How the HY-C Learning Center can Help Your Business

The HY-C company logo with the words "Learning Center" underneath

How the HY-C Learning Center can Help Your Business

HY-C recently launched a repository of free online resources called the Learning Center. It contains in-depth product reviews, comparisons, guides, and more written content about the categories we serve and the products we manufacture.

We publish 3 new pieces of content a week to our Learning Center in an effort to provide tools for our sales partners and to educate their customers.

But what does this content have to do with you as a sales partner? How can you use it? How can it help grow your business?

In this guide, we’re going to cover just what the HY-C Learning Center can do for you. We’ll include tips on how to utilize the content, how it can help optimize your website, and more information on how you can get the best out of the HY-C Learning Center.

The HY-C Learning Center Helps Create Well-Educated Customers

This is a benefit that doesn’t necessarily require any direct action on your part. One of the primary goals of the content in the Learning Center is to help homeowners learn about chimney caps, wood burning furnaces, wildlife exclusion products, and more of the products that we manufacture (and that you sell).

There are ways that you can use and distribute the content in the Learning Center (we’ll get into those in a bit), but since its launch in September of 2023, the Learning Center’s readership has climbed into the thousands.

As homeowners search online for questions that they have about our products, they discover the Learning Center and become better-educated buyers. That means by the time they end up in your store, they’ll know exactly what they need and how it works, saving your employees time and generating sales for your business.

The HY-C Learning Center Can Help Educate Your Employees

If you’re a retailer and you carry HY-C products in your store, they’ll sell most effectively if your employees understand the products and can explain their nuances to your customers. But it can be tough for a retail employee to learn everything there is to know about your store’s entire product selection. That’s where the Learning Center comes in.

For example, if you sell wood burning furnaces, your employees need to be able to explain exactly how to burn wood in a furnace. Our best burn practices guide covers that topic in depth.

If you carry Solo Stove smokeless fire pits and our Flame Genie smokeless fire pits, your employees need to understand the differences between those two products to help your customers decide which one is best for them. Our Flame Genie vs. Solo Stove guide can help.

The examples are endless, and the volume of content we’ve published (and will continue to publish) on our products specifically and our categories in general can help to sharpen your employees’ skills and make them more effective educators of your customers.

The same principle applies if you’re a distributor. If your salespeople sell HY-C products to dealers, they’ll sell more effectively if they can explain how Good Vibrations products can drive incremental sales, or how it’s a good sales opportunity to stock LintEater in their stores.

Use the Learning Center to educate your employees so they can, in turn, educate your customers and generate sales.

The HY-C Learning Can Help Boost Your SEO Efforts

A chart showing organic traffic searches trending up with 2.8K searches a month, an improvement rate of +37.03%

The wonderful world of SEO is as complex and confusing as it is rewarding and exciting. The Google search algorithms seem almost arbitrary, and it can be tough to stay on top of SEO best practices and trends. One SEO practice that has remained rock-solid through the years, though, is backlinking.

Unlike other ranking metrics, it’s pretty well-established by this point that outbound links have a positive effect on SEO — you may have noticed that this section of this article already contains three of them. Linking to other authoritative websites sends signals to search engines that your site is also a reliable source of good information.

With that said, if your website has a blog or any kind of repository of published content, never hesitate to link to content from the HY-C Learning Center where it makes sense, especially if you cover similar topics. It will help HY-C improve our backlink profile, and it will help you improve your SEO signals to Google, Yahoo!, and Bing by linking to written content straight from the manufacturer.

The HY-C Learning Center Can Enhance E-Commerce Product Pages

Do you sell HY-C products online? The Learning Center can be particularly effective for you and your business, especially on product description pages. Well-educated buyers make better buying decisions, end up more satisfied with their purchases, and are less likely to make returns. And the HY-C Learning Center has already developed the tools you need to help educate your customers best.

Take chimney caps as an example. One of the most important aspects of finding the right chimney cap for your flue is finding the right size. And with so many size options available, customers may get confused and worry about choosing the wrong cap size.

A HY-C chimney cap product description page with a link to an article about chimney caps demonstrating that clicking the link opens that article

Adding a link to our chimney cap size guide on your chimney caps’ product description pages can help customers quickly determine which size they need, making for a better shopping experience.

This isn’t limited to chimney caps, either. With articles such as “Everything You Need to Know about Fireplace Firebacks”, “Is a Wood Burning Furnace Right for You?” and “The Benefits of Foundation Vent Covers”, there are dozens of Learning Center articles you can add to your website’s product pages to help educate your customers and create a better shopping experience.

The HY-C Learning Center Has Content Written Specifically for Sales Partners

An educated shopper makes better buying decisions and winds up happier with the purchase. Similarly, an educated sales partner is armed with the tools they need to make the best decisions to help their business grow.

The HY-C Learning Center isn’t just for your customers; it’s for you, too. We work to develop content to make it easier to do business with us, answering the burning questions and concerns you may have before you even have to voice them.

You can find this sales partner-related content by navigating to the HY-C Learning Center, scrolling down to the “Filter by Topic” tab, and selecting the “Sales Partners” filter.

How Can You Start to Use the HY-C Learning Center for Your Business?

Our Learning Center has been live for over 6 months at this point, and we plan to keep adding content to it for years to come. After all, customers never run out of questions and concerns, and as long as there is a need to address them, the Learning Center will.

So, as a HY-C sales partner, how can you start utilizing the Learning Center today?

Well, if you own retail stores, start sharing the content with your employees. The better-educated they are, the more well-equipped they’ll be to assist your customers and address their needs.

If you’re a distributor, share the Learning Center with your sales team. Content exists not only to help them understand the basics of the HY-C products you sell, but also how to sell the products efficiently and effectively.

If you sell our products online, link to Learning Center articles on your product pages or on your own blog. Your customers will get in-depth product information straight from the manufacturer, and you’ll send strong SEO signals to search engines to improve your website’s ranking.

Either way, the best place to start is in the Learning Center itself. You’re already here  — welcome! — so continue to peruse our volumes of written content. Educate yourself and learn how to educate your employees and customers so you can continue to grow your business.

L-Mesh Pest Armor installed on a solar panel on a roof with brown shingles

Everything You Need to Know about L-Mesh Pest Armor

Nobody wants nuisance wildlife or pests in their home. The pest control industry is estimated to be worth around $25 billion, and for good reason: when a critter invades a home, homeowners want them out of there as quickly as possible.

What’s perhaps even more effective than pest control, however, is pest preventionstopping bugs and animals before they can even get in.

HY-GUARD EXCLUSION, a HY-C company, makes exclusion screens and guards installed on vulnerable spots on homes across the country to keep critters out. One HY-GUARD EXCLUSION product — Pest Armor — is designed both for animals and insects. It’s perhaps the most versatile Pest Armor product we make.

But what is L-Mesh Pest Armor? How does it work? And where on homes does it get installed?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about L-Mesh. We’ll explain what it’s made of, how to use it, the kinds of critters it excludes, and even some caveats to consider.

By the time you’re done here, you’ll understand whether or not L-Mesh Pest Armor is a good fit for your home — or, if you’re a wildlife control operator, the homes you service.

What is L-Mesh Pest Armor?

The profiles of each type of Pest Armor — High Profile Z-Mesh, Low Profile Z-Mesh, L-Mesh, and Expanded High Profile Z-Mesh — side by side against a white background

HY-C manufactures HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Pest Armor in four different profiles:

  1. High Profile Z-Mesh
  2. Low Profile Z-Mesh
  3. L-Mesh
  4. Expanded High-Profile Z-Mesh

Each profile is better-suited to different applications. The L-Mesh is designed to be universal. Its shape is conducive to covering several kinds of gaps on a home, making it a versatile pest exclusion solution.

Material and Sizes

L-Mesh Pest Armor is made of galvanized steel. A black powder coat is added to the finished Pest Armor, providing the steel beneath with some protection against the elements.

The “L” of the L-Mesh measures 1 inch by 3.5 inches, and the entire length of a unit of L-Mesh measures 48 inches (or 4 feet). We sell 40-piece boxes of L-Mesh, offering a total of 160 linear feet of pest coverage on a home.

These boxes contain all the applicable hex head screws and washers required to attach the L-Mesh to its installation location.

What Kind of Critters Does L-Mesh Exclude?

A yellow jacket resting on a wooden surface

Our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products are designed to keep out two different groups of critters from homes: animals and insects.

Some products in the line are best-suited only to exclude animals, while other products can exclude both groups of critters. L-Mesh is in the latter group, capable of excluding both wildlife and pests.

It features ¼” metal mesh in the body of its design. This mesh is open enough to allow proper drainage and ventilation, but small enough to exclude everything from large, stinging insects to small mammals. Some of the most common animals L-Mesh excludes are:

  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Bats
  • Birds
  • Snakes

And some of the most common insects it excludes are:

  • Wasps
  • Bees
  • Hornets
  • Stink bugs
  • Spiders
  • Yellow jackets

Where on a Home is L-Mesh Used?

L-Mesh is a versatile, universal pest exclusion solution, and wildlife control operators have been very creative about how and where they install it. But there are two primary spots where L-Mesh is most commonly installed on homes: rainscreen siding gaps and solar panels.

Rainscreen Siding

Yellow rainscreen being installed near a white window frame underneath wooden siding on the side of a house

Rainscreen is a kind of open, woven polymer material that comes in sheets and is installed during the home building process. It’s applied between the interior wood of a wall and the siding to allow rain and other moisture to drain out over time.

The problem with a rainscreen siding system is that it leaves a gap for critters — especially birds and insects — to get in and make a home. L-Mesh is installed over the gap of the rainscreen siding, locking critters out while still allowing for proper drainage and ventilation.

L-Mesh Pest Armor installed near the foundation of a home under a rainscreen siding gap with a large suburban house in the background
L-Mesh Pest Armor installed over a rainscreen siding gap on the foundation of a house

Solar Panels

Solar panels installed on a roof with clay tile shingles with the sun shining in the top-left corner

Solar panel installations on residential buildings have been increasing rapidly over the past few decades. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in 2013, there were about 2,300 solar panel installations on homes in the U.S. In 2023 — just 10 years later — there were nearly 35,000.

