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Should You Get a Copper Chimney Cap?

October 18th, 2023 | 6 min. read

By Louis Greubel

A square copper chimney cap on the green floor of an industrial warehouse with forklifts in the background.

The vast majority of chimney caps on houses throughout the United States are made of steel — either stainless or black galvanized. Still other caps are made from aluminum, a material that’s low in cost yet durable enough to last on a rooftop for years.

But for those who are interested in adding a luxurious touch to the top of their chimney flue, there’s copper: a time-tested, eye-catching material used in everything from plumbing to pennies to the Statue of Liberty itself.

But just how much will one of these expensive copper chimney caps cost you?

And are there any limitations to the sizes, shapes, and styles of chimney flues a copper cap can fit?

As a company who makes our chimney caps right here in the USA, we want to help you uncover the answers to these questions — and more. We’ll explain just how much a copper chimney cap costs relative to its steel counterparts, and we’ll outline the shapes and dimensions required of a chimney flue to accommodate a copper cap.

By the time you’re finished here, you’ll know if you have the right flue size and the right budget to get a copper chimney cap for your home.

How Much Does a Copper Chimney Cap Cost?

The best way to contextualize the cost of a copper chimney cap is to consider its price relative to a stainless steel cap of the same size.

Chimney cap prices are determined largely by their dimensions. For example, a square cap measuring 8” x 8” costs less than the same style of cap measuring 13” x 13”. The larger cap requires more material and costs more as a result.

Let’s compare the prices of three styles of square, single-flue HY-C chimney caps by size in both stainless steel and copper:

Flue Dimensions Stainless Steel Cap Price Copper Cap Price
7.5” x 7.5” to 9.5” x 9.5” $79 $270
11.5” x 11.5” to 13.5” x 13.5” $130 $300
16.5” x 16.5” to 18” x 18” $166 $340

It’s clear that square copper caps are quite a bit more expensive than square stainless steel caps. The same holds true for rectangular single-flue chimney caps:

Flue Dimensions Stainless Steel Cap Price Copper Cap Price
7.5” x 11.5” to 9.5” x 13.5” $110 $336
7.5” x 16.5” to 9.25” x 18.25” $125 $355
10” x 14” to 12.25” x 16.25” $135 $373
11.5” x 16.5” to 13.25” x 18.25” $145 $385

Depending on the dimensions of your chimney flue, a copper chimney cap can cost anywhere from $170 to $250 more than a stainless steel cap.

That’s true for a simple reason: copper is scarce, while steel is relatively more widely available. If your primary concern for your chimney cap is simply functionality, then a common, dependable stainless steel cap works perfectly well.

But if you prefer the aesthetic appeal of a copper cap and you’re willing to pay double or even triple the price you’d pay for a stainless steel chimney cap, there are options available for you — but they may be more limited than you might expect.

What Sizes do Copper Chimney Caps Come In?

Three multi-flue copper chimney caps on a gray, textured background

If money isn’t an object in your chimney cap purchase and you’re leaning towards a copper cap, the next factor to consider is size. Black galvanized and stainless steel chimney caps are incredibly versatile size-wise, and we make them in dozens of shapes and sizes to fit virtually any chimney and flue combination.

Copper caps come in a variety of sizes, too, but not nearly as many as stainless steel caps or black galvanized caps. To start with, if you have a circular or oval chimney flue, you’re out of luck — we don’t make any round copper chimney caps.

From there, that leaves square and rectangular single-flue and multi-flue copper caps. In these categories, there’s a bit more to choose from.

Multi-Flue Copper Chimney Caps

A multi-flue copper chimney cap installed on a chimney's crown

If your chimney has two or more flue pipes, you’re in luck: we make our black galvanized, stainless steel, and copper chimney caps in the same 17 lengths and widths:

Screen to Screen Crown Dimensions Required
10″ x 10″ 14.5″ x 14.5″ to 15″ x 15″
10″ x 14″ 14.5″ x 18.5″ to 15″ x 19″
14″ x 14″ 18.5″ x 18.5″ to 19″ x 19″
13″ x 19″ 17.5″ x 23.5″ to 18″ x 24″
17″ x 17″ 21.5″ x 21.5″ to 22″ x 22″
14″ x 21″ 18.5″ x 25.5″ to 19″ x 26″
14″ x 26″ 18.5″ x 30.5″ to 19″ x 31″
14″ x 30″ 18.5″ x 34.5″ to 19″ x 35″
14″ x 34″ 18.5″ x 38.5″ to 19″ x 39″
15″ x 37″ 19.5″ x 41.5″ to 20″ x 42″
17″ x 29″ 21.5″ x 34.5″ to 22″ x 35″
17″ x 35″ 21.5″ x 39.5″ to 22″ x 40″
17″ x 41″ 21.5″ x 45.5″ to 22″ x 46″
17″ x 49″ 21.5″ x 53.5″ to 22″ x 54″
17″ x 53″ 21.5″ x 57.5″ to 22″ x 58″
17″ x 58″ 21.5″ x 62.5″ to 22″ x 63″
17″ x 64″ 21.5″ x 68.5″ to 22″ x 69″

Be careful, though — multi-flue copper chimney caps are available in different heights than black galvanized and stainless steel caps:

  • Multi-flue black galvanized and stainless steel chimney caps can be either 8”, 10”, or 14” in height
  • Multi-flue copper chimney caps, though, can be either 9”, 12”, or 14” in height

Why does the height of a chimney cap matter? It has to do with the clearance between the top of the flue tile and the cover of the chimney cap itself.

