Metal Chimney Caps: 4 Common Materials (and how to Choose One)

A freshly finished galvanized steel chimney cap sitting on the end of a roll belt in an industrial factory

Metal Chimney Caps: 4 Common Materials (and how to Choose One)

When you’re looking for a chimney cap, there are so many factors to consider, including which size you may need, the width of the cap’s mesh, and how to install the cap itself. But one of the most fundamental questions when browsing metal chimney caps is simply, “Which metal should I get?

It’s easy to assume all metals are created equally, but they aren’t. From their animal exclusion capabilities to their cost, chimney cap metal types have different strengths (and weaknesses) to offer depending on what you need your cap to do.

At HY-C, we make our chimney caps from four distinct types of metal:

  1. Aluminum
  2. Galvanized steel
  3. Stainless steel
  4. Copper

In this guide, we’re going to compare and contrast each of these types of chimney cap metal. There’s no best, one-size-fits-all solution — the goal is to help you understand the pros and cons of each metal to help you find the best fit for you and your home.

Aluminum Chimney Caps

An aluminum band-around-brick chimney cap installed on a masonry flue against a white background


Of the four metals we make our chimney caps from, aluminum is the softest. It does an excellent job keeping out rain, sleet, and snow out of your firebox, but it can potentially be vulnerable to critters who may want to get down your chimney.

Aluminum is so soft that many animals (like squirrels and raccoons) can chew straight through it. It’s for that reason that our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION line of animal exclusion products is made mostly of steel (both galvanized and stainless).


Aluminum is perhaps one of the most versatile chimney cap materials in terms of size. We manufacture our band-around-brick chimney cap and our multi-fit chimney cap in aluminum, and both styles are designed to fit a wide range of flue sizes. We even make a number of custom chimney caps in aluminum due to its pliability and versatility.


Aluminum chimney caps are some of the most economical chimney caps we manufacture. Depending on what size chimney cap you need, you can expect to pay between $90 and $200 for an aluminum cap (and more for a custom cap).

Black Galvanized Steel Chimney Caps

A square, single-flue, back galvanized chimney cap against a white background


Black galvanized steel chimney caps are manufactured from untreated galvanneal. We add a black powder coat of paint during the manufacturing process to improve the aesthetics of the cap.

In most cases, black galvanized steel is able to offer comparable protection to stainless steel. Where it falls short, though, is in saltwater environments. If you live within 25 miles of an ocean or saltwater lake, the environment will accelerate the corrosion of your black galvanized steel chimney cap.


Because of its cost effectiveness, black galvanized steel is our best-selling chimney cap material by far. For this reason, we make it in dozens of stock sizes. From a 7.5” x 7.5” single-flue cap to a 22.5” x 69.25” multi-flue cap and everything in between, we’re virtually guaranteed to make a black galvanized chimney cap in a size you can use.

Even if we don’t, we manufacture custom Big Top chimney caps in black galvanized steel in sizes up to 40” x 96”.


Because of their many available sizes, black galvanized chimney caps carry a wide price range. From small single-flue caps to large multi-flue caps, they’ll generally set you back anywhere between $50 and $325.

The vast majority of customers, though, will likely end up paying somewhere between $50 and $100 — the price range for our most commonly-sold sizes.

Stainless Steel Chimney Caps

A square, single-flue, stainless steel chimney cap against a white background


When it comes to protecting your chimney masonry, flue, and crown, it doesn’t get any better than a stainless steel chimney cap. Not only will stainless steel stand up to invasion attempts by birds, raccoons, squirrels, and more common wildlife, but it can also handle the harsh, corrosive saltwater environments that black galvanized steel can’t.

It’s not uncommon for stainless steel chimney caps to last on chimney flues and crowns for decades at a time. If it’s protection you want, stainless steel is your best choice.


Like black galvanized chimney caps, stainless steel caps are manufactured in a wide range of stock varieties to accommodate several chimney flues and crowns. Single-flue stainless steel caps can fit flues between 7.5” x 7.5” and 20.25” x 20.25”, and multi-flue stainless steel caps can fit chimney crowns from 16” x 16” all the way to 22.5” x 69.25”.

For any crowns outside of those ranges, we make three types of custom stainless steel chimney caps:

  • Stainless steel Band-Around Brick caps
  • Stainless steel Skirt-Type caps
  • Stainless steel Big Top caps


Similarly to black galvanized chimney caps, the wide size range of stainless steel chimney caps results in a wide price range, too. All sizes included, a stainless steel HY-C chimney cap can cost anywhere from $80 to $500.

The size range of our most commonly-sold sizes, though, is between $80 and $200.

Copper Chimney Caps

A square, single-flue copper chimney cap against a white background


Like aluminum, copper is a relatively soft metal. A copper chimney cap can handily provide the weather protection your chimney system needs, but like aluminum, it may fall short in the wildlife exclusion department.

Copper is harder than aluminum, and it may pose a bit more of a challenge to critters who may try to get past it. But if wildlife exclusion is your primary priority when perusing chimney caps, galvanized or stainless steel are better options than copper.


There are a few less stock copper chimney cap sizes available than galvanized or stainless steel sizes. For instance, our standard, single-flue stainless steel chimney cap is available in 11 sizes. The same style in copper is only available in 7 sizes.

This is primarily because homeowners don’t buy nearly as many copper chimney caps as steel chimney caps, largely due to the high cost copper entails.


Copper is very, very expensive, and copper chimney caps are no exception. From our smallest copper chimney cap to our largest sizes, prices range between $375 and $1,200. Custom copper caps potentially demand even higher price points, too.

Which Chimney Cap Metal Should You Get?

Getting the perfect chimney cap for your home entails choices at every turn, and selecting the right metal is no exception. Thankfully, there are only four types to choose from, and it can be pretty easy to eliminate options from that already-limited list.

Choosing a copper chimney cap requires a large financial commitment, so only pick copper if you have the cash to spare.

Aluminum caps are best if you’re a contractor or installer who serves several homes, because aluminum caps can fit multiple flue sizes for multiple customers.

Most homeowners will end up with a steel chimney cap. Galvanized is the more popular of the two due to its cost-effectiveness. If you’re willing to pay a little more for a bit of extra protection (or saltwater corrosion resistance), stainless steel is your best bet.

Whatever material you decide on, the next step is making sure your cap fits well. Our chimney cap size guide has everything you need to know to make sure you find the right chimney cap for the dimensions of your chimney flue or crown.

What size chimney cap do you need CTA
A drawing of the SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit being used to clean out a pellet stove pipe

Gardus SootEater Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit: An Honest Review

Regular maintenance and cleaning are integral to keeping a pellet stove performing at its best. It can be hard to find the right pellet stove cleaning kit, though. In an e-commerce world, there are lots of choices out there, and even with customer reviews, finding the right one can be overwhelming.

At HY-C, we manufacture the SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit under our Gardus brand name. And in this guide, we’re going to take an in-depth look at SootEater for pellet stoves.

We’ll cover what’s included in the kit, as well as some pros and cons to keep in mind before you buy. By the time you’re finished here, you’ll have all the information you need to decide whether or not a SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit is a good choice for your heating appliance.

What Is the SootEater Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit?

Similar to our SootEater for masonry chimneys, the pellet stove iteration of SootEater is a rotary cleaning tool. It attaches to a cordless drill and utilizes its spinning force to remove soot and ash from the interior of your stove pipe, keeping your stove safe and efficient.

SootEater for pellet stoves comes with 8 mm nylon extension rods that screw together to reach up through the length of your stove pipe. After attaching one of the brush heads, just power up your drill, and the spinning force will knock soot down into your firebox.

What’s Included in the SootEater Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit?

The contents of the SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit against a white background

SootEater for pellet stoves comes with a few tools to make stove cleaning easy, including:

  • 3 flexible three-foot extension rods
  • A brush head with a 3-inch diameter
  • A brush head with a 4-inch diameter
  • A long-handle stove cleaning brush
  • A rod separator tool

Be sure to note that the kit does not include a drill. If your stove pipe is longer than nine feet, additional extension rods are sold separately. Replacement brush heads are also available.

Three Pros of the SootEater Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit

1. It Helps Save Money

Maintenance is expensive. Car maintenance, HVAC maintenance, plumbing, electrical work — it can all add up pretty quickly. Chimney cleaning is just another cost that’s ready to burn a hole in your wallet season after season.

With SootEater, though, you won’t have to worry about hiring a chimney sweep. A SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit costs around just $40 at retail, and you can use it indefinitely. You’ll have to buy replacement brush heads every once in a while, but they’re only about $9 — much less than paying hundreds for a chimney sweep.

2. It Includes Two Brush Head Sizes

A three-inch and four-inch SootEater pellet stove cleaning brush head side by side against a white background

Not all pellet stove pipes are created equally. And while their sizes do tend to be less varied than chimney flue sizes, there are still a few different pipe diameters out there. As a result, it can be tough to find the right tool to clean your stove pipe.

Luckily, SootEater for pellet stoves comes with two different brush head sizes: one with a 3-inch diameter, and one with a 4-inch diameter. Most pellet stove pipes are either three or four inches wide, so the SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit is nearly universally applicable to all pellet stove pipe installations.