Solar panels are a great source of natural, renewable energy, but they come with a problem: there’s typically a 4” to 8” gap between the panels and the roof. Critters can burrow in these gaps for protection from the elements, and while they’re there, they can wreak havoc, chewing through the electrical components that allow the panels to work.

L-Mesh’s L-shaped design is conducive to covering these gaps and keeping animals from ruining solar panels. The 1” flange attaches to the roof, while the 3.5” edge sits flush against the solar panels, blocking out both animals and large insects.

L-Mesh Pest Armor installed over the gaps of a solar panel on a roof with gray shingles
L-Mesh Pest Armor installed on a solar panel

With solar panel installations increasing every year, L-Mesh presents wildlife control operators the opportunity to offer a fast-growing, much-needed exclusion solution to their customers.

Two L-Mesh Pest Armor Caveats

No product is a perfect, catch-all solution, and L-Mesh is no exception. Before you decide to install some on your home or offer it to your customers, there are two important caveats that you should be aware of.

L-Mesh Should Not be Used within 25 Miles of a Saltwater Coast

As we mentioned, L-Mesh is made of galvanized steel. This type of steel is cost-effective, but it doesn’t stand up well against saltwater. The chemical makeup of saltwater causes galvanized steel to rust, so if you operate near the ocean or a saltwater lake, L-Mesh may not be your best choice.

We have worked on developing a new, stainless steel version of Pest Armor, but at the moment, it’s only available in the High Profile Z-Mesh style. If enough customers or wildlife control operators express interest in stainless steel L-Mesh, we can explore filling that need. Just understand that it will be much more expensive than the galvanized steel style.

L-Mesh May Not be Long Enough for Some Solar Panel Installations

We’ve found that L-Mesh has been a great solution to keep critters from meddling with solar panels. Our research, however, has shown that solar panels can be anywhere from 2” to 8” high off of a roof.

L-Mesh Pest Armor can only offer 3.5” of coverage at the most for a solar panel. Any panels higher off of a roof than that aren’t a good fit for L-Mesh. We’re looking at producing L-Mesh in longer lengths to accommodate more solar panel setups, but nothing is available yet at the time of writing.

Do You Need L-Mesh Pest Armor?

Wildlife exclusion is an art and a science. In order to utilize and install wildlife exclusion devices correctly, you have to understand the habits and traits of the critters in your area and know which exclusion tool works best to keep them out.

With that in mind, you may be wondering: is L-Mesh right for you?

If your home (or the homes you service as a wildlife control operator) feature a rainscreen siding gap or solar panels on the roof, L-Mesh is a great solution to exclude critters. Its solid steel construction and tight, ¼” mesh is good for excluding animals and insects alike.

A small investment in L-Mesh upfront can save you or your client from expensive repair bills down the road, keeping your home pest-protected and damage-free.

If you’re interested in installing L-Mesh on your home, reach out to a wildlife control operator in your area. If you’re a wildlife control operator yourself, a HY-C account manager can help you discover how you can add L-Mesh to your wildlife exclusion repertoire today.

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Two Gardus LintEater Pro kits hanging on black wire retail shelving

6 Reasons Why You Should Stock the Gardus LintEater

Whether you’re a retailer or a distributor, there’s always pressure to raise sales and make more money. Sometimes, you have to get creative when you’re looking for new opportunities to increase revenue.

As an example, the automobile industry is worth over 2.5 trillion dollars, resulting in a whole sub-industry — automobile repair and maintenance — that itself is worth billions of dollars.

In a similar manner, the tumble dryer market is worth nearly 15 billion dollars, resulting in a whole sub-industry — dryer repair and maintenance — with millions of dollars in sales opportunities.

At HY-C, we manufacture a clothes dryer maintenance product called LintEater under our Gardus brand name. It’s in retailers all across the country, and there’s a chance it should be in your store or warehouse, too.

In this guide, we’re going to provide some quick insight on what LintEater is and how it works, and we’ll outline six reasons why your business might be a good fit to carry LintEater. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have all the information you need to decide whether LintEater is the right product for you and your business.

What is LintEater?

As you use your clothes dryer over time, lint builds up in the lint trap. After a cycle or two, you need to take out the lint trap and remove the lint — something you’ve probably done on countless occasions.

What you may not know, though, is that in addition to your lint trap, lint also accumulates in your dryer vent. This lint is much harder to clean out, especially because many dryer vents are over 10 feet long and installed inside the walls of your home. That lint still needs to be cleaned once or twice a year, though — and that’s where LintEater comes in.

LintEater is a rotary cleaning tool. It consists of an auger brush and four extension rods that attach to your drill. Just assemble the kit, hook it up to your drill, and slowly push it through the dryer vent with the drill powered on. The drill helps propel the auger brush through your vent, and after a few minutes, it will be lint-free — no professional cleaning service required.

6 Reasons Why You Should Stock LintEater

Now that you know what LintEater is and how it works, let’s consider how it can help you to grow your business and create more sales. Whether you’re a retailer or a distributor, here are six reasons why your business should consider adding LintEater to your product catalog.

1. LintEater Can Save Your Customers Money

When Energy Star-labeled clothes dryers first hit the market, the EPA estimated that they could save consumers up to $1.5 billion annually. How? Well, dryers use up a lot of power, adding more money to peoples’ monthly energy bills. Newer, more energy-efficient dryers helped to cut down on these bills by billions of dollars nationwide.

A dryer vent clogged with lint operates much less efficiently, requiring longer drying cycles and adding to a monthly energy bill. LintEater eliminates this lint buildup, keeping dryers operating efficiently. A LintEater costs between $30 and $60 at retail (depending on the model), but it can pay for itself in energy savings in a matter of months.

2. There are 89 Million Clothes Dryers in the United States

A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that there are over 89 million clothes dryers in the U.S. That’s a lot of lint that needs to be cleaned, and a lot of shoppers looking for ways to clean it.

As a retailer, it’s important to carry ubiquitous products that will appeal to the widest possible customer base. And, as a distributor, it’s important to supply those kinds of products to retailers. In any case, if a customer walks into your shop (or a shop that you sell to), the odds are very high that they could use a LintEater in their home.

3. LintEater Works Especially Well in Apartment Complexes

Many apartment complexes provide washers and dryers to their tenants. It’s an amenity that’s much-sought-after, especially as laundromats fall out of style. The good news is that LintEater appeals to maintenance workers who clean apartment dryers, too — maybe even to a greater degree than a homeowner.

A maintenance employee whose job it is to clean dozens of dryers certainly doesn’t want to clean them manually. LintEater’s drill-driven operation helps to cut that worker’s task down from a day’s work to just a few hours.

4. LintEater is Cheaper than Hiring a Professional Dryer Vent Cleaning Service

Customers don’t want to pay a professional to do a service that they can do themselves. There are companies out there who professionally clean dryer vents, and they charge a premium for their services.

Let’s take a look at The Lint King as an example. They’re a residential dryer vent cleaning company out of Illinois, and they list the average prices for their services as follows:

  • $125 to $135 for a basement laundry room
  • $135 to $145 for a first-floor laundry room
  • $145 to $185 for a second-floor laundry room
  • $185 for roof dryer vents and attic access

Considering it’s good practice to clean your dryer vent at least twice per year, homeowners can easily spend $250 at a minimum for dryer vent cleaning services. A LintEater, on the other hand, costs a one-time payment of $60 at most (for the Pro model), and can be used in perpetuity.

5. The Packaging Helps Sell the Product

Let’s focus specifically on retail for a moment. We understand that retail employees don’t have time to learn the ins and outs of every product. There’s so much to learn about a store’s product offering, and even if a particular employee becomes very knowledgeable about your selection over time, there’s no guarantee that they’ll work in your store forever.

For these reasons and many more, we believe that packaging sells products best. We’ve done this perhaps most creatively through our Good Vibrations product packaging (our line of outdoor power equipment upgrades), but LintEater is no exception.

A four-panel image featuring different angles of the packaging of a LintEater Pro dryer vent cleaning kit

From a cross section of what LintEater looks like in action to some features of the product itself, we include as much information on the box as possible to help consumers understand what LintEater is and how it works. If you put LintEater on your store shelves, its packaging will be your best salesperson.

6. LintEater Doesn’t Take Up Much Shelf Space

We know that retail stores (and warehouses, too) fight to optimize every square inch of shelf space. Planogramming is an art and a science in and of itself, and we try to make it as easy as possible for our sales partners to display our products efficiently and effectively.

A single LintEater Pro dryer vent cleaning kit hanging on 4-feet by 6-feet retail shelving

LintEater’s packaging measures 36 inches tall, 4.5 inches wide, and 3.5 inches deep. Its 3-feet height requires a good bit of vertical space, but its small width and depth means you can pack plenty on your shelves with room to spare.

Should You Stock LintEater?

The challenge of growing your revenue never stops. When it comes to choosing which markets you should buy for, the products to serve those markets, and optimizing the space in your store or warehouse to accommodate those products, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.

Thankfully, LintEater is designed to help take on all those challenges. It’s an easy-to-use product with space-optimized packaging that has a proven sales history and serves a large, ever-growing market need.

If you’re looking to grow revenue in the cleaning and maintenance category of your store or warehouse, LintEater is a good bet. With its cost-saving opportunities for your customers, educational and space-efficient packaging, and relatively low sticker price, we’re confident that it can perform well for you — just as it has for us.

Interested in stocking LintEater? Be sure to get in touch with our sales team. Whether you’re a sole proprietor, a retail chain, or a distributor, they’ll work with you from purchase order to delivery to ensure you have everything you need to be successful.

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A man using a weed eater in a yard with a Good Vibrations Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap installed on the weed eater

Good Vibrations Zero Gravity Weed Eater Strap: An Honest Review

Trimming the edges of your yard is an integral part of any lawn care routine. Your mower does the bulk of the work, but trimming those edges just right is something that only the finesse and precision of a weed eater can handle.

