Our Company Blog

The Benefits of Energy Saving Dampers

Your chimney worked for you all winter, but it may be working against you this summer. As temperatures rise and air conditioners are switched on, there may be a draft that’s stealing your conditioned air right out of your chimney! This occurrence is more common than many homeowners think, and it’s completely preventable. By making one small change to your chimney system, you can have an efficient, money-saving chimney in no time.Energy Saving Dampers - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

The Top-Sealing Damper

Top-sealing dampers double as chimney caps, and save homeowners money upon installation. This damper, also called the energy saving damper, is fairly easy to install, protects your chimney from the top down, and closes it completely during the offseason. Some benefits include:

Airtight Seal – Energy saving dampers close with a rubber gasket seal that prevents any water or moisture from getting in. It’s tamper-proof, so animals cannot open it, and it will not open until you disengage it. Throat dampers usually close loosely and can allow drafts and animals into the home.

Easy Use – The cord which engages and disengages the top-sealing damper runs down to the hearth, so you’ll be able to use it from the comfort of your living room, just as you would a regular throat damper.

Multi-Purpose – The top-sealing damper works as a damper when it’s closed, and a chimney cap when it’s open. It keeps animals and weather out of the flue and prevents hot embers from escaping. It even looks like a chimney cap, so you can choose a design that suits your liking.

When to Make the Switch

You don’t have to do all of your chimney work during the winter. In fact, we do chimney work year-round, and if you schedule during the summer, you won’t have to stop using the fireplace prior to the service appointment. Schedule now, and we can discuss chimney services that will enhance your experience and make your chimney work better as well! If we find that you need a new damper or cap, we suggest a top-sealing damper right away. It saves you money right away. Protecting your chimney from the top down is important. It keeps humidity from mingling with soot and creosote in the flue, which creates unwelcome odors and corrosive chemicals. A top-sealing damper prevents wind gusts and drafts throughout the off-season, saving you money, and will prevent debris from falling in and creating blockages, saving you in services.

When it comes to chimney dampers and caps, you can’t go wrong with an energy-saving one. All of the models we carry at Chief Chimney Services will enhance the look of your chimney and improve the way it works–guaranteed.

When you’re ready for a chimney sweep or inspection call on Chief Chimney Services. We can install your new energy saving damper now, so schedule an appointment today!

By John Pilger on July 25th, 2018 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Keep a Clean Chimney for Santa

Your fireplace may be the most popular aspect of your home this season. The adults can relax by the fire after the kids go to bed, use it as a backdrop for countless festivities and photographs, and even save on utility costs by lighting a fire for zone heating. The real moment for the fireplace to shine is Christmas morning, though. Stocking stuffers, gift exchanges, and family photos are just the beginning. The Jolly Elf himself makes his entrance by way of the fireplace! If you have a fireplace, you are one step ahead of everyone else, but it’s more important than ever to make the experience great for everyone (including Santa Clause), by keeping the chimney clean.Keep a Clean Chimney for Santa - Suffolk NY - Chief Chimney Services

Routine Maintenance

You might have your dream fireplace, but the best way for it to work like a dream is to keep it well-maintained. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) both recommend regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections to keep your chimney system working safely and efficiently. Keeping up with this maintenance will make your chimney system work well year after year. The damaged, broken, and forgotten chimney is one that has been neglected. Make sure your fireplace is in tip-top shape for Christmas and all year-round by scheduling your chimney sweep now. Chief Chimney Services offers chimney sweeps and inspections year-round, to best serve our customers in Suffolk County area.

Why Clean Your Chimney

A clean chimney is a chimney that works well. When you schedule a chimney sweep with Chief Chimney Services, a certified technician will come into your home, and clean your chimney from top to bottom, removing all creosote, ash, and soot from the fireplace and flue.
While we’re there, we’ll also:

  • Check the flue for cracks or obstructions that can affect airflow and cause a drop in efficiency
  • Check the cap and crown for damage that can cause water damage and allow animals into the flue
  • Check that the damper is functioning properly so that drafts don’t affect your chimney, waste your central heat, or cause smoke to push into your house
  • Check the masonry for water damage, cracks, or gaps that can cause a drop in efficiency, raise the risk of fire, and put your family at risk for carbon monoxide intrusion
  • Check the firebox for damage

Besides checking traditional wood-burning masonry fireplaces and appliances, we also specialize in gas and oil-burning appliances.