3. It Includes a Pellet Stove Cleaning Brush

The SootEater pellet stove kit's long-handle cleaning brush against a white background

Your stove pipe isn’t the only thing that gets dirty when you burn pellet fuel. Ash and soot tend to get everywhere, and the door to your stove and the stove’s firebox are no exception. Thankfully, the SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit includes a long-handle pellet stove cleaning brush to clean your whole stove.

The brush is bent in the middle at a slight angle, allowing you to scrub hard-to-reach spots inside your pellet stove. The end opposite the brush head contains a scraper, too, should you come across any stubborn debris stuck inside the stove.

Three Cons of the SootEater Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit

1. It Connects Via Threaded Rods

A close-up of a male end of a SootEater pellet stove cleaning kit rod plugging into the female end of another SootEater pellet stove kit rod

We make a few different rotary cleaning tools that connect via nylon or polypropylene rods, and they utilize one of two connection styles: button-linking or threaded rods. The button linking method allows for the most secure connection, allowing you to run your drill in either direction for precise, thorough cleaning.

SootEater for pellet stoves utilizes threaded rods instead of button-linking connections. This connection style works fine, but it’s not uncommon for the rods to come unscrewed as you run your drill. You can avoid this by screwing them together extra-tight, or running your drill on low to medium power.

2. It Has Limited Reach

SootEater for chimneys has an 18-foot reach. SootEater for chimney liners extends 24 feet (and even up to 33 feet in our European version). In the SootEater product family, the pellet stove version is dead-last in reach at just nine feet — half of the chimney cleaning version.

This isn’t a huge deal, as pellet stove pipes tend to be much shorter than chimney flues and liners. And, if you need some additional length, we do offer a 6-foot extension kit to offer 15 feet of total reach. Just be aware that the extra rods will run you about $18 to $25.

3. It Requires a Drill

The thing that makes SootEater work so well may also be its biggest con for some. If you don’t have a drill, SootEater probably won’t work very well for cleaning your pellet stove.

If you don’t have a drill and you still want to use a SootEater, the good news is that you don’t need an expensive drill for the kit to work well. We’ve tested all of our rotary cleaning tools on drills of varying qualities, and they work virtually the same with any drill. A $25 – $30 drill will run SootEater just fine — and it’s still cheaper than a chimney sweep.

Should You Get a SootEater Pellet Stove Cleaning Kit?

It’s important to keep your pellet stove as clean as possible as often as possible. That’s why choosing the right pellet stove cleaning kit is so important.

So — is SootEater for pellet stoves the right one for you?

That depends. If you don’t own a drill, that may disqualify you out of the gate.

If your stove pipe is longer than nine feet, you’ll need to buy the extension kit (and if it’s longer than 15 feet, you’ll need to buy multiple extension kits).

But if you have a drill and your pipe is the right length and width, SootEater may be exactly what you need. It will allow you to clean your own stove pipe without the need for a chimney sweep season after season to maintain a safe, efficient, high-performing stove.

The 5 Best Heating Wood Pellet Fuels CTA
A pair of hands holding a handful of wood heating pellets against a white background

The 5 Best Heating Wood Pellet Fuels in 2024

Wood burning is a complicated science. Finding the right pellet fire pit or pellet stove is hard enough. But even if you end up with the perfect heater for your living situation, the next thing to consider is the type of wood pellets you should use in your appliance.

There are so many questions to address: should you use softwood or hardwood pellets? Should you buy a 20-pound or 40-pound bag, or should you buy a pallet’s worth? What’s the difference between cooking pellets and heating pellets, anyway?

At HY-C, we manufacture wood heating pellets under our Flame Genie brand, so we know the ins and outs of choosing the right pellet fuel. And that’s exactly what we want to help you with here.

This guide will outline five of the top pellet fuels on the market today. We’ll compare and contrast each fuel by price, weight, wood type, and BTU output. By the time you’re finished here, you’ll have all the info you need to pick the right pellet fuel for your heating appliance.

Wood Pellets for Cooking vs. Wood Pellets for Heating

A pellet smoker on the right and a burning Flame Genie smokeless fireplace on the left with a "vs." symbol in the middle, all against a white background

Before diving into the list, let’s make a quick distinction. There are two kinds of wood pellets: those used for cooking, and those used for heating.

Cooking wood pellets are used in pellet grills, pellet smokers, wood pellet pizza ovens, and other cooking-specific appliances. These pellets can contain several flavors like apple, hickory, maple, and more to add some seasoning to the food they’re used to cook.

Heating pellets, on the other hand, are like firewood: their only purpose is to be used for heating. They’re used in pellet stoves, pellet fire pits, and pellet furnaces to warm you up when it’s cold out. This guide will specifically cover heating pellets (in no particular order).

5 Best Heating Pellet Fuels

Lignetics Golden Fire Heating Pellets

A bag of Lignetics Golden Fire Heating Pellets against a white background
  • Price: $7.49 – $8.99
  • Wood Type: 100% softwood (douglas fir)
  • BTUs: 8,700
  • Bag Weight: 40 pounds

Lignetics is the largest wood pellet manufacturer in the United States. They know pellets well — in fact, they manufacture heating pellets, cooking pellets, and wood pellets used for animal bedding. It’s no surprise that they’re featured on this list, as their Golden Fire Heating Pellets are well-regarded by wood burning enthusiasts.

These pellets are made of 100% softwood, meaning they tend to cost a bit less than their hardwood counterparts. They also light more easily than hardwood. Golden Fire pellets are made of douglas fir wood, a very common tree in Lignetic’s native Colorado.

Greene Team Platinum Hardwood Pellets

A bag of Greene Team Platinum Hardwood Pellets against a white background
  • Price: $8.28 – $10.60
  • Wood Type: 100% hardwood
  • BTUs: 8,100
  • Bag Weight: 40 pounds

Greene Team is another U.S. wood pellet manufacturer. Located in Southwestern Pennsylvania, their offering includes a few different wood pellet varieties. But it’s their Platinum Hardwood Pellets that make our list.

These 100% hardwood pellets burn for an extended period, offering plenty of heat. They contain less than 8% moisture content, meaning they’ll put off little to no smoke. They’re relatively ash-free, too — Greene Team mentions that the Platinum Hardwood Pellet’s inorganic ash contents are 1% or less.

Flame Genie Premium Hardwood Pellets

A bag of Flame Genie Premium Hardwood Pellets against a white background
  • Price: $8.99 – $9.99
  • Wood Type: 90% hardwood (oak) 10% softwood (Southern pine)
  • BTUs: 8,000
  • Bag Weight: 20 pounds

Next on the list are our very own Flame Genie Premium Hardwood Pellets. They are designed and intended to be used on our Flame Genie smokeless fire pits, but they’ll work well in pellet stoves and other pellet fire pits, too. They’re sold in 20-pound bags, and they’re available in palleted quantities of 15 bags, 50 bags, and 100 bags.

The Premium Hardwood Pellets are made of a unique blend of 90% hardwood and 10% softwood. The oak / pine mix and low moisture content result in pellets that are easy to light and provide a long, warm burn with minimal ash left behind. They’re also made in the USA.

Solo Stove Premium Wood Fuel Pellets

A bag of Solo Stove Premium Wood Fuel Pellets against a white background
  • Price: $15.99
  • Wood Type: 100% hardwood
  • BTUs: 8,100 – 8,300
  • Bag Weight: 20 pounds

Solo Stove is the world’s premier smokeless fire pit manufacturer. Smokeless fire pits work best when they use low-moisture pellet fuel, so it’s no surprise that Solo Stove produces their own pellets for use in their fire pits.

The Premium Wood Fuel Pellets are made in the USA from locally-sourced wood. They claim a very respectable 8,100 to 8,300 BTUs, resulting in plenty of heat when burned in a smokeless fire pit. They’re made from hardwood, which means they’ll burn longer than softwood pellets like the Lignetics Golden Fire. They’re a little pricey at $15.99 for a 20-pound bag, but they’re also very well-reviewed.

Lignetics Green Supreme Wood Pellets

A bag of Lignetics Green Supreme Wood Pellets against a white background
  • Price: $7.98 – $9.99
  • Wood Type: 90% hardwood / 10% softwood
  • BTUs: 8,800
  • Bag Weight: 40 pounds

We started with some Lignetics pellets, and we’ll end with some, too. The Green Supreme Heating Pellets claim the highest heating output of any wood heating pellets on this list with 8,800 BTUs. Like Solo Stove’s pellets, they’re made in the USA out of materials sourced from local sawmills.

Like the Flame Genie Premium Pellets, they’re made from a 90% hardwood / 10% softwood blend to capitalize on the best properties of both kinds of woods. For a 40-pound bag of wood pellets for under $10, you can’t go wrong.

Which Wood Heating Pellets Should You Get?

When shopping around for the best wood pellets to burn in your stove or fire pit, the best thing you can do is begin to narrow down your options. That’s what we’ve tried to do here — weed out the endless options to provide a list of comprehensive choices.

But which one should you buy?

Thankfully, wood heating pellets are relatively inexpensive, especially in comparison to the heating appliances in which they burn. Now that you understand some of the best options available to you, our advice is to try out a few and see how you like them.