The problem with weed eaters, though, is that they’re a bit awkward to handle. They can be hard to balance, and using one for an extended period of time can result in back and shoulder pain.

At HY-C, we developed a solution to that problem: the Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap from our Good Vibrations outdoor power equipment upgrades product line.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of the Zero Gravity. We’ll explain which makes and models of weed wackers it can attach to, how to attach it, how it can make lawn trimming easier, and even a few caveats to look out for.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll know everything — both good and bad — that you need to know about the Zero Gravity to decide whether or not you should add one to your lawn care tool kit.

Three Pros of the Zero Gravity Weed Eater Strap

1. It Alleviates Back and Shoulder Pain

The bungee system of the Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap connected to a weed eater

Using a weed eater can be awkward. With the motor on one end, the trimmer head and housing on the other, and nothing but a lightweight shaft attaching them, the weight of the equipment is usually distributed unevenly.

This can mean that, especially when used over an extended period, a weed eater can put a lot of strain on your back and shoulder muscles, leaving you in pain after you’re finished trimming.

The Zero Gravity makes trimmers feel 75% lighter. Its bungee system not only helps to stabilize the trimmer for maximum control, but it also absorbs the weight of the equipment, taking the strain off your back and shoulders. Its padded shoulder strap helps to alleviate pressure and pain from the weight of the trimmer, too.

2. It’s Universal

It doesn’t matter if you have a weed eater from Stihl, ECHO, Ryobi, Husqvarna, Milwaukee, or any other manufacturer — the Zero Gravity is designed to fit any make and model of weed eater on the market, past or present.

The Shaft Loop system of the Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap installed on a weed eater

All weed eaters are essentially just a pole with a motor and trigger on one end, and the trimmer head on the other end. The Zero Gravity comes with a clamp (that we call the Shaft Loop) that tightens and loosens with a wingnut.

All you have to do to install the strap is attach the Shaft Loop to your weed eater, tighten the wingnut, and hook the rest of the strap onto your trimmer by way of a carabiner (that’s also included with the kit).

3. It Makes Trimming Easier

The Zero Gravity isn’t just designed to alleviate the physical pain of using your trimmer. When it’s installed correctly, it should help you trim faster and more efficiently, too.

Similarly to a self-propelled lawn mower, with a Zero Gravity, all you should have to do to trim effectively is let your trimmer hang, pull its trigger, and walk the length of your yard’s edge. The trimmer will leave a perfectly-cut edge behind you as you go.

The trick to this is getting the height of your trimmer right. The Zero Gravity uses a backpack-style adjustable strap for tightening and loosening. You should be able to find the perfect height for your trimmer and lawn after a little trial and error.

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Three Cons of the Zero Gravity Weed Eater Strap

1. It Takes Some Getting Used to

The Zero Gravity is a simple item, but using it requires a change in habits and muscle memory. Holding a weed eater is a bit like riding a bike — you never forget how to use it. But to use the Zero Gravity, you have to let the weight of the trimmer hang a bit and let the strap do the work. That can be a challenge.

It’s not uncommon to start using a Zero Gravity strap, only to hoist the trimmer up to where you’re used to holding it. This puts the weight and pressure of the trimmer back on your shoulders and back, eliminating the purpose of the strap altogether.

If you decide to try one, stay cognizant of letting the strap do the work for you. Work on adjusting it to the correct height, and allow it to hang while you trim. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.

2. The Shoulder Strap May Slip

The shoulder strap of the Good Vibrations Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap

The padded shoulder strap of the Zero Gravity is a bit of a blessing and a curse. When used correctly, it’s ultra-comfortable, and it helps to distribute the weight of your weed eater across your shoulders. At its worst, though, the padding will slip, and the smaller, unpadded portion of the strap will dig into your neck and shoulders.

A close-up of the bungee technology of the Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap

This happens because where the adjustable section of the strap meets the bungee-action system, there’s nothing to hold the strap in place. This is what allows the strap to be adjustable in the first place. At the same time, though, it’s also what causes the shoulder padding to slip.

The best way to solve this problem is to take your time, and to get ahead of these slips when you feel them starting. Shrugging your shoulders and maneuvering the padding back into place will help to keep you trimming comfortably.

3. The Shaft Loop Connection Point May Come Loose

The Shaft Loop connection of a Good Vibrations Zero Gravity Weight Absorbing Trimmer Strap

The Shaft Loop is the linchpin of the Zero Gravity strap system. It’s the bridge between your weed eater and the rest of the strap, securing everything tightly in place with its wingnut fastener.

The problem is that, over time, that wingnut can loosen, either through the vibration from your trimmer or from accidental bumps and pushes. If the Shaft Loop connection loosens too much, your entire trimmer can slip, mid-use.

To avoid this, remind yourself to check the tightness of your wingnut before and after using your weed eater. Building this habit may take a bit, but it will ensure your Zero Gravity stays secure and connected to your trimmer every time.

Should You Get a Zero Gravity Weed Eater Strap?

Back pain from your weed eater can often be the most frustrating part of lawn care. The Zero Gravity exists to alleviate this problem, making trimming your yard more comfortable and enjoyable.

But, should you get one for yourself?

If your lawn care doesn’t include much trimming or you don’t even have a weed eater, the answer to that question is pretty simple.

But if you have a string trimmer and it’s been causing you problems, you can’t go wrong with a Zero Gravity. They run about $20 – $30 at retail (depending where you purchase yours), they’re universal, and they’ll help make your weed eater much easier to use.

They take some getting used to, and they can slip if they become loose, but a few preventative measures can help you stay on top of these potential problems. If you’re looking for a better trimming experience, give one a try. They’re a great, useful tool to add to your lawn care toolbox.

A laydown shot of four HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products: the 9" x 9" roof vent guard, foundation vents with InsectArmor, 8" x 16" soffit vents, and Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultiamte in High Profile Z-Mesh

4 New HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Products to Improve Your Wildlife Exclusion Offering

At HY-C, product development never stops. Whether it’s our line of outdoor power equipment upgrades, our wood burning furnaces, or our custom chimney cap offering, we’re always working to develop new ways to help you help your customers.

One of our most recent efforts into new product development includes additions to our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION line of animal exclusion screens and guards. After a few rounds of R&D, we’re excited to announce that we have four new products available:

  • InsectArmor
  • 9” x 9” Roof VentGuard
  • 8” x 16” Soffit VentGuard
  • Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultimate

These products were developed with the help of feedback from wildlife control operators in the field who have been using and installing our existing HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products. We created them for those (and other) wildlife control operators, the retailers who supply wildlife control operators, and distributors who supply those retailers.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at each of the products, why they were developed, and which situations they serve. We’ll also cover key features of each product to help you decide — whether you’re an operator, a retailer, or distributor — if you can use some for your business.


A close-up of a screen with diamond mesh inlaid with stainless steel bug mesh against a white background

What is it?

InsectArmor is a panel of steel mesh (measuring just 1.6 mm) inlaid in the hemmed edges of our foundation vent screens and soffit vent screens.

All of our foundation vent screens and soffit vent screens will be offered in two options: with InsectArmor, and without InsectArmor.

The side of a HY-GUARD EXCLUSION foundation vent screen with InsectArmor showing the foam included on the screen

The screens that come with InsectArmor also include a layer of foam around the edges with a strong, peel-and-stick adhesive. This foam serves two purposes:

  1. It sticks to the installation location, making it easier for operators to install with hardware
  2. It contours to uneven substrates (like brick, stucco, or rough-sawn lumber) to seal insects out along the edges of the screen

Why was it Developed?

When it comes to critters (like raccoons, squirrels, and birds), our foundation vent screens and soffit vent screens work very well. They’re made of steel, and animals can’t bypass them when they’re installed properly.

Where they fall short, though, is excluding insects. Wasps, bees, stink bugs, and more creepy-crawlies are small enough to fit through the ⅜” mesh. The much smaller InsectArmor screens allow for proper venting while keeping even small insects out.

How Should it be Used?

With this addition to our line, homeowners will now have two options when it comes to soffit and foundation vent screens:

  • Screens with InsectArmor
  • Screens without InsectArmor

While the standard screens will keep out wildlife, the screens with InsectArmor go the extra mile to exclude even bugs. As a retailer or wildlife control operator, you’ll be able to offer both versions to your clients to expand your exclusion capacity.

The InsectArmor entails a higher cost for homeowners who are willing to spend a bit more for additional pest protection.

9” x 9” Stainless Steel Roof VentGuard

A straight-on and top-down view of HY-GUARD EXCLUSION'S 9" x 9" Roof VentGuard on a concrete floor

What is it?

The 9” x 9” x 5 ½” Roof VentGuard is the newest addition to our existing line of roof vent guards. Existing roof vent guard dimensions (with ⅝” mesh) include:

  • 7” x 7” x 9”
  • 11” x 11” x 13”
  • 16” x 16” x 4 ½”
  • 16” x 16” x 7”
  • 25” x 25” x 6”
  • 25” x 25” x 12”
  • 30” x 30” x 12”

Made of stainless steel, the 9” x 9” Roof VentGuard utilizes the same ⅝” mesh and pre-drilled flanges. It simply comes in new length, width, and height dimensions.

Why was it Developed?

This new roof vent guard was developed with the help of wildlife control operators out in the field. They had been using our 11” x 11” x 13” roof vent guard to cover through-the-ceiling bathroom vents. Those guards got the job done, but they were far too tall for the bathroom vents, resulting in an awkward appearance.

We found that this situation was reported by several wildlife control operators. They informed us that a slightly smaller guard would alleviate the problem and provide much better aesthetics on their clients’ homes. So, that’s what we developed.

How Should it be Used?

Aside from the specific dimensions of this new guard, its primary purpose is to cover through-the-ceiling bathroom vents. It’s made of steel, and it’s meant to stand up to warm, moist air from bathroom vents without rusting or deteriorating.

