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Chimney pots and cowls- Do you need one?




Clay Chimney pot
Clay Chimney Pot


When we come and carry out a free survey at your house to look into the option of a woodburning stove installation we always check the state of your chimney and more often than not we have found that you will need a new chimney cowl or pot as part of the installation.  Now you may have never heard of a chimney cowl or pot before and that is rather common, as most people do not think about the top of their chimney much. And you are wondering if you even need one.

So what is a chimney pot and why should you have one?

A chimney pot or chimney cowl comes in various shapes and sizes but basically is a pot shape either in terracotta or metal that sits on top of your chimney. And even though technically it is an optional item for your woodburning installation it can solve many problems and is highly recommended. We fit them as standard, if needed, as our experience shows that fitting one is always far more beneficial than not having one and here are some reasons why:


Improved draw: 

They improve the draw of your stove. This means smoke, fumes and hot air travel more efficiently through your chimney improving the efficiency of your stove.  There are some rotating chimney cowls such as the exodraft system that really help out where there is a problem with the draw of your fire. Please note though always ask your installer for your advice as these types of cowls should only be used where there is a problem with the draw. Otherwise they can overfire your woodburning stove and cause more problems.

It keeps the rain out:

Chimney cowl that keeps the rain out


This is a very helpful benefit especially in the UK winter months.  Rain doesn’t reach all the way to the bottom of your chimney, as most chimneys are designed to stop it happening, however the addition of a chimney pot or chimney cowl will prevent it even further. Especially where a chimney as been built for your specific woodburning stove, such as in a twin wall system where the flue pipe acts as the chimney




Anti Bird Chimney cowl

Prevents Birds nesting in your chimney: 

Birds love chimneys and a quick google search will reveal that bird nests are a common problem for chimney sweeps and woodburning stove installers.  Many bird species are protected and if they have built a nest in your chimney you often have to wait for an installation until after the nesting period as you are not allowed to move their nest.  Even after an installation bird nests can cause a problem and it is a good idea to prevent birds from nesting in your chimney as you may not be able to light a fire or are in danger of killing the birds and their nests.  Chimney sweeps often find sticks, debris from nests blocking a chimney and causing a significant fire hazard.  A simple chimney pot will prevent this situation from happening.


Anti Downdraft chimney cowl

Prevents a down draught: 

Down draught often occur at the change of seasons throughout the year and can cause problems such as smoke coming back into your room or fires not lighting properly in the first place.  It is when the outside air and the inside air are at a different temperature and the air from outside pushes down on the air and smoke trying to rise up through your chimney.  A cowl or chimney pot can easily prevent this from happening making your woodburning experience pleasant and efficient.



Cowls or a chimney pot are always supplied by us when we carry out an installation if it is deemed necessary for your chimney. However there are many flue suppliers out there who supply them for your installation.  A company we work with and regularly source their chimney pots are called Flue & Ducting who also supply some of our woodburning and multi-fuel stoves.



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