Maybe you’ll prefer 100% hardwood pellets like those from Greene Team and Solo Stove. Or, maybe you’ll like a hardwood / softwood blend like the Flame Genie or Green Supreme pellets. Try out a few different varieties, test out their heating capabilities and ash output in your wood heater, and then stick with the one you like best.

Are you looking for a pellet fire pit to burn your pellets in? Our Flame Genie vs. Solo Stove comparison takes a look at two of the most popular smokeless fire pit brands on the market, pitting them head to head to help you find which one is best for you.

Flame Genie vs. Solo Stove CTA
Thumbnail images of various dryer vent covers against a white background

5 Best Outside Dryer Vent Covers in 2024

A dryer vent cover is very unassuming. It’s for that reason that they’re also tough to shop for. It’s easy to wonder, “What are these for, anyway? Do I need one on my home? What sizes and materials do they come in? Which one should I get?”

Like every other purchase, it’s important not just to buy a dryer vent cover based on one factor (like price or aesthetics). Instead, it’s vital to have the whole picture and know exactly what you need before running into your local Lowes, Home Depot, Menards, or Ace Hardware.

To help narrow down your choices, in this guide, we’re going to take a look at 5 of the best dryer vent covers on the market today. We’ll compare and contrast their closure styles, their cost, their materials, and their design to help you find the right outdoor dryer vent cover for your home.

What is a Dryer Vent Cover?

A broken plastic dryer vent cover with a bird's nest in the vent hose

Before diving straight into the list, it’s a good idea to establish just what a dryer vent cover is for and how they work.

Most homes and apartments in the U.S. have a clothes dryer in them. As the dryer runs and the tumbler spins, hot air cycles through it to help dry your clothes. The hot air in the dryer gets vented out the back of the machine, through a dryer vent hose, and out of your home.

The problem, though, is that the point at which the dryer vent exits the house leaves a hole in the wall that’s perfect for wildlife to get into. It’s not uncommon to find bird’s nests and other animal debris in a dryer vent opening.

Dryer vent covers are designed to keep mice, birds, and other curious critters out of your dryer vent (and, by extension, your entire house) while still allowing the dryer to vent properly. The design, function, and cost of these covers can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, as you’ll soon see.

The 5 Best Dryer Vent Covers

Each dryer vent cover on this list has its pros and cons. No one cover is the perfect, catch-all solution for every home — that’s why we’re listing them in no particular order.

Be sure to read the list thoroughly and consider the design, price, materials, and functionality of each cover to find the right one to fit your dryer vent.

Deflecto Supurr-Vent® Louvered Hood

A brown Deflecto Supurr-Vent® dryer vent cover against a white background

Dryer vents with louvered hoods are very common, and Deflecto’s Supurr-Vent® is one of the most reliable on the market. Its brown color matches the aesthetics of many homes very well.

The one-way louvers are closed by default, held in place simply by gravity. As the dryer runs, the rushing air pushes the louvers open, allowing the air to escape. This clever design allows proper dryer venting while preventing animals from getting in when the dryer is off.

Even still, the Supurr-Vent® is made of plastic, and plastic louvered vents are still vulnerable to animals. Squirrels, mice, and rats can chew through plastic pretty easily. The louvers may act as a deterrent, but determined critters can bypass and remove them pretty easily.

Despite all that, a Deflecto Supurr-Vent® will set you back about $8 or less — a price that’s pretty hard to beat.

Dundas Jafine ProMax™ Exhaust Hood

A black Dundas Jafine ProMax™ dryer vent cover against a white background

Hood-style exhaust vents are difficult for most animals to infiltrate by design. Squirrels, mice, rats, and other four-legged critters have a lot of trouble climbing up and through the 90-degree bend of these covers. Birds have less trouble, but Dundas Jafine solves this issue by adding a slide-out mesh screen to their ProMax™ dryer vent cover.

This slide-out screen makes it easy to clean the dryer vent as well — an important feature for a dryer vent cover to have.

Dundas Jafine points out that their ProMax™ styles are paintable, which is about as good as a dryer vent cover can get in the aesthetics department. They are made of plastic, though, and as a result, they’re still vulnerable to animal infiltration.

A Dundas Jafine ProMax™ Exhaust Hood dryer vent cover costs about $14 at retail, — a very reasonable price point.

HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Universal VentGuard™

A white HY-GUARD EXCLUSION Universal VentGuard™ on a white background

The Universal VentGuard™ by HY-GUARD EXCLUSION is a HY-C product. And even though we manufacture this dryer vent cover, we’re going to cover it fairly and objectively on this list.

One of its biggest pros is that it’s made of solid steel. While plastic can potentially be bypassed by critters, steel is a fortress. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rats, mice — animals won’t be able to get past a Universal VentGuard, no matter how hard they try.

It also features 6 keyhole-style attachment points (3 on each side of the guard) that slide on and off of anchored screws very easily. In other words, it’s easy to remove from the home so you can clean out your dryer vent.

This may also be a con, though — if the guard accidentally falls off for any reason, your dryer vent will be completely vulnerable. A clever critter may figure out how to pull it off, too. Both of these scenarios are unlikely, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Finally, A Universal VentGuard will cost you between $35 and $45 at retail. It offers the highest level of protection, but you’ll have to pay quite a bit more than you would for a plastic dryer vent cover.

Lambro 4 Inch Exhaust Wall Dryer Vent with Floating Damper

A white Lambro 4 Inch dryer vent cover with a floating damper on a white background

While it doesn’t have the catchiest name, this dryer vent cover from Lambro is certainly clever and creative. It takes the tried-and-true hood-style vent cover design, flips it 180 degrees, and adds a louver-like damper to keep out the critters.

The louver-style damper can be pulled up for easy dryer vent cleaning, and it stays firmly closed when the dryer is inactive. It’s designed to mount over 4-inch dryer vent openings, too — one of the most common dryer vent opening sizes.

If your home’s aesthetics are important to you, the Lambro is a great choice. For one, it’s paintable, so you can make it any color you want. If you stick with the stock white, though, it also features a UV-inhibiting additive right in the plastic to prevent sunlight-induced color fading. Not many dryer vent covers have that kind of attention to detail.

The drawback is its price. It retails for around $30 — that’s pretty expensive for a plastic dryer vent cover. Still, its unique design and standout features make it a great choice for any home.

Chim Cap Corp Forever® Copper Dryer Vent Cover

Chim Cap Corp Forever® copper dryer vent cover against a white background

Rounding out our list is perhaps one of the most unique dryer vent covers out there: the Forever® Copper Dryer Vent Cover from Chim Cap Corp. It’s flashy, it’s functional, and its 4-inch diameter will fit most dryer vent openings you’ll come across.

Like the Universal VentGuard, it’s made from metal, so it offers much better critter protection than a plastic cover does. It’s removable, too, for easy dryer vent cleaning. Chim Cap Corp also offers a lifetime warranty with each Forever® Copper Dryer Vent Cover.

What are the drawbacks, then? Well, because each one is made to order, these covers are non-refundable. Also, if you know anything about copper chimney caps, you’ll know that copper is expensive. A Forever® Copper Dryer Vent Cover will set you back a jaw-dropping $149.95.

Which Dryer Vent Cover Should You Get?

You may not have realized that there was this much to choosing a dryer vent cover. Between hood-style covers, louvered covers, and material choices like plastic, steel, or copper, there’s so much to consider.

At this point, though, you should have a good sense for the common features and functions of a dryer vent cover.

But the question remains: which one should you get?

That answer depends on your budget, your home, its aesthetics, and how much critter protection you’re after.

If you want a cover that looks great, the Lambro cover or the Chim Cap Corp cover may be your best option. If you’re looking for something cost-effective, Deflecto or Dundas Jafine are the way to go. If you want maximum critter protection, HY-GUARD EXCLUSION might be right for you.

To find the right dryer vent cover, it’s important to consider what you want yours to do, how you want it to look, and how much you’re willing to spend. Once you’ve established the answers to those questions, you’ll be ready to pull the trigger on a vent cover that will keep your vent protected and animal-free.

The Top 3 Dryer Vent Cleaning Kits Compared CTA
A drawing of a white house with a brown roof and a green yard showing the various spots on the home where HY-C products are installed

What’s Included in the HY-C Product Family?

HY-C started as a chimney cap manufacturer in 1947. And while we’ve continued producing chimney caps for over 75 years, our business has expanded quite a bit in that time. Since 1999, we’ve started or acquired many new brands and dipped our toes into an array of new product categories.

One of the first questions we get from retailers and distributors when exploring new sales partnerships is, “What kinds of products do you have to offer?” And that’s exactly the question we’re going to answer here.

In this guide, we’ll lay out all the product categories we serve. And while we won’t include every single product we make (because that list stretches into the hundreds for the chimney cap category alone), by the time you’re finished here, you’ll understand what products HY-C has to offer, and how those products can augment your business’s selection.

Chimney Caps

Various chimney caps of different sizes, shapes, and metal types on a white background

As we mentioned, we’ve been making chimney caps for over three quarters of a century. They’re what we know best. HY-C offers the widest selection of chimney caps of any manufacturer in America, and in partnering with HY-C, you’ll be able to offer them to your customers.

