A chimney pot is a decorative air venting structure designed of clay, masonry or metal which encloses hot toxic exhaust gasses or smoke emitted by a furnace, stove, boiler, cremator, or fireplace. It can be very effective in energy conservation and in preventing carbon monoxide from entering the home. Chimneys are often built with a brick-lined interior, but they can be constructed from clay, cast iron or sheet metal. Clay bricks or sheet metal are lightweight but strong and can be designed to match the existing external appearance of the house. A clay chimney is more economical than a metal chimney and is easy to maintain.
Chimneys are used to control the amount of harmful gasses produced from a fireplace by diverting these gases into the chimney. There are two types of chimneys: direct and indirect. In the direct chimney system, the flame and smoke exits through a single-stack vent in the top of the fireplace. The exhaust is then directed to a smaller chimney on the outside of the house where it vents to the outside.
Indirect chimney vent designs leave openings for smoke and heat to escape. The byproducts of combustion are usually water vapor and nitrogen oxides. These byproducts react with the oxygen in the air to produce water, nitrogen and other gaseous pollutants. This vent system is preferred when there is little or no direct sunlight exposure and you want to have a chimney that is aesthetically pleasing.
Many chimneys are constructed from either aluminum or steel. Aluminum Chimney Caps are highly durable and can often be incorporated into the liner vent construction so that no mortar is required. Aluminum Chimney Covers is also available in a variety of colors and finishes, and are quite popular in fireplaces as well as for outdoor gas furnaces. Steel Chimneys is extremely durable and are often the preferred material for an aluminum chimney. Steel Chimney caps are also available in various colors and finishes and are popular in older homes or buildings due to the strength of the metal and the fact that it is a fire resistant material.
Wood and clay chimneys can be constructed from these materials as well. Clay chimneys are built from logs and other materials to shape and allow smoke and gases to escape. They can be sent free. A clay tile is usually placed within the flue to keep the moisture contained while allowing the gases and smoke to escape safely. Chimney designs with vents are typically small, for safety purposes. Chimneys with vents are designed so that only one fireplace is in use at any given time, to avoid fire and smoke being drawn into the home.
There are many different types of wood-burning stoves or fireplace. Some people prefer to use an open fire or portable chimney in their homes, and there are many different types of masonry fireplace that have been designed to meet these requirements. A hearth type chimney is very popular for this purpose. There are some other different types of chimneys such as tile and slate chimneys. These chimneys are usually made of clay and use clay plates to keep the fireplaces air tight and to prevent burning and smoke from escaping.
The design of a chimney affects both its functionality and its aesthetics. For the most part, it is the function that is important in the design of the chimney and it is not the aesthetic value of the chimney. If a chimney were designed strictly to provide smoke and smoky conditions, it would not have much aesthetic value. Many people choose different types of materials, different types of styles, and different types of looks when choosing a chimney for the structure of their home.
There are some homeowners who are against using chimneys to provide ventilation for their homes. They believe that the use of a chimney may increase the risk of combustion or that there is no practical use of a chimney if one were to be used. In the past, these beliefs were often based on flammable liquid that was used in the chimney and there is evidence that these flammables did actually come into contact with combustible materials during the past. Today there are more pragmatic reasons for a homeowner to choose a chimney to provide ventilation for their living space.