Fireplace Canopies

Fireplace canopies are an instantly recognisable feature of an open fire. Their purpose is to direct smoke up the flue, allow heat to fill the room and prevent heat damage to the mantel and anything above it. Dealing with fireplace canopies is part and parcel of our everyday work here at Billing Chimneys and in this article, we will explain more about them and how to choose the perfect canopy for your fireplace.

Types of Fireplace Canopies

The two main types of fireplace canopies are hood canopies and flue canopies. Hood canopies are simply attached to the top of the fireplace opening and are usually fitted to smaller fireplaces.

Hood canopies can also be called smoke canopies. They can be made of various metals, including copper, cast iron and steel. They are widely available and come in a wide variety of styles from period to modern. The simple panel deflects smoke and heat back into the flue. They can prevent heat damage to the mantel and prevent smoke discolouration. They are generally available in sizes 16” (40cm) and 18” (45.5cm). There are some expandable types, allowing for a wider or narrower placement.

On larger fireplace openings, such as inglenook fireplaces, fireplace canopies can be found inside above the firebox. These canopies help with energy efficiency by directing the smoke and gases into the flue rather than filling the large aperture. Because of this, more of the heat from the fire fills the room. As with hood canopies, fireplace canopies can be made of various metals and designs.

hood canopies

How do they work?

Both hood canopies and fireplace canopies are designed to draw the smoke and gases caused by burning away from the firebox and into the flue. Hood canopies deflect smoke back into the firebox whilst fireplace canopies help draw the smoke and gases up into the flue. Both types of canopies can increase the draught of the fire, making it burn efficiently.

Benefits of Fireplace Canopies and Hood Canopies

Fireplace Canopies

  • An integral part of the chimney
  • Prevent heat damage to the outside of the fireplace, including mantels and anything above
  • Improve draught
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Reduces the flue opening in large fireplaces
  • Add to the attractiveness of the fireplace

Hood Canopies

  • Prevent heat damage to the outside of the fireplace, including mantels and anything above
  • Can improve draught
  • Readily available and easy to fit
  • Can be an attractive feature

How to choose fireplace canopies and hoods

The choice of fireplace canopies and hood canopies varies from a basic, simple steel hood that is mounted outside the firebox and widely available, to a bespoke, purpose-made canopy that fits over the firebox. There is a wide variety of designs available, from modern to vintage, reclaimed to bespoke. The choice is limitless and the type of canopy or hood suitable for your needs depends upon your project, the size of the fireplace and your budget.

Take time to consider the look you are trying to achieve for the whole room. An open fire provides ambience as well as heat. How are you decorating the room? Modern, cosy? The materials you choose for the canopy or hood can form part and parcel of the overall design. Hoods can be bought in many styles, including Victorian or Art Nouveau. Will you want it shiny or muted? You could have reclaimed or reproduction or there are companies who manufacture fireplace canopies to order. It all depends upon your budget.

Size is important too. If a canopy is too small it might not do its job, if it’s too large, it could spoil the look of the fireplace by appearing out of proportion.  If you need help in getting the correct canopy for the size of your fireplace, Billing Chimneys’ staff are here to assist.

If you are renovating your property and are looking to open previously unused chimneys, then do look at our article on this. You can find it here: Fireplace Renovation additionally if you have a period property there you might also find this article helpful: Fireplace Restoration in Period and Heritage Properties.

Engage experts for a professional installation

The most important part of having a new canopy is correct installation. It will be of no use if it is poorly fitting, as it will leak smoke and heat and defeat its purpose. Engaging chimney specialists like Billing Chimneys will ensure the job is done correctly and the canopy is working efficiently.

Fireplace canopies are a beneficial part of a fireplace when it’s used as an open fire. They can help keep smoke from getting into the room and keep heat in. They can also provide an additional feature for your room’s décor. If you are having issues with a canopy, need advice on getting a new canopy or wish to change an existing canopy, then call in the experts, Billing Chimneys.

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