We make chimney caps from galvanized steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper for single-flue and multi-flue chimneys. And even if one of our dozens of stock chimney caps doesn’t fit your customer’s home, HY-C manufactures custom chimney caps, too.

Wood Burning Furnaces

A Fire Chief FC1000E wood burning furnace and a Shelter SF1000E wood burning furnace next to each other against a white background

Over a decade ago, HY-C acquired Fire Chief, an industry leader in wood burning central heating furnaces. After integrating Fire Chief into HY-C, we worked to create additional furnaces under our Shelter brand name as well.

While HY-C furnace models have come and gone over the years due to EPA regulations, we currently offer:

  • The Fire Chief FC1000E wood burning furnace
  • The Shelter SF1000E wood burning furnace

Many of the original Fire Chief staff are still with us today, and they continue to work within the EPA’s regulations to develop new indoor and outdoor furnaces.

Fireplace Grates

Six Liberty Foundry Co. fireplace grates of different styles and sizes lined up with each other on a white background

Through the years, our hearth product offering has grown quite a bit. As we developed more and more chimney caps and furnaces, eventually, it made sense to start making fireplace grates, too.

Manufactured under our Liberty Foundry Co. brand name, most of our fireplace grates are cast iron (with the exception of our Steel Bar Grate Series).

Currently, we make five lines of fireplace grates:

  • The Franklin G Series
  • The G500 Sampson Series
  • The G800 Series
  • The G1000 Series
  • The GT SAF-T-GRATE Series
  • The Steel Bar Grate Series

Available in several sizes and with a variety of features from line to line, these grates fit just about any size of wood burning fireplace and hold up season after season.

Log Racks

From left to right: a crescent-shaped log rack, a regular log rack, and a log rack with a cover, all loaded with firewood

As we developed more and more wood burning-related products, we thought it would be helpful for our partners to manufacture wood storage solutions as well. So we began making log racks under our Shelter brand, and we offer them in a couple different styles:

  • Our standard log rack (in small, medium, extra-large, and extra-large tall)
  • A crescent-shaped log rack (available in two sizes)

We also offer an adjustable log rack, a log rack extension kit, a DIY log rack bracket kit, and a log caddy for easily transporting split firewood. We create covers that fit all of our standard log racks, too, to keep firewood dry and well-seasoned.

Stove Boards

A gray, woodgrain, and black stove board stacked and staggered on a white background

Many heating appliances (especially pellet and wood stoves) require ember and thermal protection against the heat they radiate. Yet many of these appliances are installed within close proximity to combustible materials (i.e., drywall or wood floors).

The solution? Stove boards — a mineral fiber board wrapped in steel that provides the thermal and ember protection that pellet stoves and wood stoves require. We offer stove boards in a variety of sizes and colorways to accommodate the aesthetics and logistics of most wood burning appliance installations.

Smokeless Fire Pits

Two stainless steel Flame Genie smokeless fire pits and two black Flame Genie smokeless fire pits against a white background

In 2014, we expanded further into the wood burning and hearth products space by acquiring Flame Genie, a fire pit manufacturer. These smokeless fire pits work by combining low-moisture pellet fuel and a bottom-to-top airflow design to create a truly smoke-free wood burning experience.

We manufacture two models of smokeless fire pits: the original 16” Flame Genie and the 19” Flame Genie Inferno. Both models are available either in unpainted stainless steel or galvanized steel with a black powder coat finish.

Heat Reclaimers

The 6-inch and 8-inch models of the Magic Heat heat reclaimers next to each other against a white background

In 2014, in addition to Flame Genie, we also acquired Magic Heat — a line of wood stove heat reclaimers. The inner workings of a heat reclaimer are complex, but in short, the device is installed on the chimney pipe of a pellet stove or wood stove. As heat travels up the flue, a fan on the back of the heat reclaimer blows that heat back into the room, increasing the overall heat output of the stove.

Our current selection of Magic Heat heat reclaimers are compatible with wood or coal burning appliances only (but are not compatible with gas heaters). We manufacture two models — one to fit 6” stove pipes, and one to fit 8” stove pipes.

Fireplace Accessories

The stainless steel and black family of Liberty Foundry Co. fireplace firebacks, as well as the three sizes of Liberty Foundry Co. smoke guards, all against a white background

Rounding out our collection of hearth products is our group of fireplace accessories: fireplace firebacks and our fireplace smoke guards.

Firebacks are used in a fireplace to reflect additional heat back into the room, increasing the heat output of the fireplace. Made from either stainless steel or galvanized steel, the fireback sits in the back of the firebox and can be angled on its stand to reflect heat optimally.

Smoke guards are installed on the top and front of a fireplace. Their purpose is to prevent smoke from exiting the firebox and pouring back into your home. They do so by decreasing the surface area of your fireplace opening, thereby improving the draw of your flue, keeping smoke moving up the chimney.

Wildlife Exclusion

Various HY-GUARD EXCLUSION vent covers, screens, and guards laying down next to each other against a white background

In 2018, we introduced our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION brand to serve the wildlife exclusion market. Living spaces across the country have vulnerable spots on them (like dryer vent openings, chimneys, foundation vents, and soffit vents) where animals of all sizes can get in. HY-GUARD’s wildlife exclusion devices cover these openings to keep critters out.

Our exclusion product category is complex, because every product is developed both for the size and habits of certain critters. But the line can essentially be narrowed down into two product types: exclusion screens and exclusion guards.

Screens are installed over flat openings like soffit vents and foundation vents. Guards are designed to cover protrusions like dryer vents and roof vents. We also manufacture Pest Armor — a style of screen made with tighter metal mesh designed to keep insects out.

Rotary Cleaning

Clockwise: the contents of the LintEater dryer vent cleaning kit, the SootEater chimney cleaning kit, the GutterSweep gutters cleaning kit, and the SpinAway rotary cleaning tool

Over the past few years, we’ve developed a few drill-powered cleaning implements. These rotary cleaning tools utilize the torque of a drill to clean faster, better, and more efficiently.

We currently make four rotary cleaning tools, all designed for unique purposes:

All of these products exist under our Gardus brand name and come with additional bells and whistles to make their respective cleaning jobs simpler.

Outdoor Power Equipment Upgrades

The entirety of the Good Vibrations product lineup in packaging against a white background

Finally, in 2023, we acquired Good Vibrations — a line of outdoor power equipment upgrades. These devices are used on lawn tractors, riding mowers, weed eaters, and other lawn care tools to make mowing easier and more efficient.

Consisting of hitches, hitch pins, mower starter handles, and much more, Good Vibrations is our biggest departure from our traditional fall and winter product lines into something designed especially for spring and summer.

Our Good Vibrations product guide takes a closer look at each product in the line to give you a sense of what they are and how they work.

How Do You Start Selling HY-C Products?

And that’s it — the entire HY-C product catalog from top to bottom. Whether you’re a distributor or a retail buyer, there’s a good chance that your business is a great fit for at least some of the products we manufacture.

But how do you start stocking and selling HY-C products?

It all starts with becoming a HY-C sales partner. After a simple, straightforward onboarding process, you’ll have access to the entire scope of our product catalog. Whether you’re a small company or a multinational retailer, you’ll be able to stock products that will help to increase your average ticket price, facilitate incremental sales, and grow your company’s revenue.

If you need any help through the sales partner onboarding process or you have questions about finding the right products for your business, one of our account managers will be happy to help. Their mission is to ensure you have all the tools you need to transport, display, and sell HY-C products as effectively as possible, no matter how your business operates.

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The HY-C company logo made from metal and painted red, mounted on a wall with overhead lighting hitting it

How to Become a HY-C Sales Partner

At HY-C, we’ve been fortunate to cultivate a robust, diverse network of sales partners over the years. Our selection of chimney caps, hearth products, rotary cleaning tools, and outdoor power equipment upgrades touch quite a few different industries, so we’ve had the privilege of working with all kinds of businesses.

From small-town farm and home retailers to multinational chains, HY-C works with many types of companies. Because of that, we’ve learned how to accommodate a diverse range of business needs, no matter your company’s size or the industry you work in.

If you want to join that network and sell HY-C products, it can be tough to know where to start. What information do you need to provide? How do you provide it? What does the beginning of a sales relationship with HY-C look like?

In this guide, we’re going to explain exactly how to become a HY-C sales partner. We’ll cover all the information we need from you to get started, how to apply for credit, and what to do if your business is sales tax exempt.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll have everything you need to kickstart the process of becoming a HY-C sales partner.

The HY-C Sales Partner Application

A HY-C customer application resting on a wooden desk with a pen sitting on the application

The piece that drives the entire process of becoming a sales partner is the HY-C sales partner application. In this form, you’ll provide important information that will make it easier for us to do business together.

To make the process easy and efficient, we categorize our partners into one of four groups:

  1. Not requesting a line of credit and not exempt from sales taxes
  2. Requesting a line of credit and not exempt from sales taxes
  3. Requesting a line of credit and exempt from sales taxes
  4. Not requesting a line of credit and exempt from sales taxes

The amount of information you provide in the sales partner application depends on which category you fall into. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the application section by section.