8” x 16” Soffit Vent Screens

A white, gray, and black HY-GUARD EXCLUSION 8" x 16" foundation vent guard laying side by side on a concrete floor

What is it?

Our existing line of soffit vent screens…

  • Comes in white, gray, and black
  • Is made of galvanized steel
  • Comes with ⅜” metal mesh
  • Measures 4” x 16”

These new soffit vent screens are identical in material, colors, and mesh size, but they measure 8” x 16” instead of 4” x 16”.

Why was it Developed?

Frankly, these screens were developed due to a blindspot on our part. While contractors do construct some homes with 4” x 16” soffit vents, 8” x 16” is, by far, the most common soffit vent size.

Essentially, we weren’t meeting all of our customers’ needs with our existing line of 4” x 16” soffit vent screens. As soon as operators brought this to our attention, we got to work on developing the 8” x 16”.

How Should it be Used?

To start with, these new screens were made primarily for those who asked us for them. More broadly, they’re for any wildlife control operators who cover soffit vents and are looking to add additional vent sizes to their offering.

Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultimate

A lay-down shot of HY-GUARD EXCLUSION'S Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultimate on a concrete floor

What is it?

We offer four styles of Pest Armor in our existing lineup, all of which are made of galvanized steel:

  • L-Mesh Pest Armor
  • Low Profile Z-Mesh Pest Armor
  • High Profile Z-Mesh Pest Armor
  • Expanded High Profile Z-Mesh Pest Armor

This new Pest Armor is made from stainless steel (instead of galvanized steel) in the High Profile Z-Mesh style.

Why was it Developed?

Our existing Pest Armor styles work well everywhere — except within 25 miles of a saltwater coast. Saltwater and galvanized steel don’t mix well, and we found that, over time, Pest Armor installed in these locations is susceptible to rust and deterioration.

We want operators who buy from us to be able to serve customers in those areas, so we developed Pest Armor in stainless steel.

We’re starting with the High Profile Z-Mesh Pest Armor in stainless steel first, because of the four Pest Armor styles we make, that style is used the most. We’ll monitor demand for stainless steel Pest Armor in the other three styles, and if the demand is there, we’ll be happy to fill it.

How Should it be Used?

Pest Armor is most commonly used to cover gaps in houses where insects tend to get in, like:

  • Rainscreen siding gaps
  • Soffit gaps
  • Skylights
  • Roof offsets
  • Roof deck vents

If you’re an installer who wants to use Pest Armor on your clients’ houses to cover these vulnerable spots, and the homes are within 25 miles of a saltwater coast, Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultimate is the way to go.

Should You Offer These Four Products?

There you have it: a look at four new HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products. Some are new takes on existing products, some offer new materials, and some come in new sizes.

But at this point, you may be wondering: How many (if any) of these should I offer to my customers?

That depends. If you’re a retailer or distributor, it may be wise to include all of these products in your offering, especially if you already carry wildlife exclusion products. These four products were manufactured as a direct result of wildlife control operator feedback, so there’s a definite need for them among your customers.

If you’re a wildlife control operator, deciding which of these new products to offer depends on the scope of your business and the kinds of critters you exclude. If, for instance, you already install foundation and soffit vent screens, you can offer the new styles with InsectArmor as a “higher tier” option that costs more but excludes more, too.

If you’ve run into sizing problems with roof vent guards, the new 9” x 9” x 5 ½” might be just what you’ve been looking for. If your business serves customers within 25 miles of saltwater, the Stainless Steel Pest Armor Ultimate was made just for you.

Whatever the case, if you’re interested in carrying or selling these or any other HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products, be sure to get in touch with a HY-C account manager. They’ll be able to help you determine which products you should offer so you can serve your customers best.

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Good Vibrations Get-A-Grip and Start Me Up pull cords handle next to each other in their packaging agaisnt a white background

Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handles: An Honest Review

Starting a lawn mower (or any pull-start motor, for that matter) can either be really easy, or really hard. Sometimes, you pull the cord and the motor starts right up. Other times, you have to pull and pull tirelessly before the thing finally roars to life.

And the T-handles that come pre-installed on most pull cord-operated mowers don’t help, either. You can only get a good grip on them with two or three fingers. They’re small, tough to grab, and even tougher to use.

At HY-C, we manufacture two lawn mower pull cord replacement handles under our Good Vibrations brand:

  • The Start Me Up
  • The Get-A-Grip

This guide will take you through the functions and features of both pull cord handles. We’ll cover the pros and the cons from installation to price to help you decide if a new lawn mower pull cord from Good Vibrations is the right choice for you.

Three Pros of the Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handles

1. They Offer a Full Grip

A Good Vibrations Start Me Up lawn mower pull cord handle and a stock T-handle with their cords connected by a VS symbol in the middle

The T-handle that your mower comes with will get the job done just fine. We’ve all started a lawn mower, and even those of us with big, clumsy hands can manage to grab the T-handle to start the motor. They’re not ideal, though, and at their worst, they can be downright annoying.

Good Vibrations mower pull cords are designed to accommodate your entire hand — not just two fingers. Both the Start Me Up and the Get-A-Grip offer enough room to get all four fingers through so you can pull start your engine with a full grip.

The Get-A-Grip is a more stripped-down, bare-bones handle. It’s made entirely of plastic. The Start Me Up, on the other hand, is made with rubber padding built into the inside of the handle, providing some additional comfort and a much better grip.

2. They’re Universal

A Good Vibrations Start Me Up pull cord handle and its Dura-Tuff Rope replacement sitting next to each other against a white background

So many lawn mower parts are model-specific. Spark plugs, replacement tires, mower blades — oftentimes, you have to know your mower’s exact make and model to find the right part. Sometimes, that information isn’t even enough, and you’ll even need to know the model year of your mower, too.

The Start Me Up and Get-A-Grip, on the other hand, are universal products. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a Toro mower from 2006 or a brand-new Husqvarna. As long as it has a pull cord on it, you can use a Good Vibrations lawn mower handle.

The secret lies in the included replacement rope. We call these ropes Dura-Tuff Ropes, and they’re 88 inches long — a good length (or longer) for any mower. The best way to find the right length for you is to remove your old rope and cut your Dura-Tuff Rope to match.

3. They Work on More than Just Mowers

Mowers aren’t the only devices that start with a pull cord. Chainsaws, snow blowers, and even ATVs and go-karts often utilize a pull cord to start their motors. If your device comes with a pull cord, you can add a Get-A-Grip or a Start Me Up to make starting the motor easier.

The only caveat to consider is the size of your handle. The Start Me Up is quite a bit bigger than the Get A Grip, and it can look a bit awkward on a smaller device like a chainsaw. It’s mostly an aesthetic issue, though — as long as your motor starts easier, the handle is working how it’s supposed to work.

Two Cons of the Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handles

1. Installation Can be Difficult

Ideally, installing a Start Me Up or a Get-A-Grip should be as simple as slipping your old handle out and sliding the new handle on. You have to be careful not to let go of the handle-less rope so it doesn’t spin back into the pull cord assembly, but other than that, installing a Good Vibrations handle can be a smooth process.

On the other hand, it can also be a difficult process. Depending on your mower and how its pull cord assembly is constructed, you may have to remove the entire system to install a new rope and handle. If this is the case for you, be sure to consult your mower’s instruction manual.

Need help replacing your pull cord? Mark Sodja from demonstrates the process is in this video.

For both handles, you’ll need to slide your Dura-Tuff Rope replacement through and tie a knot on the end to install the handle properly. This is a little easier on the Start Me Up as it features a slit on the side to slide the rope through.

A Good Vibrations Start Me Up and Get-A-Grip pull cord next to each other on a woodgrain surface with their replacement Dura-Tuff ropes installed (but untied)

The Get-A-Grip, on the other hand, requires sliding the rope in from the side and down through the handle, which can prove a little more challenging. Patience is key.

2. They Cost More Than a Standard T-Handle

If the stock T-handle on your lawn mower breaks, you can buy a new one for just $6 to $8. That’s not that much money. It should come as no surprise that both Good Vibrations lawn mower pull cord replacements are a bit more expensive than that:

  • Get-A-Grip costs about $11 at retail
  • Start Me Up costs about $15 at retail

Both handles cost more than a stock mower handle, but not by too much. Obviously, spending preferences differ from person to person, and if you don’t feel like breaking a $20 for a new lawn mower starter handle, we can’t say we blame you.

But other shoppers may believe that for double (or even nearly triple) the price of a stock handle, a Get-A-Grip or Start Me Up is worth the convenience for the extra cost. We’ll leave that determination up to you.

Should You Get a Good Vibrations Lawn Mower Pull Cord Handle?

Perhaps you’ve never had any problems with the T-handle on your mower. Maybe it has mildly annoyed you, but you only have to deal with it for a few seconds, so you don’t think too much about it. Or, maybe you really don’t like your lawn mower starter handle and have been searching for a better way.

Wherever you fall on this spectrum, you now know all about both of the Good Vibrations options that we offer: the “economy model” Get-A-Grip, and the premium, rubber-padded Start Me Up. You know that they’re universal, that they’re a little more costly than a standard handle, and that they work on other machines, too.

So — should you get one for yourself?

A lawn mower replacement handle isn’t a huge, high-pressure purchase. These are checkout items — upgrades that are supposed to add a bit of usefulness to your regular routine. If you don’t feel like spending $10 or $20 on something like that, in truth, you probably don’t need one.

But if you’d like a nice, full-grip handle you can use on your mower that will work season after season and provide a bit more convenience for a price that won’t break the bank, give one a try.

And take a look at the rest of our Good Vibrations product offering while you’re at it. The entire selection consists of outdoor power equipment upgrades just like Get-A-Grip and Start Me Up that will add a bit of efficiency and charm to your lawn care routine.

