Last updated: August 8, 2021

Welcome to our big chimney cover test 2019, where we present all the chimney covers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best chimney cover for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a chimney cover.

Contents




Summary

  • You need a permit for the installation of chimney covers
  • After installation, the chimney cover must be inspected by a specialist (chimney sweep)
  • Depending on the location and type of chimney, a chimney cover is more or less necessary

The Best Chimney Cover: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a chimney cover

How does a chimney work?

A chimney is a vertical structure that is mainly found on the roofs of buildings.

On the one hand, its function is to direct the smoke produced by the firing of your stove outside. On the other hand, the chimney must also draw in the air necessary for firing.

The smoke passes through the chimney into the open air. (Image source: pixabay.com / analogicus)

The resulting exhaust gases are lighter than the air and thus rise upwards into the open air. This buoyancy is known as the chimney effect.

However, in strong winds, the exhaust gases can be "pushed" back up the chimney. The toxic exhaust gases could therefore enter the building again.

In this case, a chimney cover can be very helpful.

The penetration of toxic gases can be life-threatening, which is why every chimney must be inspected by a surveyor. If this is not done, the chimney must not be used.

What is a chimney cover?

A chimney cover is fitted to the chimney to protect it from rain, windfalls or birds. Chimney covers can be purchased in a wide variety of shapes and materials, which can bring different functions.

Chimney covers come in various shapes and designs. They are also called chimney bonnets or chimney covers. (Image source: poxabay.com / flockine)

So, a chimney cover is, by and large, a cover that serves to protect the chimney and, to some extent, improve the chimney's function.

Are chimney covers allowed at all?

Chimney covers are not always permitted. The location and type of chimney often plays an important role here.

You usually need a permit to install a chimney cover. The DIN standards and the fire regulations of your federal state must be observed.

After installation, an inspection must be carried out by a specialist (chimney sweep). Only after his approval can the chimney cover be installed without any problems.

If you have a modern system chimney, you should not use a cover, as this is more likely to cause problems.

We recommend that you contact a chimney sweep before buying, in order to have a possible feasibility assessment carried out directly.

Without permission and approval, the installation is illegal!

Is a chimney bonnet really necessary?

There are very different opinions on this question. Some experts find the cover completely superfluous and are convinced that chimney covers even bring dangers instead of avoiding them.

Others see neither an advantage nor a disadvantage in fitting a chimney cover. In their opinion, covers are only a visual decoration of the chimney.

The Bunderverband des Schornsteinfeger Handwerks, however, is of the opinion that chimney covers can be unquestionably advantageous, but only under certain conditions.

If the chimney is in an unfavourable position, sooting could occur.

In the case of sooting, water, tar and acids penetrate the chimney. This results in brown stains and an unpleasant odour.

The decisive factor, however, is the resulting damage and the associated high treatment costs.

Sooting is caused by rain and wind. Water gets into the chimney and the wind causes flue gas to back up in the chimney.

In certain cases, it is therefore advisable to install a chimney cover.

What are the advantages of a chimney cover?

The chimney cover has both advantages and disadvantages.

A chimney cover can make the chimney look better.

The decisive factor, however, is the protection that the cover offers. Both from thunderstorms (moisture and wind) and from birds nesting on your chimney.

If a bird is nesting on your chimney, you must not simply remove the nest, as the bird could be under animal protection. (Image source: pixabay.com / Iva Balk)

The chimney function can be improved by covering it. Exhaust gases can rise better and air can be drawn in better. This also increases heating efficiency and reduces consumption.

Advantages
  • Protection from thunderstorms
  • Protection from birds
  • Optimisation of the chimney function
  • Improved heating efficiency
  • Appearance
Disadvantages
  • Benefit is controversial
  • Incorrectly installed covers can be life-threatening
  • Great expense

However, installing a chimney cover can have a negative effect on certain chimneys. There could be a backflow of flue gas. This is especially the case with modern chimney systems and rotatable chimneys.

Likewise, you have to observe several regulations, which involve a certain amount of work.

What do I have to consider when buying a chimney cover?

When buying a chimney cover, there are some basic factors to consider:

  • You need a permit for the installation, as the type and location of the chimney might not be permitted
  • Depending on the federal state, there are different regulations for the installation of a chimney cover(DIN standards and fire regulations)
  • The dimensions of the chimney are essential to find the right size.
  • After installation, a chimney sweep must check your cover
  • Material and shape must be taken into account. You should also consult a chimney sweep about this
  • You should allow for additional costs for the chimney sweep

Who will install my chimney cover?