Section 1: General Information

A red rectangle with white text on it that reads, "Section 1: General Information"


To start, we’ll ask for some basic information about your company, including:

  • A company phone number
  • A company email address
  • A company fax number
  • Your website
  • Any company social media accounts

We’ll also ask for some location information, such as:

  • The company address
  • City
  • State
  • Postal code

The application will also ask for the shipping address of your company. This address is important, as it determines where we’ll send your purchasing orders.

Business Information

In the general information section, we’ll also ask for the date your business started and the number of employees your business has.

We’ll ask you to provide your business’s SIC code — a four-digit U.S. government code used to classify businesses by which type of industry they’re in.

The form also asks for a DUNS number — a number issued by a company called Dun & Bradstreet that’s used to establish the creditworthiness of a company.

There are also spots for you to indicate:

  • Which type of business you are (i.e., individual, partnership, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, etc.)
  • Whether or not you are part of a buying group (and if so, which group)
  • Whether or not your company is sales tax exempt

Company Contact Information

This section asks for names, email addresses, and phone numbers (with extensions, if applicable) for key company contacts, including:

  • Accounts payable
  • Sales
  • Purchasing
  • Marketing
  • Order confirmations
  • Invoices
  • Shipping notices

Finally, the general information section ends by asking if your business is a warehouse account, whether or not your business is a drop ship account, and if you would like to allow backorders.

Section 2: Line of Credit Request

A red rectangle with white text reading, "Section 2: Line of Credit Request"

If your company is not requesting a line of credit from HY-C, you can check the “No” box and skip this section of the application entirely.

If you are requesting a line of credit, though, you’ll need to indicate your requested credit limit on the application. We’ll also require a bank reference and a reference from up to three other suppliers with whom you currently do business.

The references you supply should meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been doing business with your reference within the past 3 years
  • Your lines of credit established with your references should be similar to the dollar amount of credit you request from HY-C

Be sure that you do not submit references who you don’t want HY-C to contact. Also, accurate information will expedite the application process, so double-check your references’ contact information before submitting your application.

Section 3: Principals/Officers Responsible for Commercial Transactions

A red rectangle with white text reading, "Principals/Officers Responsible for Commercial Transactions"

This section is relatively simple: we’ll ask for some basic information about the owners or shareholders of your company. They’ll be asked to provide:

  • Their name and title
  • Their address, city, state, and postal code
  • Their percentage of ownership in the company
  • A signature and date

The application provides space for information from three company principals. If your company has more than three principals, be sure to duplicate this page of the application to supply additional information.

Section 4: Sales Tax

A red rectangle with white text reading, "Section 4: Sales Tax Exempt Status"

Finally, we’ll ask for your sales tax exemption information. If your company is not sales tax exempt, simply check the “not sales tax exempt” box and skip this part of the form.

If your company is sales tax exempt, you’ll need to provide your sales tax exemption form (also known as a resale certification). You can send this information by mail or electronically.

HY-C uses CertExpress from Avalara to collect digital exemption certificates from applicants. The sales partner application provides a link to the CertExpress tool where you can securely submit exemption certificates to HY-C.

The final page of the application contains a section for you to authorize the release of your bank information for the purpose of a credit check. You’ll need to provide:

  • The name of your credit institution
  • Your company’s bank account number
  • A signature
  • Your printed name
  • The date

How do New Sales Partners Start Purchasing HY-C Products?

After your application is submitted, we’ll verify your sales tax exempt status and run a credit check, both of which don’t take more than a few business days (or less). After everything is confirmed, you’ll be officially onboarded as a HY-C sales partner!

But now that you’ve been onboarded, how do you start ordering products?

As a new sales partner, you can send orders to your account representative through email, or you can fax orders to us. But the vast majority of our sales partners utilize some kind of EDI (electronic data interchange) software to place their purchase orders.

And whichever EDI system your company utilizes, our sales force and IT team are more than happy to work with you to integrate our systems to facilitate a seamless, efficient ordering pipeline. Get in touch with a HY-C account manager to get started today!

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A stainless steel custom chimney cap being created on the production line of the HY-C factory

Everything You Need to become a Custom Chimney Cap Distributor

Chimneys and chimney flues come in all shapes and sizes. If you sell chimney caps, your single-flue selection is simple: just four chimney cap sizes — 9 inches by 9 inches, 9 inches by 13 inches, 13 inches by 13 inches, and 13 inches by 18 inches — cover about 95% of your customers.

Multi-flue caps are much more complicated, though. At HY-C, we make a sizable stock selection of multi-flue chimney caps, but unfortunately, it’s still much more difficult to cover everyone.

This is because single-flue caps are installed directly on a chimney flue, and flues come in a few standard, predictable sizes. Multi-flue cap sizes, however, depend either on the dimensions of a chimney’s crown or the chimney brick itself, which vary wildly.

Still, if your customers need a multi-flue chimney cap outside of the standard dimensions, you need to be able to serve them. And that’s where custom chimney caps come in.

In this guide, we’re going to outline everything you need to know about becoming a custom chimney cap distributor with HY-C. From the types of custom caps available to actually getting the caps made and shipped, by the time you’re finished here, you’ll have all the information you need to start providing custom chimney caps to your customers.

HY-C’s Custom Chimney Cap Selection

Before diving into the logistics of the custom chimney cap ordering process, let’s outline the styles of custom chimney caps HY-C has to offer. We make three different kinds of custom chimney caps:

  1. Custom Band-Around-Brick chimney caps
  2. Custom Big Top chimney caps
  3. Custom Skirt-Type chimney caps
Thumbnails of a HY-C Custom Band-Around-Brick, Big Top, and Skirt-Type chimney cap all next to each other on a white background

Custom Band-Around-Brick caps are available in:

  • Aluminum (with a maximum base size of 60 inches by 96 inches)
  • Stainless steel (with a maximum base size of 48 inches by 96 inches)

Custom Skirt-Type caps are available in:

  • Aluminum (with a maximum base size of 60 inches by 96 inches)
  • Stainless steel (with a maximum base size of 48 inches by 96 inches)
  • Copper (with a maximum base size of 38 inches by 88 inches)

Custom Big Top caps are available in:

  • Galvanized steel (with a maximum base size of 40 inches by 96 inches)
  • Stainless steel (with a maximum base size of 40 inches by 88 inches)
  • Copper (with a maximum base size of 38 inches by 88 inches)

The HY-C Custom Chimney Cap Ordering Process

Now that you know what kinds of custom chimney caps we make and the sizes and material options we offer, it’s time to place an order. If you don’t already do business with us, the first thing you’ll need to do is become an official HY-C sales partner.

For existing HY-C sales partners, the custom chimney cap ordering process basically works like this:

  • Your customer places a custom cap order through you
  • You send the custom cap order to us
  • We make the custom cap and send it to you
  • You send the cap to your customer

While that’s the basic structure, the ordering pipeline is admittedly more nuanced than that at every step. So, let’s lay out the entire custom chimney cap ordering process from start to finish.

1. A Customer Expresses a Need for a Custom Chimney Cap

Whether it’s a homeowner, a roofing professional, or a chimney sweep, the custom chimney cap process always starts the same way: someone discovers that they need a chimney cap in a non-standard size.

They may reach out directly to you as a custom HY-C chimney cap distributor, or they may reach out to us (in which case, we’ll refer them to the closest distributor to their area).

2. The Customer (or You) Fills out the Custom Chimney Cap Order Form

The next thing we’ll need is for either you or your customer to fill out the HY-C custom chimney cap order form. This form has all the information we need to build the right chimney cap for your customer, including:

  • The style of cap they want (Band-Around Brick, Skirt-Type, or Big Top)
  • The length and width of their chimney
  • The height of their flue tile (from the top row of chimney brick)
  • The metal type (aluminum, stainless steel, copper, or galvanized steel, as applicable)

After the form is filled out, it can be sent back to us by email (at [email protected]) or by fax (314-241-2277). Be sure to include your name and phone number on the form.

3. We Calculate the Price of the Chimney Cap Based on the Information in the Order Form

The price of a chimney cap varies based on 3 factors:

  • The style of cap
  • The type of metal
  • The dimensions of the cap

We’ve developed a complex custom chimney cap pricing calculator based on all the possible combinations of metal types, styles, and dimensions available. Obviously, because of the “custom” nature of custom chimney caps, prices vary greatly from cap to cap.

Very generally, though, here’s a range of prices based on the custom cap’s material, dimensions, and style:

  • Aluminum custom chimney cap MSRP range: $185 to $1,700
  • Galvanized steel custom chimney cap MSRP range: $230 to $1,250
  • Stainless steel custom chimney cap MSRP range: $320 to $2,400
  • Copper custom chimney cap MSRP range: $500 to $3,200

As you can see, these price ranges are very wide depending on your customer’s needs. Note also that the prices shown here are MSRP prices — that is, the price a homeowner or end user will pay for a finished cap.

4. You Place the Custom Chimney Cap Order

After we’ve determined the actual dimensions of the cap and its price, the next step is simple: you (as the distributor) will place an order for the cap on behalf of your customer.

After you do, we’ll create a manufacturing order on our end (based on the order you submit) that will be sent to our custom chimney caps department in our factory.