Smoke and hot gasses move up the flue as a fire burns in your fireplace, and those gasses need to escape out of the top of the flue. If the chimney cap’s cover doesn’t provide enough clearance for these gasses to escape, they’ll get backed up inside the chimney, and you may end up with smoke inside your house.

To prevent this, there should be at least 6” of space between the top of the flue tile and the chimney cap’s cover. That means if your flue tile protrudes 3” from your chimney’s crown, you’ll need a cap that’s 9” in height (to allow for that 6” of space).

All three of our metal caps (black galvanized, stainless, and copper) are available in 14” heights. But copper caps come in two additional heights: 9” and 12” (as opposed to the stainless and black galvanized caps’ 8” and 10” heights).

If a multi-flue copper cap doesn’t allow 6” of clearance (or more) over your chimney flue in any of their three available height options, you run the risk of filling your house with smoke. So keep the height of your flue tile in mind before you buy.

Custom Copper Chimney Caps

A custom skirt-type copper chimney cap installed on a chimney on a white background

We make one style of custom copper chimney cap: the custom skirt-type. Aside from the visual appeal of the copper material itself, copper skirt-type caps have a huge functional advantage: the skirt covers the entirety of the concrete chimney crown, protecting it from damage from both weather and wildlife.

These caps can fit single-flue and multi-flue chimneys, and they’re made to order based on the size of your chimney and the height of your flue. There are some size restrictions, though:

  • Custom skirt-type chimney caps are limited to 38” x 88”
  • Custom skirt-type chimney caps must be 9”, 12”, or 14” high

If you want or need a custom chimney cap, copper skirt-types are a great way to go. Just remember that they’ll cost much more than custom stainless steel caps.

Single-Flue Copper Chimney Caps

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

Single-flue chimney caps are a bit more straightforward than custom or multi-flue caps. They don’t attach to the chimney’s crown; rather, they are attached to the flue tile itself. This means that unlike a multi-flue chimney cap, there’s no need to worry about the height of a single-flue cap, because the clearance from the flue tile to the cap’s cover will be the same on every chimney.

From there, the only thing left to worry about (aside from price, of course) is the length and width of the cap. Again, stainless steel caps are available in more sizes than copper caps. Here’s a look at our square single-flue chimney cap dimensions in both stainless steel and copper:

Flue Tile Dimensions Available in Stainless? Available in Copper?
7.5” x 7.5” to 9.5” x 9.5” Yes Yes
9.75” x 9.75” to 12” x 12” Yes No
11.5” x 11.5” to 13.5” x 13.5” Yes Yes
13.75” x 13.75” to 16” x 16” Yes No
16.5” x 16.5” to 18” x 18” Yes Yes
18.5” x 18.5” to 20.25” x 20.25” Yes No

As you can see, copper caps skip a size range; this is akin to a style of tennis shoes only coming in full sizes with no half sizes available.

Why is that?

It’s essentially because historically, customers seldom ordered these sizes, so we’ve found that it doesn’t make sense to make copper chimney caps that no one is asking for.

Rectangular copper caps, on the other hand, are more readily available in the same sizes as their stainless counterparts:

Flue Tile Dimensions Available in Stainless? Available in Copper?
3.5” x 7.5” to 5.5” x 9.5” Yes No
7.5” x 11.5” to 9.5” x 13.5” Yes Yes
7.5” x 16.5” to 9.25” x 18.25” Yes Yes
10” x 14” to 12.5” x 16.25” Yes Yes
11.5” x 16.5” to 13.25” x 18.25” Yes Yes

Aside from the 3.5” x 7.5” to 5.5” x 9.5” range, rectangular copper chimney caps and stainless steel copper caps come in the same sizes, leaving you with more buying options.

Is a Copper Chimney Cap Right for You?

Before now, you may not have known much about copper chimney caps. Perhaps you knew that they were shiny and expensive, but exactly how much they cost and whether or not they’d fit your chimney flue were probably unclear.

By now, you should have a much better understanding of just how much a copper chimney cap will cost and the sizes and styles of chimneys and flues they’ll fit. If you’re interested in getting one yourself, just find the size you need and pull the trigger on your purchase.

But what happens when you actually get your copper cap? Installing a chimney cap is its own rabbit hole. Caps come in several different styles, but, as you know by now, copper caps come in single-flue, multi-flue, or custom designs. Our guide on how to install a chimney cap covers these styles and more. Give it a read; it will prepare you to install your brand-new copper cap when it arrives!

Louis Greubel

Louis earned a bachelor's degree in English with a focus in rhetoric and composition from St. Louis University in 2017. He has worked in marketing as a content writer for over 5 years. Currently, he oversees the HY-C Learning Center, helping HY-C subject matter experts to share their decades of home solution products experience with homeowners and sales partners across the country.

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