A fireplace is more than just a straight stack of bricks and mortar. Few people truly understand all of the parts that make up a chimney system. However, chimneys are surprisingly complex with a variety of components. The following guide can help homeowners understand the purpose and function of the most important parts of a chimney.

Chimney cap

masonry chimney on red roofThe chimney cap is a metal hood that covers and protects the top of the flue. Chimney caps are often made of aluminum, stainless steel, or copper and have wire or mesh sides. It prevents water, animals, and debris from getting into the chimney while simultaneously allowing air to be drawn in and smoke and gas to safely vent out. Missing or damaged chimney caps can lead to leaks, chimney blockages, incorrect drafts, and more.

Chimney crown

The chimney crown covers the top of the chimney structure surrounding the flue. It is what the chimney cap sits on. It is made of masonry or concrete. Well-Designed chimney crowns include an overhang of at least two inches around the chimney. This prevents water from flowing directly onto the masonry of the chimney, directing it instead onto the roof. Chimney crowns are prone to damage due to the direct exposure to the elements they receive.

Chimney chase

Chimney chases are a part of manufactured or factory-built fireplaces. While masonry fireplaces have stone or bricks around the flue, manufactured fireplaces have a chimney chase surrounding the flue pipe. Chimney chases are often built using the same wood, siding, or building materials as the rest of the home.

Chimney chase cover

The chimney chase cover functions as a chimney crown and chimney cap for manufactured fireplace systems. It is made of galvanized metals such as aluminum, the chase cover covers and seals the top of the chimney chase and protects the top of the flue. Standard chimney chase covers are prone to rusting over time. Red, orange, or brown stains on the side of the chimney chase is often a sign that the chase cover has begun to rust.

Throat damper

A traditional throat damper is located that the top of the firebox. It is designed to seal the firebox from the rest of the chimney when the fireplace is not in use. Dampers can be opened or closed using a pulley or lever. Dampers should be fully open from the time a fire is started until it has naturally extinguished. However, closing the damper when your fireplace is not in use helps you prevent conditioned air from escaping up and out of the chimney.

Top sealing damper

Top sealing dampers are an energy-efficient upgrade to traditional throat dampers. It sits on the top of the flue in place of the chimney cap while top-sealing dampers prevent conditioned air from going up the flue. The airtight seals it provides when closed can help further prevent water, moisture, and debris from entering the flue.

Our chimney systems have a variety of different parts that all play an important role in helping our fireplaces to burn safely and efficiently. For more information on the different parts of your fireplace, contact Coopertown Services today!