You should contact a chimney sweep or roofer for the installation. The work on the roof is very dangerous and should therefore only be carried out by professionals. The costs for the installation are between 50-100 €.

The chimney sweep is the first point of contact for the installation of chimney covers. (Image source: pixabay.com / Kakaket)

Self-assembly is not advisable, as handling on the roof requires several precautionary measures.

In addition, you would still have to contact a chimney sweep after installation, as he or she would have to approve the cover.

If you still want to install your chimney cover yourself, you can use tutorial videos provided by manufacturers.

Here is an example of how to install a Napoleon cover:

Can there be any hazards after installation?

As a chimney sweep is required for approval, there should be no hazards.

The professional inspection is only for your safety. So if you've been cleared, you can rest easy.

How much does a chimney cover cost?

Depending on the material and shape, chimney covers can vary greatly in price. Below we have listed the costs for the different types:

Chimney cover price range
Made of sheet steel approx. €30
Made of stainless steel €60 - €220
Meidinger disc €30 - €690
Made of copper €150 - €1000
Foldable €65 - €400
Rotatable €50 - €1300
Rain bonnet €15 - €130
Hurricane bonnet €180 - €340

The cheapest chimney covers are mainly rain bonnets and chimney covers made of steel.

In most cases, rain bonnets are also sheet steel bonnets. However, you cannot expect them to last long. Sheet steel is very susceptible to rust and you can also find stainless steel covers for the same price.

Stainless steel is the most popular material for chimney covers. Here you get a good price-performance ratio. The material is high quality, durable and timeless.

But be careful: Some manufacturers use stainless steel that is neither weather- nor smoke-resistant. Therefore, always make sure that the stainless steel is also corrosion-resistant

.
Rotating chimney covers and chimney covers made of copper are the most expensive covers.

Copper is the highest quality material, but it has no more properties than stainless steel. The higher price is justified by the appearance.

Decision: What types of chimney cover are there and which is the right one for you?

What are the characteristics of a rain bonnet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A rain bonnet is a flat or pointed attachment designed to protect against rainfall. However, a rain bonnet does not improve the chimney function.

Advantages
  • Protection from rain
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Poor quality
  • No improvement in chimney function

Most models are made of sheet steel, which is of poor quality compared to stainless steel.

But it is also a lot cheaper. You can buy a rain bonnet for as little as 15 €, but there are also high-quality models that can cost up to 130 €.

What are the characteristics of a wind bonnet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A wind bonnet not only protects the chimney from rain, but also improves the flue. They come in several forms, but the Meidinger pane and the Napoleon bon net have become the most popular.

What distinguishes a Napoleon bonnet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Napoleon bonnet is a wind bonnet that stands out because of its special curved shape. This curved shape not only looks good, but also keeps rain out and ensures better smoke extraction.

Advantages
  • High quality
  • Improved smoke extraction
  • Stand-out look
  • Suitable for any fireplace
Disadvantages
  • Cost-intensive

Most models are available in copper or stainless steel. So you can count on high-quality material. In addition, Napoleon bonnets are available in countless dimensions.

The curved shape is not only an eye-catcher, but also improves the chimney function. (Image source: pixabay.com / Didgeman)

The cheapest Napoleon bonnets are available from €60. Models made of copper are very price-intensive and can cost up to 1000 €. However, you can expect a good longevity here.

Various manufacturers also offer a 25-year guarantee.

What distinguishes a Meidinger disc and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Meidinger disc is the simplest and most common form of a fireplace cover. It is a round or square disc that is mounted on 4 stilts on the chimney.

The Meidinger disc is simple and fits on every chimney. (Image source: pixabay.com / Didgeman)

Due to its sober shape, it does not stand out much on your chimney and also fits on every chimney.

The disc does not score with its appearance, but with its functionality and a good price.

Advantages
  • Functionality
  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Universally applicable
Disadvantages
  • Simple look

It should be noted that, in contrast to the rain cover, the Meidinger screen also protects against windfalls and also improves the function of the chimney.