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A Good Vibrations Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob installed on a forklift steering wheel with a busy factory floor in the background

Good Vibrations Easy Rider Steering Wheel Knob: An Honest Review

A steering wheel knob — also known as a brodie knob — is a nice, convenient attachment for your golf cart, riding mower, tractor, boat, or any vehicle with a steering wheel. They’re designed to assist with one-handed turning, eliminating the need for any hand-over-hand turning motion.

While steering wheel knobs are clever devices, the problem is that they’re pretty simplistic and straightforward. There’s not a lot of room for design innovations, so it can be tough to pick which one you should buy.

At HY-C, we manufacture the Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob under our Good Vibrations product line. And in this guide, we want to help you decide whether or not it’s the right steering wheel knob for you.

We’ll take a look at the pros and cons of the Easy-Rider, from its installation process and cost to its aesthetics. By the time you’re finished here, you’ll have all the info you need to determine whether or not you’d like to get an Easy-Rider for yourself.

Interested in what real customers think? Here’s a review of the Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob from DirtFarmerJay on YouTube.

What Is a Steering Wheel Knob?

A GIF of a Good Vibrations Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob installed on a Toro riding mower with a man using the knob to turn the wheel back and forth

A steering wheel knob is essentially a golf ball-sized knob that rotates on a ball bearing. The device attaches to a steering wheel, allowing you to grab the knob and steer your vehicle with just one hand.

Wheels were harder to turn with two hands (let alone one). Though the advent of power steering has made these useful little knobs a bit redundant, people still appreciate their utility and use them for their convenience.

Are Steering Wheel Knobs Illegal?

No, steering wheel knobs are not illegal. That’s a common misconception. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should install one on your car or truck, especially if you drive a commercial vehicle.

If you’re a truck driver, forklift operator, or you drive any kind of vehicle for your company, be sure to check with your employer to ensure they don’t have any rules against using a steering knob. Also, though no state has any laws against using a brodie knob, it’s a good idea to check your local municipality’s rules and regulations.

Three Pros of the Easy-Rider Steering Wheel Knob

1. It’s Easy to Install

The entirety of the Good Vibrations Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob kit laid out left to right: a cap, an Allen wrench, a socket head bolt, the knob itself, the plastic connector housing, the stainless steel attachment band, and plastic spacer

Most steering wheel knob manufactures will say this. And most of them are probably right, too — these knobs aren’t particularly hard to install. But aside from the included socket head bolt, washer, and Allen wrench, the Easy-Rider does come with a unique feature that helps with its installation.

Most steering knobs come with a thick metal or plastic clamp that hold it onto a steering wheel. The Easy-Rider, though, attaches by way of a thin, pliable stainless steel band that contours to the exact shape of your steering wheel as you tighten it. This helps ensure a secure, exact fit.

2. It Features an Ergonomic Design and a Rubber Grip

A fully assembled Good Vibrations Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob against a red background

A steering wheel knob’s primary purpose is to be able to use it with one hand. The Easy-Rider’s tapered, hourglass-like shape is very conducive to one-handed use. It’s comfortable to hold, and grasping it feels secure.

It also features three separate sections of rubber padding to cover your fingers from all possible angles. This rubber assists not only in making the knob more comfortable to use, but it helps ensure that it won’t slip from your hand while you’re turning.

3. It Offers a Universal Fit

A close-up of the stainless steel band of a Good Vibrations Easy-Rider Tight-Turn Steering Knob with its plastic spacer installed

At its widest, the Easy-Rider’s stainless steel attachment band’s diameter measures about 1.5”. That should be plenty wide enough to fit onto the steering wheels of most semi-trucks, UTVs, boats, tractors, and more common vehicles.

In fact, when it comes to fit, you’re more likely to have a steering wheel that’s too small rather than too big. Because of that, we included a plastic spacer to fill any gaps that may result from a small steering wheel. With this spacer, the Easy-Rider provides a near universal fit.

Three Cons of the Easy-Rider Steering Wheel Knob

1. Its Cost Is on the High End

If you look around for steering wheel knobs, you’ll find some options as low as $7. The Easy-Rider, on the other hand, costs between $20 and $30 (depending on which retailer you buy your from).

While that cost is on par with the high end of the market, as with anything you purchase, the phrase, “You get what you pay for” applies here. The Easy-Rider is a strong, robust, secure knob that includes installation hardware, and those facts dictate its price.

2. Its Attachment Band Can Break (if Installed Improperly)

Some customers have reported that the stainless steel band that secures the Easy-Rider to their steering wheel has snapped upon installation. While these cases are few and far between, they’re not insignificant enough not to mention.

We recommend two remedies to help you avoid this issue. For one, don’t over tighten your Easy-Rider. It needs to be tight enough to ensure a secure fit, but not so tight that there’s undue pressure on the stainless steel band.

In a similar vein, be sure not to use the included spacer unless your steering wheel is too small (to avoid over tightening). In most cases, using the spacer is not necessary. We’d recommend using it only on steering wheels that measure 0.5” in diameter or less.

3. Its Design Lacks Character (Relative to Some Other Steering Wheel Knobs)

Three exotic steering wheel knobs from left to right: a regular knob with a woodgrain finish, a skull knob, and a billiards 8-ball knob

When some folks add a steering wheel knob to their personal vehicle, they’re looking to add a bit of flair. You can find knobs with a woodgrain finish, knobs that look like a billiards 8-ball, and knobs that resemble a skull. There are even steering wheel knobs that resemble a revolver chamber — complete with ammunition.

If you’re looking to add some character to your vehicle with a steering wheel knob, the Easy-Rider is, admittedly, not the way to go.

Good Vibrations products are used primarily by farmers and ranch workers, and they’re designed with utility in mind first and foremost. But what the Easy-Rider lacks in panache, it more than makes up for in sturdiness and dependability.

Should You Get an Easy-Rider Steering Wheel Knob?

We’re over 1,000 words in at this point, and you may not have imagined that there were that many words to say about steering wheel knobs. There’s more to them than first meets the eye, though. From their design and cost to how easy they are to install, steering wheel knobs — like any other product — are a niche all their own.

With all that said, you may be wondering: “Should I get an Easy-Rider for myself?

For starters, it’s good to determine what you’d be using your steering knob for. The Easy-Rider specifically is designed for lawn tractors, riding mowers, UTVs, and boats. If that’s what you plan to use your steering wheel knob on, the Easy-Rider was designed with you in mind.

From there, it becomes a matter of cost vs. dependability. You’ll pay a bit more for an Easy-Rider, but we build them to last. Instead of buying the same $12 knob three times only to have it break, an Easy-Rider is a one-time purchase that should last you a lifetime.

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From left to right: a small, medium, and large Duro-Shield cap made by HY-C against a white background

How Multi-Fit Chimney Caps Can Serve 96% of Your Retail Customers

Chimney flues come in all shapes and sizes. Almost too many, actually — from a 5” x 9” flue to a 30” x 30” flue and everything in between, there are over two dozen sizes of flue pipes in chimneys across America (and that’s not even counting round flues).

If you’re a retailer, it can feel like an impossible task to carry the right chimney caps to serve your customers. You can only guess what cap size they’ll need, and chimney caps are far too bulky to stock all (or even some) of the available sizes on your already-limited retail shelf space.

At HY-C, we’ve been manufacturing chimney caps for over 75 years, and we’re very familiar with this problem. We’ve heard about it from dozens of our sales partners. That’s why we invented the Duro-Shield chimney cap family, a line of just 3 multi-fit chimney caps that cover over 96% of chimney flues.

How can that possibly work? How much shelf space do these caps take up? And why does HY-C still manufacture other caps if these three fit almost every flue? What’s the catch?

In this guide, we’ll answer those questions and more. By the time you’re finished here, you’ll understand the range of chimney flue sizes that exist and how the Duro-Shields were designed to fit them. You’ll also understand how much shelf space Duro-Shields take up (relative to standard chimney caps) and the potential cons of carrying them in your store.

A Quick Guide to Chimney Cap Sizes

A stainless steel HY-C chimney cap installed on a chimney flue against a white background

Chimney caps are designed to cover one of two chimney flue configurations:

  • Single-flue chimneys (with only one flue pipe protruding from the chimney
  • Multi-flue chimneys (with two or more flue pipes protruding from the chimney)

At HY-C, over 96% of the chimney caps we manufacture are single-flue caps. The other 3% are made for multi-flue chimneys. As a retailer, it’s virtually guaranteed that your customers will come into your store shopping for a single-flue chimney cap.

So, with that in mind, what single-flue cap sizes are there?

Well, we make our caps to fit specific flue pipe sizes. Flues are measured by their length and width, and chimney caps are measured similarly. Here’s a list of all the flue sizes we make caps for, and how many of each cap size we make (as a percentage of the total caps we manufacture):

Flue Tile SizesPercentage of TotalFlue Tile SizesPercentage
13″ x 13″31.84%13″ x 17″0.10%
9″ x 9″31.37%5″ x 9″0.10%
9″ x 13″27.21%17″ x 21″0.08%
13″ x 18″5.30%30″ x 30″0.07%
9″ x 18″1.01%17″ x 17″0.06%
18″ x 18″0.71%8″ x 17″0.04%
13″ x 20″0.42%21″ x 21″0.04%
12″ x 16″0.36%9″ x 21″0.04%
12″ x 12″0.30%10″ x 17″0.03%
15″ x 15″0.28%13″ x 21″0.02%
20″ x 20″0.18%8″ x 20″0.02%
11″ x 11″0.17%8″ x 13″> 0.01%
16″ x 16″0.13%24″ x 24″> 0.01%
13″ x 16″0.12%16″ x 20″> 0.01%

As you can tell, some cap sizes are more common than others. For instance, 13” x 13” and 9” x 9” chimney caps combine to account for over 63% of all the caps we manufacture. By contrast, we don’t make many 8” x 13”, 24” x 24”, or 16” x 20” caps.

What’s more interesting to retailers, though, is that of the 28 flue sizes listed in this table, our three Duro-Shield multi-fit caps cover 23 of them.