Because each custom chimney cap is unique, unfortunately, we’re unable to accept refunds on them after an order is placed. For this reason, it’s pivotal to triple-check the custom cap order form before sending it in.

5. HY-C Makes the Custom Chimney Cap

A HY-C employee measuring the dimensions of a custom chimney cap being fabricated

After the logistics and the paperwork are all sorted out, the process of actually making the cap begins. The employees in our custom caps department have been making custom chimney caps for years, and they’re well-equipped to make anything your customer needs.

When your order finally reaches our custom caps department, maximum lead times are generally around 7 business days. Caps are often finished sooner than that, and they rarely take longer to make than that 7-business-day window.

6. We Ship the Cap to You (or Your Customer)

When the custom cap is finished, the only thing left to do is ship it out. Shipping is handled in one of two ways:

  1. We can ship the cap to you (and you can then ship it to your customer)
  2. We can drop ship the cap directly to your customer

We can accommodate either method, and we leave the decision up to you. Whatever you decide, though, note that we’ll invoice you for the cost of manufacturing the cap. From there, you can charge your customer for the finished chimney cap.

Note also that finished caps are shipped unassembled. They’ll need to be put together by the installer.

How Do You Start Offering Custom Chimney Caps to Your Customers?

By now, you should have a good sense of the entire custom chimney cap process from start to finish. But how do you start actually selling custom chimney caps to your customer base of roofers, chimney sweeps, or contractors?

Well, if you’re not a HY-C sales partner yet, you need to become one. We set up new customers all the time, and if you’d like to become a sales partner, we’ll be happy to facilitate that process.

If you are a current HY-C sales partner, you can start ordering custom chimney caps from us at any time. Be sure to let your customers know that you’re an authorized dealer and utilize the custom chimney cap order form to order what they need.

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A split image of two halves of two different stainless steel chimney caps separated by a thin black line. One cap has 3/4" mesh, and the other has 5/8" mesh.

A Comprehensive Guide to Chimney Cap Mesh Sizes

A chimney cap’s job is a balancing act. If a cap provides too much coverage, it will restrict airflow in your fireplace and cause a downdraft, resulting in smoke in your home. If a cap provides too little coverage, unwelcome rain and critters could get past it and into your fireplace.

The key to maintaining this balance is through the chimney cap’s metal mesh. Chimney cap mesh sizes are intentional and carefully measured. They allow chimneys to draft properly while sealing out pests and precipitation alike.

At HY-C, we make chimney caps with ¾” mesh and ⅝” mesh. So, why are there two sizes available? Is one size better than the other? And in which cases should you use which size?

In this guide, we’ll answer those questions and more. By the time you’re finished here, you’ll understand the differences between chimney caps with ¾” mesh and ⅝” mesh. You’ll also know which sizes to use in which scenarios, and, most importantly, which size to use on your home.

Chimney Cap Mesh: Spark Arrestor

A masonry chimney emitting sparks and fire against the backdrop of a blue sky

Ideally, fire and sparks should never come out of your chimney. Embers escaping from a flue tile is a sure sign of a chimney full of debris or creosote. Chimney fires are dangerous, and you should have a chimney sweep out once or twice a year to make sure your chimney is clean.

Many homeowners with wood burning fireplaces don’t keep up with regular chimney maintenance, though. As a result, chimneys throughout the country carry the potential to omit sparks when the fireplace is in use.

In wetter, humid environments, this isn’t as big of a problem. In dry environments, however, a single floating ember or spark from a wood burning chimney could lead to a house fire or even statewide forest fire.

An image demonstrating the size difference between 3/4" and 5/8" chimney cap mesh

Since most locations in the United States aren’t dry and arid, chimney caps with ¾” mesh are the industry standard. This mesh is tight enough to prevent many critters from getting into a chimney yet open enough to facilitate a proper draft.

Some states with dryer climates, though — particularly California and Oregon — require a tighter, ⅝” chimney cap mesh by law. ⅝ of an inch is about as tight as chimney cap mesh can get while still allowing for a good draft. At the same time, the tighter mesh provides more surface area, preventing sparks and embers from escaping, floating down, and causing a wildfire.

Chimney Cap Mesh: Height

An image with a marker indicating the 7-inch height of a stainless steel chimney cap

In general, chimney caps are essentially made from three components:

  1. The metal base (or band)
  2. The mesh sides
  3. The hood

Chimney caps (particularly the hood) need to be high up enough above a flue tile to allow air to draft properly inside a chimney. If the hood is too low, a proper draft will be prohibited, causing smoke and other gasses in the chimney to back up and pour from the firebox out into your home. Best practice is to allow for around 6 inches between the top of the flue and the hood of the cap.

Homeowners and installers don’t have to worry about mesh heights with single-flue chimney caps, because the mesh bends inward at a 90-degree angle inside the cap, resting directly on top of the flue tile. In other words, the hood of the cap will be the same distance from the top of any flue it’s installed on.

A blown-up image of a chimney cap installed on a flue showing where the cap's inner mesh touches the flue tile
Bent chimney cap mesh resting on top of a chimney’s flue tile

Multi-flue chimney caps are a little more complicated. They aren’t installed directly on top of a chimney’s flue tile. Instead, they’re installed on the chimney’s crown — the concrete portion from which the flue tile protrudes.

An image demonstrating the height differences between a multi-flue chimney cap with 8-inch mesh, a multi-flue chimney cap with 10-inch mesh, and a multi-flue chimney cap with 14-inch mesh

Because of this, you have to be cognizant of the flue tile’s height when choosing your multi-flue chimney cap’s mesh to allow for the recommended six inches of space between the top of the flue tile and the chimney cap’s hood.

For example, if a flue tile sticks out only two inches from the chimney crown, a cap with an eight-inch mesh height will leave six inches of space. If the tile sticks out eight inches from the crown, you’ll need a multi-flue cap with a fourteen-inch mesh height to provide six inches of space.

Chimney Cap Mesh: Animal Exclusion

If you’re at all familiar with the concept of animal exclusion, you know that mesh size is vital to wildlife control operators. When installing a soffit vent cover or a foundation vent cover, the mesh on the screen needs to be tight enough to exclude certain critters, but open enough to allow proper ventilation.

A 9" x 9" stainless steel chimney cap with 3/4" mesh besides a 9" x 9" stainless steel chimney cap with 5/8" mesh
A 9” x 9” chimney cap with ¾” mesh (left) and a 9” x 9” chimney cap with ⅝” mesh (right)

When it comes to chimney cap mesh, the truth is that size doesn’t make much of a difference for excluding wildlife from a chimney. There’s only a 0.125” difference between ¾” and ⅝” mesh, and the standard ¾” mesh is already small enough to keep out chimney-dwelling critters like raccoons and chimney swifts.

Still, you never know what curious critters may get up to, and there may be some cases where that extra ⅛ of an inch may be the difference between keeping a small bird out and winding up with a nest in your chimney. If you want to err on the side of caution, ⅝” mesh is the way to go.

Which Size Chimney Cap Mesh Should You Get?

There’s a lot to consider when buying a chimney cap. Material and dimensions tend to be the first aspects people consider, but mesh size shouldn’t be overlooked. And by now, you know all the ins and outs of ¾” and ⅝” chimney cap mesh.

But which size should you buy for your chimney cap?

In most cases, the standard ¾” mesh is your best bet. It’s open enough to facilitate a good draft, but it’s also tight enough to keep out wildlife and effectively arrest sparks.

If the law in your area requires it, though, a cap with ⅝” mesh may be your only choice. Even if they’re not required by law, these smaller-meshed caps are great spark arrestors and have a slight edge in the animal exclusion department. Just be sure your chimney still drafts properly if you opt for ⅝” mesh.

After mesh size, the next thing to consider is the size of your chimney cap itself. Which sizes are available, and which one will fit your chimney? Our chimney cap size guide covers everything you need to know to find the right size and ensure a perfect fit on your crown or flue.

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Various HY-GUARD EXCLUSION products arranged with each other against a white background

5 Reasons Pest Control Operators Should Offer Wildlife Exclusion

The pest control and wildlife control worlds are typically treated as separate entities. Pest control operators use specialized, industry-specific knowledge in their jobs, and they usually feel that an outsider — like a wildlife control operator — can’t just step in and start performing pest control operations with no training. Wildlife control operators tend to feel the same way.

While this is generally true, and both groups tend to stick to their own specialty, there is a specific category of wildlife control — wildlife exclusion — that provides a great opportunity for pest control operators to dip their toes into the wildlife world.

At HY-C, we manufacture several wildlife exclusion devices under our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION brand name, and we firmly believe that wildlife exclusion is a perfect addition to any pest control operator’s toolbelt.

So, in the interest of helping those in the pest control world round out their integrated pest management skills, in this guide, we’re going to make the case as to why pest control operators should add wildlife exclusion to their offering.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll understand what wildlife exclusion is, how it can benefit pest control operators, and whether or not you should start offering wildlife exclusion solutions to your customers.

What is Wildlife Exclusion?

Pest control and wildlife exclusion aren’t that different from one another. But while pest control operators tend to think of wildlife exclusion simply as the removal of rats and mice from homes, there’s a bit more to it than that.

Rather than baiting, trapping, and releasing critters who have already gained access to a home, wildlife exclusion deals with preventing animals from getting into a home in the first place.