Contact Us

It’s not that Santa needs the cleanest chimneys possible. It’s that he, like Chief Chimney Services, wants every boy and girl and family to be safe and warm this holiday season. When you hire a professional to clean your chimney system, you will be your safest. You will have less issues with your fireplace, and you will need less services in general. Give yourself a Christmas gift this year, and hire Chief Chimney Services to clean your chimney.

Call 631-863-2460 or schedule online.

By John Pilger on December 7th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Is a Storm Collar Right for You?

As a home or business owner you want to take all reasonable measures to prevent damage to your chimney system. If your home or business has a pre-fabricated chimney, you will need a storm collar, sometimes called a chimney collar.

Is a storm collar right for you - Smithtown NY - Chief Chimney

Courtesy Jerry Isenhour

What Is It?

A masonry chimney will have a chimney cap on top of the masonry that keeps the outside OUT. The chimney cap is designed to allow smoke and gas to vent out, but keep moisture, weather, debris, and animals from entering the chimney opening. The chimney cap fits specifically onto a masonry chimney.

Similarly, the storm collar, or chimney collar, is specifically designed to fit over a pre-fabricated chimney. Unlike the chimney caps which fit to the top of the masonry chimney, the storm collar fits over the chimney piping of a pre-fabricated chimney. It should be professionally installed, and works with the flashing to keep the water running away from the chimney and roof intersection as well as to keep it out of the chimney opening.

Do You Need a Collar?

The short answer is YES. If you have a pre-fabricated chimney you need a storm collar. This is not an area where home owners should cut corners. Without the collar, weather and debris can fall into your chimney, allowing for accumulation of soot and debris that eventually restrict air flow. This will slow the ventilation of hot gases and can cause chimney fires. It can also cause a smoky fireplace as well as make it harder to start and keep a fire burning hot. When you depend on your fireplace of stove for home-heating, it is important to make sure it is efficient.

Benefits

Our CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps at Chief Chimney Services have experience in the Long Island, New York area since the 1980s. We are familiar with the climate, seasonal patterns and risk factors of having a chimney system in the area. We recommend storm collars to our customers with pre-fabricated chimneys and provide expert installations, repairs, and replacements of these products. Long Island can have heavy snow and strong gusts of wind, especially during fire-burning season. Providing the same function as a chimney cap, a storm collar:

  • Prevents animal inhabitation, so that animals aren’t nesting (or dying) in the chimney, causing obstruction.
  • Prevents water damage that wreaks havoc on a masonry chimney, and can cause creosote buildup in pre-fabricated chimneys.
  • Prevents wind gusts and draftiness that keep the smoke and gas from rising up the chimney as it should.
  • Prevent flue blockages. Covering the chimney can prevent flue blockages for all the reasons mentioned above, and more. When the chimney is unprotected, debris can also fall into the chimney opening, causing blockages.If you’re ready for your annual chimney inspection and have questions or concerns about your chimney and storm collar, a Chief Chimney Services expert is standing by. Call or schedule an appointment today.
By John Pilger on March 25th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Let the Chief Tell You Why Your Chimney Needs a Cap!

Whether you have a brick-and-mortar chimney, a new or aging insert, or a simple stove pipe, you may wonder about a chimney cap. A lot of home owners may have a policy of “out of sight, out of mind”, but although the chimney stack is outside, it can cause major issues inside without a proper cap.

The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) describes the chimney cap as “an important chimney safety and damage prevention component.”

Keep the Outside Out

Although chimney caps can be found at your local home improvement stores at an affordable price, some home owners don’t find them important. Although we at Chief Chimney Services are happy to service all chimneys, we recommend the use of a chimney cap for safety as well as prevention.