Duro-Shield Multi-Fit Chimney Caps

All the components of a HY-C Duro-Shield chimney cap, including the hood, the mesh, the attachment braces, and the hardware laid out on a white background

So, how are multi-fit chimney caps so versatile when it comes to size?

Unlike more traditional chimney caps that come with their base, hood, and mesh screens all welded together, Duro-Shield multi-fit caps are packaged knocked-down. They come with a hood, four pieces of metal mesh, four mounting brackets, and hardware, and they need to be assembled by the installer.

While it does require a little more work, the fact that multi-fit caps require assembly is exactly what makes them so versatile: you can assemble yours to fit almost any flue tile size you need.

Our Duro-Shield caps come in three sizes — small, medium, and large — each with a slightly bigger hood and longer mesh screens to fit bigger flues. Here’s that same chart from above, but this time, with the multi-fit chimney cap size applicable to each flue tile size:

Flue TileMulti-Fit Cap SizeFlue TileMulti-Fit Cap Size
13″ x 13″Medium13″ x 17″Medium
9″ x 9″Small5″ x 9″Small
9″ x 13″Small17″ x 21″n/a
13″ x 18″Medium30″ x 30″n/a
9″ x 18″Medium17″ x 17″Large
18″ x 18″Large8″ x 17″Small or Medium
13″ x 20″Large21″ x 21″n/a
12″ x 16″Medium9″ x 21″Medium
12″ x 12″Small or Medium10″ x 17″Medium
15″ x 15″Medium13″ x 21″Large
20″ x 20″n/a8″ x 20″Medium
11″ x 11″Small8″ x 13″Small
16″ x 16″Medium24″ x 24″n/a
13″ x 16″Medium16″ x 20″Large

There’s a multi-fit chimney cap available for 99.63% of the single-flue chimney caps we manufacture. Even with multi-flue caps thrown in, 96.7% of the chimney caps we make can be covered by one of the three multi-fit caps instead.

Shelf Space

Chimney caps take up a lot of space. There’s just no getting around it. They take up space in warehouses, on trucks, and on retail shelves. But they don’t all necessarily take up the same amount of space.

A Duro-Shield chimney cap in its box next to a 9" x 9" Draft King black galvanized chimney cap in its box, both sitting on a carpeted floor against a white wall with a red mop guard

On the left is a Duro-Shield multi-fit chimney cap in its packaging. On the right is a standard 9” x 9” chimney cap in its packaging.

The 9” x 9” cap’s box measures 9” x 15.25” x 15.25”. That’s about 2,100 cubic inches, or 1.20 cubic feet.

The Duro-Shield, while admittedly in a less eye-catching box, measures about 2.25” x 20” x 21”. That’s around 945 cubic inches, or just 0.55 cubic feet.

To put that in perspective, a 4-foot retail shelf can fit about 21 Duro-Shield caps stacked vertically, side to side. The same shelf can accommodate around ten 9” x 9” caps (two stacked rows, each containing 5 caps) — less than half the amount of caps as the Duro-Shield.

What’s the Catch?

At this point, you may be thinking, “So you’re telling me there are three economical, space-saving chimney cap SKUs I can stock that will serve virtually every customer who walks in my store. That sounds too good to be true. What aren’t you telling me?”

And that’s a fair point. After all, multi-fit chimney caps aren’t without their caveats.

First of all, all of these Duro-Shield multi-fit caps are made of aluminum, arguably the weakest chimney cap material. One of the primary duties of a chimney cap is to keep out animals, and most common critters can chew right through the mesh of an aluminum cap. The cap will act as a deterrent, but nuisance wildlife may figure out how to bypass it after a while.

Aluminum caps like these without a tight, tailor-made fit may be more susceptible to falling off due to wind and weather. Don’t get us wrong, they do fit securely. But in a head-to-head battle with a more traditional cap, the multi-fit cap would likely be the first to become dislodged over the course of regular, seasonal use.

A Duro-Shield multi-fit chimney cap installed on a round chimney flue against a white background

It’s also important to note that these caps are only available in one color: untreated aluminum (which appears silver). Traditional caps offer a few more options to fit the aesthetics of your customers’ homes, like black galvanized steel or even copper.

Finally, Duro-Shield multi-fit caps need to be assembled after they’re purchased (while other caps come pre-built). Again, this is what allows them to fit multiple flue tile sizes in the first place, but the assembly may prove difficult for some customers.

Ultimately, these caveats are just that — caveats. Things to be aware of. You know your customers best, and you know what kind of products they prefer. And if they prefer a simple, no-frills, one-size-fits-most solution that’s easy to use, they can’t go wrong with a multi-fit cap.

Should You Stock Multi-Fit Chimney Caps?

Though it may not seem like it at first, the subject of chimney caps is a lofty one. And as a retail buyer, you’re asked to know as much about them as possible so that you can make the right decisions as to what to stock in your store.

So, are multi-fit chimney caps right for you and your business?

If you run a big box retail store and you have the shelf space to dedicate to more robust, traditional chimney caps, that may be the better way to go. They tend to last longer, and customers will appreciate the versatility of your offering.

But if you’re tight on space and you’re looking for a cost-effective solution that works for just about anyone who walks in your store, that’s exactly what multi-fit chimney caps are made for. When every inch of space counts, these caps maximize your dollars per square inch.

To find out how to get multi-fit caps on your store shelves, get in touch with one of our account managers. They’ll work with you from your initial consultation all the way through to placing a purchasing order (and beyond!) to make sure you get exactly what you need on your shelves for your customers.

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A Good Vibrations King Pin Quick-Connect Hitch Pin and a Good Vibrations Auto-Lock Magnetic Hitch Pin in their packaging against a white background

Good Vibrations Hitch Pins: An Honest Review

Buying a tractor or riding mower attachment is a big decision. Dump carts, lawn sweepers, aerators, dethatchers — these are big purchases that can set you back hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. It’s a good idea to ensure you get the best one to get the job done.

What you may think less about, though, is how that equipment attaches to your mower or tractor. Most folks just buy a cotter pin or hairpin and call it a day. But what you may not realize is that there are other, more robust options out there.

At HY-C, we manufacture two hitch pins for tractor and riding mower attachments under our Good Vibrations brand:

  • The King Pin Quick-Connect Hitch Pin
  • The Auto-Lock Magnetic Hitch Pin

In this guide, we’re going to take an in-depth look at each hitch pin. We’ll consider how they’re used, how much they cost, and what they can (and can’t) be used with, especially in comparison to more traditional cotter pins.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll know the ins and outs of each pin, and you’ll be ready to decide whether or not you want to get one for your lawn equipment.

King Pin & Magnetic Hitch Pin: Ease of Use

A Good Vibrations King Pin Quick-Connect Hitch Pin attaching a tractor and a dump cart on a lawn

Cotter pins are an inexpensive way to connect your tractor or mower attachments. They aren’t without their issues, though — we’ve found that customers run into a few problems with cotter pins and hairpins:

  • They’re delicate, so they’re susceptible to breaking
  • They’re made of thin metal, so they’re tough to handle
  • They’re small, so they’re easy to lose

The King Pin and Magnetic Hitch Pin are both ½” hitch pins, so they won’t break under the pressure of the attachment point. They both come with full-sized handles, so they’re easy to grab and use. Their substantial size also means you won’t misplace them as easily as a cotter pin.

Their attachment and detachment methods also require much less dexterity than a traditional pin. The King Pin comes with a spring-loaded, butterfly-style opening that holds the pin in place. Unlocking it is as simple as squeezing the handle, meaning you can unlock and remove it all in one motion.

The Magnetic Hitch Pin is even easier to use. It features a neodymium magnet in the base of the handle with 25 pounds of locking force. It’s strong enough to hold your lawn attachment in place during use, but not so strong that you can’t remove it with a good tug.

King Pin & Magnetic Hitch Pin: Price

A Good Vibrations King Pin Quick-Connect Hitch Pin connecting a dump cart and a tractor against a white background

So, how much do the King Pin and the Magnetic Hitch Pin cost in comparison to a traditional cotter pin or hairpin?

You can buy an assortment of cotter pins for anywhere from $5 to $15. These assortments will contain 30 to 150 pieces in six or seven pin sizes.

A single Good Vibrations King Pin costs around $15 at retail, while the Magnetic Hitch Pin costs closer to $20 (all depending on where you buy yours).

Why the discrepancy?

Buying hairpins or cotter pins is like buying a set of flat washers — they’re a dime a dozen, and there’s really not much to them. They’re mass-produced, and you generally know what you’re getting.

Our Good Vibrations pins, on the other hand, are made with much more intentional designs and features. Between the sturdy, nickel-plated metal, the ergonomic handles, and the magnetic and spring-loaded attachment styles, they’re made with durability and ease of use in mind. Their price is reflective of those features.

King Pin & Magnetic Hitch Pin: Applicable Attachments

A man on a red riding mower reaching down to grab a Good Vibrations Quick-Connect Hitch Pin attached to a dump cart

Good Vibrations hitch pins are designed for towing, but not all kinds of towing. They’re rated for offroad use only, and should not be used for towing on roads or highways.

This limits the kinds of attachments the King Pin and the Magnetic Hitch Pin can be used with. Some of the most common attachments these pins can be used to tow include:

  • Dump carts
  • Lawn mower vacuums
  • Lawn sweepers
  • Pull-behind aerators
  • Pull-behind dethatchers
  • Snowblowers

Since they’re not designed to be used on cars or trucks, there’s also a list of attachments that Good Vibrations hitch pins should not be used with. Some of these attachments include:

  • Trailer hitches
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs)
  • Campers
  • Boats
  • Other vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.)

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Anything else that’s meant primarily for cars, trucks, or boats should not be towed with a Good Vibrations hitch pin.

Should You Get a Good Vibrations Hitch Pin?

Before now, you may not have thought too much about what goes into attaching equipment to your tractor or lawn mower. At this point, though, you should understand that there’s a lot more to the process than a simple cotter pin or hairpin.

So — should you get a Good Vibrations hitch pin?

