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Also referred to as chimney caps, chimney hoods are simple devices that are designed to prevent airborne debris or rain from entering the chimney. The design of the hood makes it possible to provide protection of this type without interfering with the chimney ventilation in any manner. A chimney hood can be installed on just about any size or type of chimney, ranging from the conventional fireplace chimney to one connected to a range or cooking pit.
One of the more common designs for a chimney hood is that of a simple cone. The cone shape provides the ideal shape to divert rain from entering the chimney, since the rain strikes the hood, runs down the sides, and reaches the roof line on either side of the chimney opening. With this design, the chimney hood is usually situated so that the bottom of the cone is a short distance above the top of the chimney, and is fixed in place with the use of braces. Smoke can still escape the chimney and vent out from the open area between the chimney top and the hood, making it possible to use the chimney in any type of weather.
When used on cookers or ranges, a chimney hood also provides protection from any undesirable elements from entering the body of the smaller metal chimney or smokestack. Thus, it is possible to continue cooking or grilling outside without any worries of contamination from the food due to something entering the cooker or reaching the range via the chimney. Like the models designed for use on rooftops, this type of hood or cap is usually set in place by attaching it to the body of the chimney, allowing for a small open area between the top of the chimney and the cap.
While the typical chimney hood is intended to be more functional than ornamental, there are a number of designs that are esthetically pleasing as well as efficient. Hoods can be composed of various types of masonry, or fashioned using a combination of one or more metals. The exterior of the hood may be painted and sealed to blend in with the surrounding color scheme, a factor that is often important to individuals who are very particular about the outside appearance of the home. Discreet hoods can also be incorporated into kitchen remodeling schemes and outfitted with electronic expulsion fans that help vent the area. Both small and larger hoods can be found at most building and supply stores, as well as some home improvement retailers and a number of lawn and garden shops.