Wildlife control operators install exclusion screens and guards on vulnerable openings on houses (usually vents) to stop critters from gaining access to chimneys, attics, foundations, or soffits.

5 Reasons Why Pest Control Operators Should Consider Wildlife Exclusion

As a pest management professional, you may never have considered adding wildlife exclusion to your toolkit. Whether you’ve been in your job for decades or months, you may feel unprepared to step into the world of wildlife control.

Wildlife exclusion may not require as many hurdles as you might expect, though. In fact, we’re come up with 5 reasons as to why wildlife exclusion may just be the perfect addition to your pest management business.

1. You Have Prerequisite Wildlife Exclusion Skills That Most People Don’t

We’ve already covered why only professionals should install wildlife exclusion products. Some of the main reasons for this are:

  1. Working from heights (like roofs) is dangerous
  2. Wildlife laws vary widely
  3. Understanding animal behavior requires training

The good news for you as a pest management professional, though, is that you don’t need to worry about these limitations. You likely have experience working on roofs, you probably already understand local critter and pest behaviors, and you’re no doubt familiar with your local wildlife laws.

You also understand the spots where pests tend to enter homes and how to get them out. And even if you are lacking in one of these areas, your training as a pest control operator will make it easy for you to catch on to these wildlife exclusion prerequisites.

In short, it’s much easier for you to jump into wildlife exclusion than anybody else. You may not realize it, but you already have many of the required skills.

2. There’s an Increasing Intolerance for Pests in Homes

A mouse peeking out from a gap in hardwood floorboards

It’s tough to show any data on this, but if you’ve been in the pest or wildlife control industries for a while, this is a fact that you can kind of just “feel”.

20 years ago, if somebody had a mouse in their house, they’d buy a mouse trap. If a raccoon made a nest under their porch, they’d flush it out. Pest and wildlife control were still around, of course, but more people felt comfortable taking small to medium critter control issues into their own hands.

Nowadays, homeowners — especially new, young homeowners — are more likely to call a professional to remove anything and everything from their homes.

This intolerance toward pests combined with a hesitancy to deal with them means that homeowners are now more likely to pay for a one-time, permanent, preventive solution like wildlife exclusion. And, as we’ve covered, you have the prerequisites to start installing these devices yourself.

3. There’s an Increasing Intolerance against Pesticides and Insecticides

A pest control operator wearing a blue shirt and green gloves spraying pesticides in a home's landscaping

Deserved or not, there’s no denying that chemical agents — especially those used on foods or in homes — are facing more and more scrutiny with each passing year. Government agencies have been creating laws about what can and can’t be used for decades, and the regulations get even more complex on a state-by-state basis.

And while governments cracking down on pesticides is not new, concerns among homeowners over the kinds of chemicals used on their property have been on the rise. As millennial and gen-z homeowners start accounting for a larger portion of the housing market, they bring their environmental concerns with them into their homes.

Whether you think these health and environmental concerns are warranted or not, there’s no denying that they exist. And it’s tough to change peoples’ minds about them.

Thankfully, wildlife exclusion devices don’t face this kind of scrutiny. These simple metal screens allow you to offer an environmentally friendly, chemical-free critter solution, should your customer request one. They’re effective, they’re permanent, and they’re humane, too.

4. Wildlife Exclusion will Generate More Revenue for You

Most pest control services are subscription-based. Whether your company’s contracts are based on a per month or per visit basis, the same principle applies: homeowners pay you to spray for bugs throughout the year, and you service their home for the length of the contract.

Of course, bugs aren’t the only pest-related threat to your customers’ homes. Birds, raccoons, squirrels, rats, mice, snakes — the list differs depending on where your customers live, but the idea remains the same: wildlife wants to take shelter from the elements (and other wildlife) in the homes you serve.

Wildlife exclusion devices can be offered as a preventative, add-on service to your existing pest control offering. You can warn your customers about vulnerable spots on their homes like chimneys, foundation vents, soffit vents, bathroom vents, and dryer vents, and provide one-time solutions that will raise your average ticket prices.

Of course, the downside to this is that you’ll only be able to do it once. Unlike most pest control solutions which are charged monthly or annually, wildlife exclusion devices are a one-time charge. Still, though, it’s better to be able to offer the solution once than never being able to offer it at all.

5. You Already Have a Pre-Qualified Wildlife Exclusion Client Base

Various blue circles with blue male and female icons connected by blue lines

This is perhaps the most compelling reason why your pest control business should start offering wildlife exclusion products: every client you’ve served so far has had a pest problem. Every home you’ve visited is owned by someone who has shown that they are willing to pay money to keep critters away.

Your clients are exactly the kind of people who will want wildlife exclusion devices on their homes. If you contact them and offer an array of preventative exclusion solutions on top of your current pest control package, you’re very likely to have success.

How Do You Start Offering Wildlife Exclusion Solutions?

By now, it should be pretty clear that wildlife exclusion is a fantastic opportunity for pest management professionals. Pest control operators have the prerequisites to handle and install the products, industry trends are shifting toward exclusion-based solutions, and pest control companies have already done the legwork of building the perfect customer base for wildlife exclusion.

So — what’s next? If you’re interested, how do you get started?

The best thing to do is find out what kinds of exclusion products are available and where (and how) to install them. Our HY-GUARD EXCLUSION line was designed from the ground up to account for virtually every wildlife exclusion situation.

From roof to foundation and everything in between, the HY-GUARD line is essentially a comprehensive array of all things exclusion. If you’re interested in offering wildlife exclusion solutions for your pest control clients, take a look at what’s in the HY-GUARD EXCLUSION portfolio.

From there, you’ll be able to decide which solutions make the most sense to add to your business’s toolkit, and you’ll be ready to start sealing critters out of your customers’ homes.

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A Good Vibrations Grass Hawk lawn mower deck scraper in its packaging against a white background

Good Vibrations Grass Hawk Mower Deck Scraper: An Honest Review

When you’re finished mowing your lawn for the weekend, it’s easy just to roll your lawn mower back into your garage or shed until next weekend. It’s wise to avoid this temptation, though, and spend a bit of extra time performing some routine maintenance on your mower.

One such maintenance task is scraping your mower deck. As you mow, grass — especially moist grass — can accumulate on your mower deck. Wet grass can cause rust and corrosion, shortening the life of your mower significantly. Scraping your mower deck can go a long way towards ensuring the longevity of your lawn mower.

At HY-C, we manufacture a lawn mower deck scraper called the Grass Hawk under our Good Vibrations brand. It’s designed to make lawn mower scraping easy, resulting in a clean, rust-free mower deck.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of the Grass Hawk. We’ll explain a few key features and even some caveats to help you decide whether you should add a Good Vibrations Grass Hawk to your lawn care toolkit.

Three Pros of the Grass Hawk Mower Deck Scraper

1. It’s Designed Specifically for Lawn Mowers

The flat head of a Good Vibrations Grass Hawk mower deck scraper against the underside of a red lawn mower, all against a white background

When it comes to mower deck cleaning, it’s popular practice simply to grab the nearest flat-headed object from a toolbox and start scraping away. These implements (like a screwdriver or a pocket knife) will get the job done in a pinch, but they’re usually inefficient and awkward to use on a mower deck.

The Grass Hawk, on the other hand, is designed specifically for lawn mower decks. From the curve of its handle to the shape and orientation of its scraper heads (yes, “heads” plural — more on that in a second), this scraper is engineered to handle common lawn mower decks to help you scrape off grass effectively.

2. It Features Two Scraper Heads

A GIF demonstrating the rotating head of a Good Vibrations Grass Hawk mower deck scraper against a woodgrain backdrop

What’s better than one lawn mower deck scraper? Two lawn mower deck scrapers built into one. That’s exactly what the Grass Hawk has to offer.

One of the scraper heads is curved to help you get into the cracks and crevices of your mower deck. The other is a sharper metal head bent at a 90-degree angle. This head is good for tackling the relatively flatter sections of the underside of your mower, removing large swaths of grass in a single scrape.

Switching between scraper heads is as simple as turning the rotating dial on the Grass Hawk’s head to the unlocked position, spinning the head 180 degrees, and locking it again. The secure lock ensures that the scraper heads won’t slip during use.

3. It can Attach to a Threaded Pole

The threaded end of an extension pole approaching the threaded base of a Good Vibrations Grass Hawk lawn mower deck scraper, all against a white background

Cleaning a mower deck is awkward work. It involves turning your lawn mower on its side or upside-down, but they’re not really meant to be oriented in either position. Depending on your age or what kind of shape you’re in, it can also be tough to get down to your mower deck’s level to get any cleaning done.

It’s for these reasons that the Grass Hawk comes with a threaded opening in its base that’s compatible with common extension poles. Attaching the scraper to a pole can give you the extra length and leverage you need to scrape effectively.

What this pole compatibility is most useful for, though, is cleaning your mower’s discharge chute. This is the portion of your lawn mower through which cut grass is expelled (usually into the mower’s bag in the case of a push mower).

Moist, wet grass accumulates pretty quickly in the discharge chute, often creating a blockage. A Grass Hawk on a pole can clear this blockage easily and quickly, all without having to get down on the ground.

