Chimney Cowls For Wood Burners: Why Are They Important?

Chimney Cowls For Wood Burners: Why Are They Important?

There are many different factors that affect the efficiency of your log burner or wood burning stove. Ensuring that you’re using dry, quality wood fuel, keeping your stove clean and controlling the air flows are all essential factors for improving the efficiency of your wood burner. However, one component that is often overlooked, yet can play a key role in your wood burner’s efficiency is a chimney cowl. Before we take a look at how they affect the performance of your wood burner, let’s take a moment to explain in a little more detail, exactly what a chimney cowl is.

What Is A Chimney Cowl?

A chimney cowl is the hood shaped covering that sits at the top of the chimney pot, over the opening of your chimney. They come in all shapes and sizes, however their primary role is to control the draft from the chimney, prevent downdraft, protect the chimney from the elements and prevent animals from nesting in the chimney cavity.

Why Should We Install Chimney Cowls For Wood Burners?

Although often overlooked, chimney cowls for wood burners increase efficiency and performance by doing the following:

Preventing Chimney Downdraft

Chimney downdraft is when air is blown back down the chimney cavity. This creates a draft that hampers your wood burner’s performance, reducing heat output and efficiency. It can also cause smoke to enter your living room. You can reduce or eliminate downdrafts with anti-downdraft chimney cowls for wood burners. This will prevent heat output and performance being negatively impacted when the wind is blowing across the chimney in the wrong direction!

Providing Protection From the Elements

Chimney cowls for wood burners also provide enhanced protection from the elements. When chimneys are not fitted with cowls, it is easier for wind and rain to enter the chimney cavity and cause potential damage. In addition to this, the build up of moisture can hamper the performance of your stove whilst potentially causing significant damage to the lining of your chimney.

Improving The Draw Of Your Chimney

Whilst too much downdraft is an issue, it’s important for a sufficient amount of air to be drawn into your chimney to keep your fire oxygenated at the right level. If you are using high quality, dry firewood but are still noticing problems lighting and maintaining your stove then there may be a draw problem with the chimney. There are different chimney cowls for wood burners that you can install to help this issue, including spinning chimney cowls that direct air into the chimney.

close up of kiln dried firewood


Another crucial role that chimney cowls for wood burners can have is preventing birds, critters and other debris from entering the chimney flue. It goes without saying that this can create hazardous blockages, as well as creating an unpleasant smell in the chimney flue.Whilst chimney cowls for wood burners will help to prevent such issues, you should also ensure that you are getting your chimney swept regularly.

Chimney cowls for wood burners are just one of the ways you can enhance the performance of your wood burning stove. For further guidance on choosing the most efficient fuel for your wood burner, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.