Wood-burning furnaces are designed to heat the inside of the home, the chimney designed to release gases and equalize pressure in the home, and the chimney cap designed to keep certain things outside the home.

Weather

chimney cap - Smithtown NY - Chief Chimney Services

Chief Chimney Services will clean, maintain, and inspect chimneys to make sure the path is clear for gases to escape, but rain, snow, and ice can cause flue obstructions if allowed into the chimney. We recommend using chimney caps to keep the path clear!

Since chimneys have to allow large amounts of pressure and gas to escape, there are sometimes multiple openings at the top, called flues. If moisture is allowed into the openings it can run directly into the chimney itself, causing minor problems like bothersome odors in the home, and more serious damage like rusted damper assemblies, deteriorated firebox assemblies, rot, clogged heating and clean-out systems, stained chimneys, decayed mortar, cracked or damaged flue lining, collapsed hearth support, and tilted or collapsed chimney structure.

Wildlife

If a chimney cap is damaged, improperly installed, or nonexistent you essentially have a hole in your roof that animals can access. Any animal that can climb onto your roof can also climb into your home. A chimney is a warm and safe place for animals to shelter their own families, so if they have the opportunity, expect them to take advantage!

If an animal finds a way into you chimney it can definitely cause obstruction, and could even suffocate, causing a foul odor in the home, and need removal.

Keeping the Inside Out

At Chief Chimney Services, we recommend chimney caps to prevent sparks from escaping the chimney. A hot fire has the power to push hot sparks up the chimney along with the smoke and gases. These hot sparks can damage the roof around the chimney, and can cause accidental environmental fires.

It’s our responsibility as home and business owners to be responsible for our homes and buildings. We strive to give our customers the best opportunity for success, and we are readily available to help you with your chimney.

When to Call a Professional

If you are ready to install a chimney cap, or have concerns there is a problem with your existing chimney cap, notice a smoke or draft problem in your fireplace, furnace, or chimney system call a Chief Chimney Services professional today, or click here to schedule an appointment online.

By John Pilger on January 12th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Chimneys 101: All About Chimney Caps

Are you familiar with the multiple threats to your chimney and fireplace? From creosote to the deposit of moisture, invasion from animals and other issues, staying informed about what poses a threat to your investment is always a good idea.
A chimney cap is an easy way to minimize threats to your fireplace, chimney and the structure of your home, and offers many benefits for homeowners that you might not be aware of. Check out the information below to learn all about chimney caps.

What is a Chimney Cap?

A chimney cap is a stainless steel, mesh or copper cap that fits to the top of your chimney, allowing the smoke and vapors from burning fires to escape through its vents, but preventing other elements from entering your chimney and making their way into your home.
Despite the necessity of a chimney cap in maintaining the safety and efficiency of your fireplace and chimney, many homeowners are unaware of the issues they face by letting their chimney remain uncapped. In short, a chimney cap is an essential and necessary part of protecting your chimney, fireplace and home from unwanted critters, moisture and weather elements.

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Why Do You Need a Chimney Cap?

In addition to its protective properties against wild animals, debris, the elements and excess moisture, a chimney cap serves as a protective barrier between your roof and any floating embers or ashes that might come out through your chimney as you enjoy a fire. Many home fires have been caused as a result of uncapped chimneys sending burning embers onto a home’s roof, causing combustion, structural damage and even home loss.

  • Similarly, moisture build-ups in your chimney can cause both structural damage and general deterioration, threating your investment and prompting costly repairs. In addition to inhibiting the amount of moisture that enters your chimney, caps are designed to help route rainwater away from your chimney and off of your roof.
  • Chimney caps also prevent non-animal or creosote-based blockages, such as those that result from a build-up of leaves, sticks and wind-borne debris, from creating havoc in your chimney.
  • Another benefit you can expect from your chimney cap is a reduction in drafts and excess air flow. During the wintertime, especially in New York, cold gusts of wind and downdrafts can travel through an uncapped chimney, causing heat loss and even blowing smoke and soot into your home. A chimney cap essentially eliminates the occurrence of drafts and gusts of wind coming in through your fireplace.