That depends, really.

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t tow equipment very often with your tractor or mower, you may be able to get by with an old-school cotter pin. After all, they’re tried-and-true, they’re inexpensive, and they’re pretty straightforward to use.

But if you have a dump cart that you use frequently, a snowblower that you tow weekly throughout the winter, or you’re just looking for a more robust, purpose-driven hitch pin that’s intuitively designed and easy to use, you can’t go wrong with a King Pin or Magnetic Hitch Pin.

They allow you to attach easily and get right to work, and they’ll stand up to hard, demanding work season after season.

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A Liberty Foundry Co. smoke guard installed on a fireplace with a fire burning in the firebox

Everything You Need to Know about Fireplace Smoke Guards

There’s nothing quite like the comfy, cozy, warm feeling that a fireplace offers, especially on a dreary fall or winter day. That feeling of content can fade quickly, though, if your fireplace starts belching smoke into your home.

And the blaring smoke alarms will be the least of your worries. Smoke buildup in the home can have ill health effects, leading to coughing, stinging eyes, or even the buildup of dangerous carbon monoxide.

So, how do you avoid smoke backdrafts from your fireplace?

One easy, effective, and inexpensive way is to add a smoke guard to the top of the firebox.

But what are these guards? How do they work? And should you add one to your fireplace? As a smoke guard manufacturer, we know plenty about how smoke guards help to mitigate smoke buildup in your home. And we want to pass what we know along to you.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll understand what a smoke guard is, how it works, and whether or not you should add one to your fireplace.

Why Does a Fireplace Smoke Back into a House?

It can be difficult to pin a smoking fireplace back to one particular factor, because there are several variables that may cause the problem. But we’ll outline a few of the major causes here to give you a better understanding of what may be going on.

Outside and Inside Temperature Differences

Most homeowners light fireplace fires in the fall or winter. And that’s good, because the bigger the difference between the outside temperature and the temperature in your home, the less likely you are to have a backdraft problem.

Warm air rises and displaces cold air along the way. Let’s say it’s 70°F in your home, and 30°F outside. The warm air inside the house travels into the fireplace, and as it rises through your flue, it comes into contact with (and pushes through) colder air from the outside.

This is called a convection current. In the hearth world, we also refer to this process as a draft — the act of a flue drawing air from the firebox and out through the chimney.

If it’s a bit warmer outside (say, 50°F), the draft won’t be quite as strong (i.e., the air won’t circulate through the flue quite as quickly). This smaller temperature differential may be one cause of smoke backing up into your home.

Chimney Height

This factor is one that you can’t necessarily control, but it’s still important: the taller your chimney, the better draft it will create.

Air pressure accounts for this fact. A taller chimney has less air pressure inside because, as air rises, it both speeds up (causing lower pressure) and disperses (causing lower pressure). A shorter chimney with higher air pressure could cause a weaker draft, resulting in smoke backup.

Extending the length of your chimney is (unsurprisingly) an expensive process. But, in some cases, it’s the only way to stop a backdraft from happening.

A Dirty Chimney

A single-flue chimney flue clogged with creosote overlooking a suburban yard littered with leaves

If you don’t follow proper burn practices and use wet, moisture-filled firewood in your fireplace, creosote can build up in the flue pipe. Creosote is a kind of wood tar that results from burning organic compounds. If you burn enough moist wood, it will accumulate in your chimney.

It should come as no surprise that this buildup of creosote can clog your chimney and restrict airflow. The more creosote that collects in your flue, the more likely it is that you’ll experience smoke in your house.

To prevent this problem, hire a chimney sweep, or use a chimney cleaning kit to clean your flue.

Negative Pressure Caused by Other Vents

This is rare, but it’s not unheard of, either, so it’s worth mentioning.

Your house utilizes several vents to push different kinds of exhaust out. Bathroom ceiling vents, dryer vents, foundation vents, soffit vents — circulation in a home is key, and all of these different vents work to push bad air out and keep good air in.

Moving air creates low pressure, though, and if too many of these vents are working too hard all at once, believe it or not, that can have a negative effect on your chimney’s draft. Again, it’s rare, but at least be mindful of how many vents your home has and whether or not they’re all active at once.

The Ratio of Your Firebox Opening to Your Flue Pipe

Picture this: your sink has a clog in it. The water still drains, but not very quickly, and as you wash your hands, the water in the sink starts to pool faster than it drains. When you finally turn the sink off, the water takes 20 or 30 seconds to drain fully.

This is exactly what can happen in a chimney, except the “clog” is the size of your flue, the “sink” is your firebox, and the “water” is the smoke.

When the smoke isn’t allowed to “drain” out of your flue pipe quickly enough, it will accumulate in your firebox (like the water in the sink) and “spill” back out into your house.

This is one of the most common causes of a smoke backdraft, and it’s also one of the few that you can control.

How a Smoke Guard Helps Alleviate Smoke Buildup

A side-by-side comparison of the same fireplace, one without a smoke guard and one with a smoke guard, with blue arrows indicating that more air flows into the fireplace without a smoke guard and that less air flows into the fireplace with a smoke guard

When it comes to your fireplace and your chimney, the size of your flue pipe is pretty much set in stone (or concrete, more literally). As a result, without completely gutting your chimney, you can’t expand the size of your flue.

Among the other factors we covered (like temperature differences, chimney height, etc.), one of the few that you can control is the amount of air flowing into your chimney from inside your home. Too much air entering the chimney too quickly (like water filling the sink) can cause smoke to pour out of the firebox.

Adding a smoke guard to your fireplace reduces the surface area of your firebox opening, mitigating just how much air is flowing into the fireplace. Less air relieves the pressure on the entire system, allowing the flue to draft properly.

Think back to our sink analogy — adding a smoke guard is just like turning the knob on the sink to reduce the flow of water. Once you do, you can continue to wash your hands, and even though you’ll wind up with a bit less water pressure, the water will at least drain properly and won’t pool in the sink.

Should You Install a Smoke Guard on Your Fireplace?

Hopefully you remember at least a little bit of your high school physics, because as you can tell, there are a lot of complicated factors that go into a smoking chimney. Air temperature, air pressure, chimney height, firebox surface area — it can all be a lot to keep straight.

So, to simplify it all: should you add a smoke guard to your fireplace?

Truthfully, that depends on a lot of other factors.

If your flue is too small while your firebox opening is too wide, there may simply be a fundamental flaw with the design of your entire fireplace that can only be fixed by extensive repairs.

If your flue is dirty after heavy use, a good cleaning may solve your backdraft issues without the use of a smoke guard.

But if you’re experiencing smoke issues from your fireplace and you’ve tried and failed to mitigate the problem, a smoke guard could be just what you need. If you’re cautious, it’s also a good preventative measure, designed to keep irritating, dangerous smoke out of your home.

They’re relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and could be just what you need to change an overwhelming, frustrating problem back into a warm, comfortable evening by the fireplace.

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A photograph of every HY-C employee standing on the HY-C factory floor in matching shirts

12 Ways HY-C Can Help You Grow Your Business

It’s important to choose who you do business with carefully. We know that — we’re a business ourselves. You have to be judicious when vetting new partners to ensure both parties get the best out of the relationship.

When we work with other companies, whether they’re sales partners, raw materials providers, or even the caterer for our annual Christmas party, we always ask ourselves, “Which options do we have, and which one should we choose?”

We’d expect nothing less from anybody who’s considering working with us. Whether HY-C is completely new to you or you already know a bit about us, you wouldn’t be doing your job if you weren’t asking, “Why should I partner with HY-C? What’s in it for me?

In this guide, we’re going to attempt to answer that question. And while there’s the obvious potential for an undercurrent of bias in our answer, we’re going to be as objective as possible.

Because we understand that doing business with every single company who contacts us is not (and should not be) our goal; instead, we’re interested in finding who’s a good fit to partner with us.

So, presented here are 12 benefits of being a HY-C sales partner. By the time you’re finished, you’ll understand specifically what HY-C has to offer your business, and, given what you learn, you’ll be ready to get in touch with one of our account managers.

1. We’ve Been in Business for over 75 Years

A black-and-white photo of the HY-C team standing outside their manufacturing facility (circa 1975)

One of the biggest and most understandable concerns about working with a new partner is ensuring they aren’t some fly-by-night group set up in the past six months. And that’s certainly not who we are.

HY-C is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that’s been around since 1947. We’re financially sound, we have a robust network of upstream and downstream business partners, and we employ top talent in our area to help facilitate our operations. Speaking of which…

2. We Have over 100 Employees

Why would a potential sales partner care about how many individuals their prospect employs? Well, that specific number — over 100 — speaks to the scale and speed at which we operate. We consider our business to be in a sort of “Goldilocks zone” — not too big, not too small, but just right.

Working with a very small business may result in your needs not being met in a timely manner or an inability to keep up with your targets and goals.

At the same time, working with a very large business can entail bureaucratic headaches. There may be multiple layers of consideration or approval to work through in order to complete a project or get an order through.

At HY-C, we have the logistical capacity to keep pace with the demands of big-box chains and large, robust distribution partners. But we also have the flexibility to pivot, make changes, accommodate special orders, and develop new products quickly with our partners out in the field — all because we’re just the right size.

3. Our Customer Base is Diverse

We work with companies of all sizes at HY-C. From large, multinational retailers who order thousands of SKUs per month to sole proprietors who carry just a few of our products, our list of sales partners numbers in the hundreds, and no two are quite alike.

All of this is to say that we have the experience to handle your business, too — no matter your size or needs. And we don’t play favorites based on numbers. Whether you order $100 worth of product or $100,000, we’re committed to delivering the same partnership experience for everyone.

4. We Have over 250,000 Square Feet of Manufacturing and Fulfillment Space

Between our office space, our factory, and our two warehouses, our facilities are well-oiled machines that work in conjunction with each other to turn raw materials into merchandise on your store shelves.

Plus, our factory and our offices exist in the same building. This reality facilitates rapid new product development efforts and allows our team to fulfill specialized, custom orders in a timely manner.