Two Cons of the Grass Hawk Mower Deck Scraper

1. It Has a Relatively High Price Tag

Most mower deck-specific scrapers will set you back about $15 to $20. The Grass Hawk is not too far outside of that range, costing a basically comparable $19 to $27 (depending on where you buy yours).

Where the Grass Hawk is much less price-competitive, though, is with another mower deck scraping solution: putty knives. A decent putty knife may cost $4 to $10 — one half to one third the cost of a Grass Hawk.

While a putty knife can scrape a mower deck decently, the Grass Hawk is a mower-specific solution. When you’re making your purchasing decision, you’ll have to lean on a balance of functionality vs. cost to guide you.

2. It May Have Trouble Reaching Cracks and Crevices

A red lawn mower turned on its side on a lawn with a man using a file to scrape the mower deck

Not all mower decks are created equally. Some may be relatively flat and easy to scrape, while others may bend and curve at all angles. Depending on the shape and size of your deck, you may experience different levels of effectiveness while using a Grass Hawk.

Both the curved and the flat scraper head of the Grass Hawk measure 2 ⅛” in width. The curved head extends about 1” from the head of the scraper, while the flat head protrudes by about ⅜”. Depending on your mower, the heads may be the perfect sizes to scrape grass out of all the nooks and crannies — or they may be too large to be effective.

Should You Get a Grass Hawk Mower Deck Scraper?

Lawn care is a demanding activity, and lawn mower maintenance is yet another layer of the season-to-season mowing process. A lawn mower is like a car: the better you take care of it, the longer it will last you.

So, with that in mind, should you add a Grass Hawk to your lawn care toolbox?

That sort of depends on how often you mow, how much grass tends to accumulate on your mower, or even what kind of mower you have.

If you don’t clean your mower often, your mower deck tends not to gather much grass, or you’ve simply been satisfied with the cleaning capability of your putty knife or flathead screwdriver, you may be alright simply staying the course.

But if you take mower maintenance seriously or you utilize a larger zero turn mower, a Grass Hawk may be just what you need. Its dual-bladed functionality and pole attachment capability offer scraping versatility and, given the sizes of its scraper heads, it can help you scrape more efficiently than other scraping tools for just a few bucks more.

If you’re tired of the time it takes to scrape your mower deck with a knife or screwdriver, give a Grass Hawk a try. Its primary purpose is to make mower deck scraping easier, resulting in a cleaner, longer-lasting lawn mower.

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A man installing a single-flue stainless steel chimney cap on a multi-flue chimney

Everything You Need to Know about Chimney Caps

Between pricing, sizes, and installation, there’s a lot to understand about chimney caps. These humble metal shields have a lot going on under the hood, and it can be tough to know just where to start.

At HY-C, we’ve been manufacturing chimney caps for over 75 years. We’ve produced millions of them during that time, and we want to share everything you need to know about chimney caps with you to make sure you get the perfect one for your home.

In this guide, we’re going to cover what chimney caps are, how they work, and if you even need one at all. We’ll also take a look at how much a chimney cap costs, what sizes they come in, and how to install them.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to ensure you purchase the perfect chimney cap for your flue.

What is a Chimney Cap?

A basic chimney cap consists of three main components:

  1. A solid metal band (or base) at the bottom
  2. A metal mesh body
  3. A metal hood welded on top

Found most commonly on wood burning fireplace chimneys, chimney caps are installed on top of your chimney flue or crown. They serve two primary purposes:

  1. Keeping rain, sleet, and snow out of your chimney and firebox
  2. Keeping animals (like raccoons and birds) out of your chimney

Chimney caps can be made of a few different kinds of metal, but by far the most common are:

  1. Galvanized steel
  2. Stainless steel
  3. Aluminum
  4. Copper

Do You Need a Chimney Cap?

This may sound biased coming from a chimney cap manufacturer, but if you have a wood burning fireplace, the answer is yesyou should have a cap on your chimney.

Leaving your chimney uncapped is like leaving a door or window open — not only will rain or snow accumulate in your fireplace, but you’ll also invite a host of animals and insects directly into your home.

Chimney caps are also vital while you’re burning wood in your fireplace. They can prevent downdrafts from the outside into your chimney flue, ensuring smoke and other gasses don’t spill back out into your home.

Should an Unused Chimney be Capped?

You might be wondering, “Even if I don’t use my fireplace, do I still need to put a cap on my chimney?” It’s a fair question. But even if you don’t use your fireplace, you should still put a chimney cap on your flue or crown.

Weather and wildlife can still get in, even if you never use your fireplace. A small $60 to $100 investment in a chimney cap can save you thousands of dollars in damage caused by a bird, raccoon, or bat later on.

What are the Disadvantages of a Chimney Cap?

A good, solid chimney cap will do its job well for years at a time. But there are some caveats to chimney caps that you should consider before you get one.

Chimney caps are usually installed at the highest point on your home, so it can be tough to get to them to inspect for damage. It’s wise to examine your cap every few years to make sure it’s still on tight and not deteriorating, but some caps are hard to access.

Also, depending on which type of metal your cap is made from, it may rust after a while. A rusty cap will wind up with holes that animals can bypass or rain can fall through.

What Does a Chimney Cap Sit On?

Chimney caps go on chimneys, of course. But, more specifically, what does the cap itself actually attach to?

That depends on whether you have a single-flue chimney cap or a multi-flue chimney cap. A single-flue chimney cap is just what it sounds like — it covers just one flue pipe. As a result, the majority of single-flue chimney caps attach directly to the chimney flue tile.

A black galvanized single-flue chimney cap being in stalled in a chimney flue with trees in the background
A single-flue chimney cap being installed on a flue

A multi-flue chimney cap, on the other hand, covers two or more flue pipes that protrude from the chimney’s crown. The crown is the concrete cover that seals the top of the chimney, and a multi-flue cap is screwed directly into the crown (as opposed to attaching to a flue).

A stainless steel multi-flue chimney cap being installed on a chimney flue with trees in the background
A multi-flue chimney cap resting on a chimney crown

How Much is a Chimney Cap?

The price of a chimney cap can vary quite a bit, and our chimney cap cost guide has more specific, in-depth information on the topic. Generally speaking, though, chimney cap cost is determined by two factors: material and size.

9” x 9”$56$79$376
9” x 13”$60$92$398
13” x 13”$67$99$422
13” x 18”$74$125$446

The table above outlines the cost of a few different chimney cap sizes based on the material from which they’re made. A bigger cap utilizes more material and therefore costs more.

When it comes to metals, galvanized steel is a budget-friendly, economical material, while stainless steel costs a bit more but holds up longer.

Copper is a premium material, and chimney caps made out of copper command a pretty penny (pun intended).

Do Chimney Caps Come in Standard Sizes?

This is a complicated question. Essentially, yes — there are four chimney cap sizes that can basically accommodate around 90% to 95% of the chimneys out there:

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

And while those sizes will take care of most flues, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Whether you need a single-flue or multi-flue cap
  • The shape of your flue tile (round, square, or rectangular)
  • The height of your flue tile (from the chimney crown)
  • Whether you need ⅝” mesh (as a California or Oregon resident)

Chimney cap sizes are a complex topic, and our chimney cap size guide takes a much deeper dive into dimensions and cap types to help you find the perfect size for your chimney flue or crown.

Who Installs Chimney Caps?

A roofer placing a black galvanized multi-flue chimney cap on top of a chimney crown on a roof with trees in the background

Chimney caps are most commonly installed by two kinds of professionals: chimney sweeps and roofers. Both groups are familiar with the safety procedures involved with working from heights, and they’re typically well-versed in chimney cap sizes and styles to help you find what you need.

Can You Install a Chimney Cap Yourself?

If you can assemble your own furniture, you can probably install your own chimney cap. Both require the same entry-level familiarity with tools and hardware. The primary difference, though, is that installing a chimney cap requires venturing onto your roof.

As a chimney cap manufacturer, we’d recommend against climbing your roof to install a cap yourself. Climbing a roof is dangerous, and falling can result in severe injuries. Leave your cap installation to a chimney sweep or a roofer who has experience with working from heights.

How Long Do Chimney Caps Last?

When they’re installed properly, a galvanized steel, stainless steel, or aluminum chimney cap can last for 50 years or more.

A well-installed metal chimney cap locks wildlife out very well, and they typically can’t bypass them, even with a lot of effort. The greatest danger to a chimney cap is gale-force winds, particularly from hurricanes.

If, by chance, a strong storm does somehow manage to blow your cap off, we’d recommend replacing the entire chimney cap — not reinstalling the damaged one.

Which Chimney Cap Should You Get?

If you’ve read this entire guide so far, you’ve read over 1,100 words on chimney caps — everything from what they are, to what they’re made of, to how to install them. Hopefully, at this point, you have a clearer picture of what kind of cap you might need for yourself.

From here, one of the biggest battles is figuring out what size you need. Chimney caps are like shoes: if you don’t get the right size, the cap simply won’t work out for you.

Our chimney cap size guide covers every possible size you’ll need for single-flue, multi-flue, and band-around-brick chimney caps. It will help you find the perfect cap for your chimney so you can keep your fireplace weather- and wildlife-free.

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