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Magic Sweep Blog

Consider a New Chimney Cap or Damper This Summer

Your chimney may be done for the winter, but it may be costing you this summer, and you don’t even know it yet. If your chimney has missing or damaged parts, you may be losing conditioned air through the flue, or warm air may be coming in by way of the flue. As your central air system works harder to cool the air in your home, your utility bill goes up!


How a Cap Can Help

A chimney cap is installed on the top of your chimney and serves as a roof. It also keeps animals out and protects your flue against water and weather year-round. You can even buy a specific model that deflects wind away from the flue opening, keeping gusts from affecting your fire in the winter and your central air in the summer. Having a cap installed this spring will not only save you on utilities but will also protect your entire system from water damage and damage from animal intrusion. Choosing the right cap for your chimney can be difficult. Professionals at Magic Sweep can help. Your chimney may be best protected with a new damper–a top seal damper.


Energy Saving Damper

You can save even more money by having a new top-sealing damper installed before the weather gets too warm. Sometimes called an energy-saving damper, the top-sealing damper kills two birds with one stone. It works as a chimney cap while a fire burns in the fireplace, and it is a tight-sealing damper while engaged. Not only does it act as a damper, but it seals the entire chimney system from the top with a tight seal. Neither water or animals can penetrate a top-sealing damper. You can avoid losing air through this new damper as well! The best way to close your system off for summer is with a top-sealing damper. It will keep humid air from mingling with the soot and creosote in your flue, cut down on odors, and protect the system until it’s time for a fire in fall.


Call a Professional

Magic Sweep is your #1 choice for chimney maintenance and repair in Hampton Roads. Our chimney sweeps are certified, insured, and experienced choosing and installing chimney caps and dampers. Our top priority is safety and efficiency for our neighbors and customers, so we only carry the best in brands and models.

Are you tired of spending too much money on your AC every summer? You may be surprised how much you’ll save with a new cap or damper–not just in utility bills, but also in prevention. Installing a top-sealing damper or cap now can protect your chimney and prevent costly damage later.

Call Magic Sweep today at 757-523-2400 or request an appointment for your home or rental now.

What You Need To Know About Chimney Caps and Dampers

Every part of the chimney system does an important job to help your chimney vent the toxic fumes of your fire. However, what happens if the chimney doesn’t work properly? Unfortunately, you will suffer from chronic respiratory distress, your home will be covered in particulate pollution, and your fire will have trouble staying lit. The chimney helps you fire burn and keeps your family safe from toxins and fire!

The Chimney Cap

The chimney cap does its part to keep your chimney working, by keeping outside influences from getting in.

  • The cap keeps water out of the flue, preventing extreme damage caused by water.
  • It keeps animals out that may damage the flue liner, leave behind flammable debris, and can even die and cause obstruction. Animal removal, repairs, and sweeps cost money. These costs can be avoided by adding a chimney cap that keeps these critters out.
  • Prevents wind gusts from blowing into the flue and affecting your fire. Wind gusts can put a fire out, or cause the fire to become unruly.
  • The cap keeps dangerous sparks from escaping the flue opening and igniting debris on the roof, and dry foliage below.

The Chimney Damper

Like the cap, the damper plays an important role in chimney function. However, many have found the traditional damper to be flawed. The damper can help control the fire and prevent drafts when the fireplace isn’t in use. In addition, it keeps animals from entering the house by way of the chimney. Having said this, the cast iron or metal throat damper does not have a solid seal. They can also be difficult to access to be repaired or replaced. Many homeowners and industry professionals have been looking for a better option, and the top mount damper is the solution!

Energy Saver

There is another option for dampers and caps! This is the top mount damper – also called the energy saving damper. The top mount damper acts as a damper and a chimney cap, combined. It keeps water, weather, and animals out, while keeping sparks in. The top mount damper has a tight seal that saves energy and protects the chimney flue from the top down. It can only be closed when a fire is out, because it does not allow anything in or out.

By switching to a top mount damper, homeowners save hundreds of dollars in cooling and heating costs per year. How do you open and close the damper if it’s on the roof? It’s easy! There is a cord installed directly from the damper to the hearth. Pulling on the cord engages and disengages the damper, and allows you to do it all from the comfort of your home.

Magic Sweep sells throat dampers and chimney caps, but we are proud to sell and install top mount dampers that save energy, protect chimneys more thoroughly, and require less upkeep than a throat damper. Call and ask a Magic Sweep chimney expert about top mount dampers today. Dial 757-523-2400 or request an appointment online now!

Choosing the Right Chimney Cap

One of your best defenses against water penetration and animal invasions of your chimney, a chimney cap sits on top of your chimney’s opening. With several different types of chimney caps available, how do you know which cap is the right fit for the flue of your chimney? At Magic Sweep, we are experienced with fitting all types of chimney caps, even customized caps. We would like to tell you a bit about the different kinds of chimney caps and what you should know about selecting the right kind for your chimney.

Choosing Chimney Caps - Chesapeake VA - Magic SweepThe main thing to consider when deciding which chimney cap is right for your chimney is the shape of your flue. Chimney caps come in different shapes to fit each type of flue. These shapes include:

Round Flues

Whether you have a clay, masonry, or metal flue, you can find a round chimney cap that can either attach to the outside of the flue or slip inside the flue. Round chimney caps are made from an assortment of materials including copper, stainless steel, and galvanized steel. Some round flue liners require chimney caps that must be inserted inside the chimney flue, such as round flexible flue liners and round solid pack flue liners.

Square and Rectangular Flues

The most commonly shaped flue, square and rectangular chimney caps can be attached to the flue, or, if you have a chimney crown, there are chimney caps in these sizes that can attach to the crown. Made from the same metals as the round chimney caps, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends you choose a chimney cap constructed from a sturdy, durable, and rust- and corrosion-resistant material to ensure a long-lasting cap. For chimney caps that attach to a chimney crown, you will need to choose from top mounted chimney caps.

Oval Flues

Unless you have a custom-shaped oval chimney cap made for you by our technicians at Magic Sweep, you will need to look at rectangular shaped chimney caps that will cover the exterior of your flue.. When you look inside this type of cap, you can see how the corner tabs or interior ledges will accommodate oval flues.

There are other considerations to think about when choosing a chimney cap. These include:

  • Mesh Spark Arrestor – To prevent animals from entering your chimney to take up a new residence and to keep sparks from flying out of your chimney and possibly starting a fire, your chimney cap should be equipped with wire mesh sides. Be sure the mesh openings are between ¾ to ½ inches in size to keep animals out, to contain large pieces of hot debris and ashes, and to allow toxic gases to escape.
  • Combination of a Chimney Cap & Damper – You can now find top sealing chimney caps that do double duty as a protective cap and as a damper. Perfect for new home constructions and for older chimneys in need of numerous repairs, the damper is located on the cap. When it is sealed closed, the air loss from your home is reduced by 90%. When the damper is opened, the wire mesh on the chimney cap protects your chimney from invading animals and prevents stray sparks from exiting.

Want to know more about the different types of chimney caps? Contact Magic Sweep today to talk to our expert staff about your many options.