5. We Take an Inventory-Heavy Approach to Manufacturing

Our factory is never left waiting on raw materials to manufacture our products. We keep six to nine months of raw materials on hand, allowing us to stay on top of orders and prepare for any uncertainties that may surface.

In other words, you’ll never be left waiting for products. Whatever you need and whenever you need it, we have the means of making it and getting it to you.

6. 85% of Our SKUs are Made in the USA

It’s no secret that Americans prefer products made in America. It’s something that consumers are passionate about. At the same time, we understand that competition and cost factors put pressure on distributors and retailers to carry lower-priced products manufactured overseas.

At HY-C, 85% of our SKUs are manufactured in St. Louis, Missouri. We’ve run cost analyses on some of our products and found that they would actually be more expensive to make overseas (due to shipping costs based on the volume and packaging of our goods).

With the vast majority of our products, you’ll have the opportunity to adorn your shelves with packages marked “MADE IN USA” without having to pay more to do so.

7. We’re Centrally Located in St. Louis, Missouri

Nobody likes waiting for an order. We get it — we’re consumers ourselves. Waiting for a knickknack you ordered online is hard enough, let alone a purchasing order worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Luckily for our sales partners, HY-C is located right in the middle of the country, helping to cut down on shipping times wherever you’re located. Our goal is to ship orders within one to three days, so you can continue to operate your business at your preferred pace.

8. We Maintain a Steady Stream of New Products and Acquisitions

A flowchart detailing the acquisitions and new brands from the HY-C company since 1947

Our partners enjoy a continuous opportunity to diversify their product selection.

While we started as a chimney cap manufacturer in 1947 (and continue in that capacity to this day), in the past 25 years, we’ve added many more products to our portfolio and will continue to do so, both through internal development and acquisitions.

We’re also willing to work directly with our partners to develop and manufacture tailor-made solutions to address their specific problems.

9. We Have No Minimum Order Requirements

This point is most salient to small- and medium-sized businesses. We understand that not every company has the capital to be able to commit to a large order. So we don’t require it. Whether you need two products or 20,000, we’ll work with you to get you what you need.

If you operate a larger business, this affords you the opportunity to take a chance on newer products with a lack of proven sales history behind them. Instead of ordering 2,000 of something, try ordering 20 and putting them in one of your locations to see how they perform.

10. We Offer Drop Shipping

Are you a small company without the logistics to fulfill orders on your end? That doesn’t mean HY-C products are off the table for you. We currently work with quite a few drop ship partners, so we understand the intricacies of the process and we can get you up and running.

This is particularly helpful if you run an ecommerce business. Our suite of digital assets and tools is designed for ease of access and use to get our products selling on your website.

11. We Offer Private Label

Interested in bolstering your product selection but don’t have the time or budget to navigate the development phase? We’ve worked with existing partners to support private label product lines and maintain that know-how to help you, too.

You can lean on our manufacturing expertise to establish your own product line and drive sales in your store, all without the need to take the process overseas.

12. We Offer Live, U.S.-based Customer Service

When you have questions about purchasing orders or when your customers have questions about our products, we’re here to help. Our customer service personnel work out of our St. Louis office from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. central.

They’re intimately familiar with all of our products and are well-equipped to help end users and sales partners alike find exactly what they’re looking for.

Think You’re a Good Fit for HY-C?

By now, you should have a good understanding as to what HY-C has to offer you and your business. We covered a lot, but in summary, we want to make it as easy as possible for our partners to sell our products, no matter their size or how many of our products they carry.

And now that you know a bit about us, it’s time for us to learn a bit about you.

If you’re interested in carrying HY-C products and you think we’d be a good partner for you based on what you read here, get in touch with our sales team.

They’ll work with you to determine the perfect products for your store, the amount of inventory that’s right for you to carry, how much you can expect to spend on a purchasing order, and more logistics.

Just click “Get Started” below and fill out the form on the next page to get started.

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A stainless steel chimney cap installed on a faux chimney against a white background

Do You Need a Chimney Cap?

A wood burning fireplace is a welcome feature for many homeowners. The warmth, the crackle of the fire, the dancing light — it’s an experience like no other.

At the top of that fireplace is a flue — the pipe made from clay tile that leads from the firebox to the top of the chimney, allowing smoke and other gasses to escape your home.

The problem with flue tile is that it’s wide open. It provides a direct line from the outside world to your firebox, an uninterrupted path that’s just begging for damage to be done to it.

And that’s where chimney caps come in.

At HY-C, we’ve been making chimney caps for over 75 years. In this guide, we want to help you determine whether or not you need a chimney cap on your home and, if you do, how to find the right one.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll know whether you need a chimney cap on your flue (or if you need to replace your existing cap). You’ll also know how much a new cap will set you back, how to measure for your next chimney cap, and even how to install one.

What Is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap (also called a chimney cover or a rain cap) is a metal hood that attaches to the top of your chimney flue. Chimney caps are made up of three key components:

  1. The band at the bottom that accommodates bolts to secure the cap in place
  2. The metal mesh that allows smoke and other gasses to escape the flue
  3. The hood on the top of the cap that covers the open flue

Chimney caps come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and they’re made from a variety of materials based on your needs and budget.

What Does a Chimney Cap Do?

Chimney caps serve two main functions:

  1. Keeping weather out of your chimney
  2. Keeping wildlife out of your chimney

Chimney Caps and Weather

HY-C founder Al Hisey sitting on a multi-flue chimney cap mock-up with a bucket between the flue tiles all in a backyard

One of our earliest slogans at the HY-C company was, “An open chimney is like an open bucket.” As rain falls over an open chimney flue, it pools in the firebox. This can cause mold and mildew buildup in the fireplace, or rainwater to flow from the firebox into the rest of your home.

During cold months, precipitation will cling to the walls of the flue or chimney brick and freeze. Frozen water expands, causing cracks in the walls of the flue. These cracks are dangerous, as they don’t allow flue gasses to vent properly.

Simply put, a chimney cap helps to solve all these issues.

Chimney Caps and Wildlife

An old HY-C chimney guard with cartoon animal cutouts of a squirrel holding a sign that says "Locked out - violation of right - denied re-entry" and birds holding a sign that says "Unfair - organized home builders of America"

An open chimney isn’t just a target for weather. Curious critters of all kinds will come across an uncovered flue, viewing it as a perfect place to set up their newest home.

That’s how “chimney swifts” got their name. These birds have the unique ability of taking off vertically. As a result, chimneys are perfect homes for them. They can come and go easily, all while enjoying complete protection from the outside world.

Raccoons are another common chimney invader. They’re one of the few nuisance wildlife animals that are able to scale slippery chimney flue tile without issue. They’ve been known to make nests on a chimney’s smoke shelf, even having and raising entire litters inside chimneys.

The best way to prevent these wildlife invasions is to cut them off at the source with a chimney cap.

How Much Does a Chimney Cap Cost?

The cost of a chimney cap varies based on its size and material. A basic, bare-bones cap will cost between $50 and $150. The bigger the cap, the more expensive it will be (because it uses more material than a smaller cap). But your choice of material can increase the price.

Chimney caps are typically made of one of three types of metal:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Copper

Galvanized steel is the most economical chimney cap material.

A stainless steel chimney cap, on the other hand, offers a bit more in terms of durability and corrosion resistance (though they are more expensive as a result).

Finally, copper chimney caps are by far the most expensive. They offer comparable protection to their steel counterparts. But, as copper is a premium material, copper caps demand a premium price tag.

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What Size Chimney Caps Are There?

There are quite literally dozens of chimney cap sizes available, and we cover them in-depth in our chimney cap size guide. And while there are too many sizes to list here, we can cover a few of the most common sizes.

Chimney caps fall into one of two categories:

  • Single-flue chimney caps
  • Multi-flue chimney caps

Multi-flue chimney caps vary widely in size, while single-flue caps are a bit more straightforward. Here’s a look at the five most common single-flue chimney cap sizes we sell at HY-C:

  • 13” x 13”
  • 9” x 9”
  • 9” x 13”
  • 13” x 18”
  • 9” x 19”

Between round chimney caps, square caps, rectangular caps, and multi-flue caps, there’s so much more to explore on the topic of chimney cap sizes. We’d encourage you to check our chimney cap size guide for more information.

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How Do You Install a Chimney Cap?

Half the battle of installing a chimney cap is finding the right size. After you’ve done that, the installation is pretty self-explanatory. The mesh of the chimney cap hangs over the band, allowing you to set the cap right on the flue tile.

A close-up of the corner of a stainless steel bolt-on chimney cap being installed on a chimney flue tile

From there, the rest is easy. Just tighten the bolts on all four corners of the chimney cap onto the flue tile. Make sure the bolts aren’t so tight that they’ll crack the flue, but not so loose that a medium-strength wind could sweep the cap right off your chimney.

While simple bolts are the most common chimney cap installation method, there are, admittedly, several ways to install a chimney cap based on how the cap itself is built. Our chimney cap installation guide covers seven different installation methods and should help cover your bases.

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Do You Need a Chimney Cap?

There’s much more to the world of chimney caps than you may have imagined. From cost and materials to sizes and installation methods, these seemingly straightforward covers have more to offer than first meets the eye.

But back to the original question: Do you need a chimney cap?

A better way to think about that question is like this: Do you need to use an umbrella when it rains?

Of course, the answer is “no” — you can survive the rain just fine without an umbrella. But would it be much more comfortable, easy, and convenient to use an umbrella? Absolutely.

The same goes for chimney caps.

They aren’t necessary. You’re not required to have or use one. But installing one will make your life so much easier. It will keep weather and wildlife out of your home while allowing smoke and flue gasses to escape your fireplace properly.

For a simple investment of just $50 to $150, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs or pest control bills down the road.

So take a look at your flue pipe this evening and, if it’s uncovered, consider adding a chimney cap to it. You’ll thank yourself next time it rains, or when the raccoons come knocking.

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