An uncapped-chimney allows all manner of debris into your home and could potentially cause blockages, damage to your chimney’s structure or issues with venting, any of which can lead to costly, dangerous issues with your investment.

Choosing the Right Chimney Cap for Your Home

So you know you need to invest in a chimney cap, but how can you find the right cap for your chimney and tastes? No matter what you’re looking for, a professional chimney and fireplace company can provide consultation and installation that can put your mind at ease and help you find the right cap for your home. Chief Chimney Services of Suffolk County has been providing superior chimney cap education and installation to satisfied customers for years. Check out our website to browse our services and set up an appointment.

We Serve Suffolk County

There is no better place in the county for us to provide comprehensive chimney services than in Suffolk County, New York. Chief Chimney Services has been part of the Suffolk Country business community for over 30 years. Over that time we have seen a lot of changes to our area; however, nothing can offset the rich history and the spirit of past and current residents.

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For those who have never been to Suffolk County, let us introduce you. Long Island is in Suffolk County. The peninsula extends into the Atlantic Ocean. The world renowned Hamptons is also part of Suffolk County. The area is characterized by its beaches, wharfs, farmlands, seaside villages, rolling hills, and farmlands. Long Island was named one of the Top Ten Wine Regions in the World by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Dr. Beach, a noted, beach expert, named Main Beach in East Hampton the Best Beach in America.

The first inhabitants of Long Island were the Algonquin Indians. The Algonquins and others who came to settle in the area were attracted by the waterways, local game, rich farmland, and native nuts, berries, and grains. Those interested in the development and chronological history of Suffolk County can click here.

There are almost 300 places in Suffolk County currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places which preserve the area’s rich history. Click here for a complete list.

The Vanderbilt name is synonymous with Suffolk County. Visitors and residents enjoy visiting the mansion, museum, and planetarium on the Vanderbilt estate. For more information click here.

It’s the local nuances of an area that gives it its character. Here are a few bits of information to enlighten and amuse you.

  • You can never get really lost on Long Island.All you have to do is drive until you come to water and then turn around, “re-routing re-routing”.Suffolk County is described as an “epicurean’s dream”.
  • “The word “fresh” takes on a different meaning. Here, the menu’s ‘catch of the day’ was likely hauled in that morning from the waters off our Island shores, prepared and served with vegetables – picked from a nearby farm – seasoned with herbs from the garden then paired with a Pinot Grigio from a vineyard just down the road.” Click here for more information on great dining experiences.

Suffolk County has several aviation museums and places to explore science, mathematics, history, energy, astronomy, and technology. To learn more click here.

Those interested in live entertainment will not be disappointed. The theatres and auditoriums in the North Shore area have performances for all entertainment genres and audiences. Click here for more information.

New York City is close enough to visit when you want to participate in all that one of the world’s most dynamic cities offer, yet far enough away not to interfere with the tranquility and charm and quaintness this historic county offers.

Quality of life is important to residents visiting in Suffolk County. Chief Chimney Services is proud to maintain chimneys and fireplaces and offer comprehensive and related service to new residents of Suffolk County as well as those whose ancestors are part of the area’s history.

Spring Into Action

Spring Into Action This Spring & Have Your Annual Chimney Inspection

The importance of having a yearly inspection and evaluation of your chimney cannot be stressed strongly enough. When your health and safety are at risk, it is important make sure you call a trained professional to evaluate and clean your chimney and its components on annual basis. Chief Chimney Services, Inc. has earned the prestigious credentials of certified chimney sweep from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) to perform a complete evaluation and inspection in order to keep your venting operating at peak capacity, controlling energy consumption and costs, and protect you from fire and toxic gas hazards.

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Spring is the ideal time to have your inspections performed.

Our mothers and grandmothers used the end of winter to signal time for their spring cleaning. A thorough cleaning helped make the transition from the demands of winter to the demands of summer. Springtime is an excellent time to also have a professional inspection of your chimney performed.