What distinguishes a swivelling chimney cover and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A rotating chimney cover is characterised above all by its particularly effective ventilation of the chimney.

As the name suggests, this cover can be rotated. When the wind blows, it rotates, which noticeably improves the extraction of smoke.

Advantages
  • Very effective smoke extraction
Disadvantages
  • Smoke jam if mounted incorrectly
  • ball bearings very sensitive

Nevertheless, the exact opposite can happen if the chimney is installed incorrectly. The flue gases are not extracted better, but accumulate in the chimney and could even enter the house.

Therefore, we recommend that you contact a specialist who can inspect your cover.

He can check the suitability of your chimney. This way you can be sure that you won't have any problems.

Another shortcoming is the ball bearing. This is very susceptible and must be replaced accordingly often.

What distinguishes a hurricane bonnet and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The hurricane bonnet is also a windbreak bonnet, but it is clearly more robust. The wind bonnet stands on a concrete base.

As you could probably guess from the name, you only need a hurricane bonnet if you live in a very windy area.

Just like the wind bonnet, the hurricane bonnet offers protection from wind and weather.

Advantages
  • Very robust
  • protection from wind and weather
Disadvantages
  • Risk of smoke backing up

Just as with the revolving chimney bonnet, you should consult a professional. Here, too, there is a risk of smoke backing up if the hood is installed incorrectly.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate chimney covers

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate chimney covers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular chimney cover is suitable for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Material
  • Durability
  • Function
  • Installation

Material

There are several materials from which chimney covers are made. Depending on the purpose and taste, there should be something for everyone.
On the other hand, materials like brick and concrete are outdated. Therefore we focus on "modern" materials

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most common materials for chimney covers. It convinces above all with the favourable price despite high quality.

Stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, durable and timeless.

Corrosion-resistant stainless steel is marked with V4A. V4A stainless steel is additionally alloyed with 2 % Mo (molybdenum). This makes the stainless steel more corrosion-resistant and durable. (Image source: pixabay.com / artbaggage)

Despite all this, you should explicitly pay attention to what kind of stainless steel it is. Some manufacturers use V2A stainless steel, which is less resistant to corrosion.

Copper

The materials copper and stainless steel have similar properties. However, the look of copper is a real eye-catcher compared to the cheaper stainless steel model.

However, you should not choose a copper model if your gutter is galvanised. Water that has come into contact with copper can attack galvanised material.

Sheet steel

Sheet steel is the cheapest and lowest quality material. As we have already mentioned, most rain bonnets are made of sheet steel.

Sheet steel does not last long as it quickly starts to rust. However, due to its low price, it can be optimally used as a temporary solution.

Durability

The durability depends on the material. With stainless steel and copper, you can expect to have to replace the cover no more than once.

Reliable manufacturers therefore offer a guarantee of 25 years. This way, there are no costs for a replacement.

Function

Rain covers only help against rainfall, but they are also cheaper. Wind bonnets protect against both wind and weather. Depending on use, you can decide for yourself which cover is suitable for you.

Installation

Installation can be done by yourself, but you must take all protective measures. You should also have experience, as incorrect installation can lead to a deterioration of the chimney function.

A professional can install the cover for as little as €50. You should also bear in mind that you will have to have a chimney sweep check the chimney after you have installed it yourself.

The chimney cover may not be used without the approval of the specialist.

If the chimney cover is installed incorrectly, even higher costs for chimney sweeps may be incurred.

Interesting facts about the topic of chimney covers

Can I build a chimney cover myself?

Yes, you can build a chimney cover yourself, but the question is whether it is worth the effort?

Rain covers are available for as little as €15 and stainless steel wind covers can be purchased for as little as €30.

From a price point of view, it is less worthwhile, as the effort is much higher compared to the savings.

Are there chimney covers with integrated weathercocks?

Chimney covers with weathercocks are not produced as standard.

However, you can contact manufacturers who can offer you an individual and custom-made chimney bonnet. There is also the possibility of integrating an additional weather tap.

Weathercocks show you which direction the wind is blowing from. (Image source: pixabay.com / PublicDomainPictures)

Can I repair my chimney cover myself?

This is strictly not advisable, as faulty behaviour can lead to considerable damage. It is therefore essential to contact a specialist who can assess the damage.

This person can in turn repair the damage or advise on a replacement.

Image source: pixabay.com / fill

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