Metal chimney pots and masonry chimney pots are two different kinds of chimney pots available on the market. There are also chimney pots that combine the technologies of both of these kinds to make the most efficient chimney pot possible. A chimney pot is literally a pot made of one of these kinds of materials or a mixture of the three that sits on top of the chimney to increase draft. Although this is the primary function of the chimney pot, often times decorative chimney pots are purchased merely as architectural details or accents for the home. Chimney pots range from the very industrial and efficient to the very decorative and beautiful.
Metal chimney pots are round and although they all look mostly similar, there are different constructions available. Air insulated or mass insulated metal chimney pots are two kinds available for purchase and they refer to the type of insulation that exists in between the two layers of stainless steel. In an air insulated metal chimney pot, air is not able to circulate and air is actually trapped in between the two layers of stainless steel which acts as insulation. Mass insulated chimney pots utilize actual insulation in between the two layers of stainless steel which traps heat, helping to keep the house warmer. Air cooled chimney pots do not utilize any insulation and air is able to move freely between the two stainless steel layers. Such a design helps to keep the actual chimney flue cooler.
Masonry chimney pots are usually purchased for decoration or for a very distinct architectural detail for the home. Masonry chimney pots are made from either brick or stone, but other decorative chimney pots can be made of clay. These pots are constructed about the flue and are connected by a clay flue tile. These pots generally are more expensive than metal chimney pots because they take quite a bit of time to construct and are often installed when the house is built, making it an important part of the way that the chimney functions naturally. You will need to have your chimney pot inspected yearly, as with the rest of the chimney, because there is the tendency for the mortar holding the chimney pot in place to thin over time. It will need to be repointed after a few years.
The purpose of a chimney pot is to increase draft in the chimney. By making the actual chimney flue taller, it will be able to establish a better draft. Chimney pots are all the same in that they are open at the bottom where connected to the chimney and at the top. Decorative chimney pots must be approved by professionals as safe for installation.