The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 says, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”

During the winter, you use your chimney more than other times during the year. The residue from your fires builds up in your fireplace and chimney. Not only that, the masonry of your chimney is subjected to temperature changes as the weather freezes and thaws. These temperature changes can cause cracks, leaks, and lose bricks which allow water, smoke, and toxic gasses to seep back into your home. In addition, since your chimney is warm, birds and animals may decide to make your chimney home for the winter and then may die or get trapped inside and cause dangers.

3 Levels of Inspection as described by the Chimney Safety Institute of America*

Level 1 Inspections –During a Level 1 inspection, your chimney service technician examines the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. The technician will also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.

Level 2 Inspections –A Level 2 inspection is required when any changes are made to the system. Level 2 inspections are required when property is sold or transferred. Fires, seismic events, and weather events are reasons for a Level 2 inspection.

Level 3 Inspection – Includes all the areas and items checked in a Level 1 and a Level 2 inspection, as well as the removal of certain components of the building or chimney where necessary. When serious hazards are suspected, a Level 3 inspection may well be required to determine the condition of the chimney system.

* See more here.

The Department of Consumer Protection echoes the recommendations of property experts, fire departments, insurance companies, and chimney professionals in all 50 states, “Have your chimney inspected and cleaned, preferably in late spring or early summer when heating season is over. That way, you’ll have enough time to schedule any repairs you may need before the heating season begins in the fall.”

The Importance Of Using A Company That Employs CSIA Certified Chimney Sweeps

When you are a homeowner you understand you are taking on a certain set of responsibilities when it comes to maintaining your home. Making sure your appliances and heating/cooling systems are running efficiently and safely are necessary to ensure your home is operating in the best possible way. Having your chimney inspected and swept on a regular basis is one of the easiest and smartest things you can do when maintaining your home. Hiring a reputable company with CSIA certified chimney sweeps is also important in making sure your fireplace and chimney are in good hands.

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What Is The CSIA?

The CSIA, or Chimney Safety Institute Of America is at the forefront of education and public awareness for chimney safety. The CSIA strives to make sure every chimney and venting system is properly cared for. By training and certifying qualified professionals to perform chimney sweeping tasks and by educating homeowners on the importance of having your chimney inspected and cleaned, the Chimney Safety Institute Of America helps prevent chimney fires, creosote build-up and carbon monoxide exposure in homes across America.

Importance Of CSIA Certification

Chimney Sweep Institute Of America Certification is the gold standard for industry professionals. When hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep you can rest assured that they:

  • Have met the highest level of certification for chimney sweeps
  • Have paid the annual certification fee
  • Meet the stringent credentials put forth by the CSIA
  • Can provide referrals for excellent work
  • Hold a certification recognized by builders, contractors and homeowners associations across the US

CSIA certified sweeps have attended training sessions as well as passed exams based on the most current chimney sweeping safety information. Additionally, when certified, all chimney sweeps agree and sign the CSIA Code of Ethics that ensures they uphold their duties according to the most current safety information.

Other Benefits of CSIA Certification Include:

  • Ongoing training opportunities
  • Education for home inspection and fire safety
  • Support after chimney fires
  • Support for military veterans

It’s not enough to have your chimney cleaned regularly. You want to look for a company that utilizes the best technology in the business, as well as the highest safety standards in the country. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to hire a reputable company that cares enough about their employees and about the quality of their work to comply with CSIA certification standards.

Chimney sweeping professionals, like the ones at Chief Chimney in Suffolk, NY have been through the CSIA training course and strive to uphold the safety and quality standards this important organization promotes. When you understand the importance of hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep you begin to realize that your fireplace heating system is quite literally the hearth of your home.

As a homeowner, you deserve the very best. Trust a company that wants to keep your family safe by making sure your fireplace and chimney are working efficiently and safely. By taking time to invest in a company that certifies its employees and maintains the rigorous standards set forth by the CSIA you can rest assured your chimney and fireplace will be maintained, cleaned and swept by the very best. For more information contact Chief Chimney today.

