Its components: Some models are sold without a screen. Without this essential part, you will be deprived of some convenience. For instances, small animals will be able to turn your chimney into a home.
- Its design: If wind is an issue, favor caps designed specifically for it. For example, a cap with rims or inclined rings helps to deflect the wind upward.
As the name suggests, fireplace screens ensure safety to homeowners since it prevents a spark to fly out from the fireplace. This screen is placed in front of an indoor fireplace or over an outdoor firepit.
Fireplace grates have been covered in a previous article. Besides aesthetics, this accessory lifts the logs off the fireplace ground, leaving more room for air circulation. This results in better wood combustion. Fireplace grates also prevent logs from moving and falling off on the floor in front of the fireplace.