Advantages of a Top Sealing Damper

Around this time of year, the cost of the heating bills always spike wildly. No one wants to be cold during the winter, so sacrificing a few extra dollars to kick up the thermostat often seems worth it at the time. Yet when the bills come, a blanket suddenly sounds like a better choice. For those who rely on a fireplace to provide heat for the home, there are some options for cutting costs. One way to save some money is to utilize a top sealing damper.

top-mounted-damper-chimney-suffolk-ny-chief-chimney

This clip is courtesy of Richie Baxley at Environmental Chimney Service in Asheville NC.

The damper in the fireplace is a mechanism that controls the flow of air through the chimney. It is generally made of steel or ceramic to stand up to the heat of the fire and it opens and closes with a handle, pull chain or lever. Most fireplaces utilize the damper in order to vent the toxic fumes from the fire. Therefore, the damper should be open while the fire is burning and until the fireplace has cooled once the fire has been extinguished. Any other time, keep the damper closed to keep the warm air inside the house.

One common type of damper is known as the throat damper, which is located just above the firebox at the bottom of the chimney. These install very easily, so they are very commonly found in many homes. The other type, known as the top sealing damper, sits high in the chimney, and is less frequently seen. However, the top sealing damper does have its benefits.

The way these two dampers differ is based on the draft, or how the air flows through the chimney. Warm air rises, so when the fire starts, the warm air moves up through the chimney. This draws out the smoke and other toxic fumes while also pulling fresh, oxygenated air into the fire from the home, creating a steady flow of air. In a throat damper, the chimney is primarily filled with heavy, cold outdoor air, so the hot air moves more slowly up through the chimney at first. If the initial fire is too large, it could end up filling the house with smoke. On the other hand, the top sealing damper allows the chimney to fill with the warm air from the house prior to lighting the fire. Thus, when the fire starts, the hot air and smoke can move quickly up the chimney. This saves time and fuel when first lighting the fire, making the top sealing damper an easy choice.

For more information on a top sealing damper, contact the professionals at Chief Chimney Services, Inc. If you live in the area of Suffolk County, the experts at Chief Chimney can even install a top sealing damper in your chimney to help you save money right away.

The Importance of a Chimney Cap

The official start of winter is just a few days off, which means homeowners everywhere are lighting up their fireplaces and wood stoves to keep warm. The privilege of having a fireplace in the home includes cozy evenings curled up on the couch and creating the perfect holiday backdrop. However, having a fireplace also comes with a certain set of responsibilities for keeping it safe and functional. Most homeowners know the basic rule of having the chimney swept and inspected every year, but the knowledge usually stops there. The details about the fireplace and chimney often go unnoticed. One aspect of the chimney that often gets forgotten is the chimney cap.

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The chimney cap provides protection in surprising, cost-effective ways, in spite of its basic structure. Generally built with stainless steel or copper materials, the chimney cap guards the inside of the chimney from where it sits at the very top. A key function of the chimney cap is to stop critters from making a home of the chimney. With colder weather upon them, the animals that stick around for winter become very intent on finding a warm home out of the elements. Unfortunately, the warm chimney makes a pretty attractive home for little animals that do not know any better, and an uncapped chimney could end up blocked by a nest. With an obstruction like this, the fumes from the next fire cannot properly vent from the home. They start to back up into the living air, putting inhabitants at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and other harmful inhalations.

Chimney caps also act as an umbrella for the chimney by preventing water from freely pouring down the inside. If water is allowed to enter the chimney, it can leave some serious damage it its wake. First, the metal flue liner starts to rust, which exposes the interior of the chimney and the home to the acidic smoke and heat from the fire. Next, the water trickles down to the damper and rusts that out too. A rusted damper could prevent the fireplace from venting properly. Water damage may also show up inside the home, as evidenced by water stains on the walls and ceiling around the fireplace.

Luckily, by investing in the installation of a chimney cap, you can completely avoid expensive problems like this. Ask your chimney specialist if your home needs a new chimney cap. Your current chimney cap may be outdated or damaged, or it may be completely missing! Either way, a chimney specialist can safely determine this for you and help you choose the right new chimney cap. If you live in the Suffolk County area of Hudson Valley, contact Chief Chimney Services, Inc. for a professional consultation.