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What are Roof Cowls?

Find out the benefits of roof cowls.

Firstly, have you ever gone up into the attic and smelled that old, musty smell? That can be a sign of mould and mildew, and severe infestations can be a health hazard.

Similarly, have you ever had soot blown into your home from your chimney? Or had rain washing soot down into your fireplace? Soot can be hard to clean and gets into every nook and cranny.

Roof Cowls exist to prevent these problems. They are fittings that sit on top of a chimney in order to improve efficiency, soiling and air flow.

5 Types of Roof Cowls

Roof cowls come in all shapes and sizes, and all of them have their own uses. If you’re looking for a cowl to install, it will help to know the basic types first. Some of the most common roof cowl types are:

  • Standard Cowls

  • Vertical and Jet Cowls

  • Copula styled Cowls

  • Wind Directional Cowls

  • Spinner Cowls (also known as Whirlybirds or Turbines)

1. Standard roof cowls

Standard roof cowls have a sheet covering placed on top of the exhaust output area. These are an excellent choice for homes or buildings with no unique ventilation requirements. If, for example, your exhaust only comes from your attic or fireplace, then this may be for you.

2. Vertical and jet cowls

Even though they look like they’re for industrial use, these cowls are suited to residential purposes as well as industries. Vertical and jet cowls transport air further away from the rooftop to prevent contamination. These are especially useful for exhausts that contain large amounts of soot or other materials. Another excellent design feature is that even though these cowls spew air upwards, they’re still well-protected from precipitation.

3. Cupola-style cowls

Cupola-styled cowls are often used for their aesthetic value, especially in residential buildings. These can either be used for topping off chimneys or for decorative purposes. Cupola-styled cowl designs are flexible, and there is a variant that’s sure to fit any type of home.

4. Wind directional cowls

Strong winds can be a problem for chimneys since they can cause a downdraft, blowing soot back in. Roof cowls can somewhat help with this problem, but there’s none more effective than wind directional cowls. These are equipped with hinges that allow them to swing based on wind direction. This effectively blocks off wind from entering your chimney, therefore preventing downdrafts from happening.

5. Spinner cowls/whirlybirds/turbines

Spinner cowls, also known as whirlybirds or turbine vents, are usually spherical in shape. These are made up of metal blades inside an encasement, with the blades spinning to allow ventilation. The spinning motion of the blades pulls air out from underneath and ejects it outward through the encasement, allowing proper circulation of air inside the building.

The Benefits of Roof Cowls

You may already have an idea of the many functions that roof cowls have based on the types we mentioned but installing roof cowls can benefit your home or building in many other ways that you may not have considered, including:

  • Roof Cowls help your roof last longer.

Roofs are prone to wear and tear, perhaps more so than other parts of your home. As such, you need to take proper care of your roofs to minimise damage. Using roof cowls is an excellent way of doing this as they can somewhat help protect from precipitation. Some types of roof cowls, like jet and vertical cowls, also protect your roof from contaminated air, which allows your roof to require less frequent, thorough cleaning.

  • Roof Cowls help regulate building temperature.

Roof cowls, like ridge vents, are also excellent at keeping the temperature inside buildings at favourable levels. Temperatures fluctuate depending on the season, and some types of roof cowls help prevent temperatures from reaching extremes. This can help the rest of your home regulate temperatures more efficiently.

  • Roof Cowls help you save on electricity costs.

Air conditioning and temperature control can potentially consume a lot of electricity, driving up your electric bill. Since your roof cowl helps in regulating temperature, this eases the burden on electricity consumption. You’ll get to save on energy bills which make the cowls a good investment in the long run.

  • Roof Cowls improve air quality in buildings.

One of the primary functions of roof cowls is to allow better ventilation. Some types of cowls, such as whirlybirds and jet cowls actively pull air from inside the building. This allows air to circulate better, ejecting stale air and allowing fresh air to circulate.

  • Roof Cowls protect chimneys from precipitation.

Some cowls are specially shaped to redirect precipitation away from your chimneys. This means that water and snow can’t get in, keeping the chimney and the inside of your home protected. You wouldn’t want rain getting in your fireplace, after all – this means that roof cowls help to keep your home clean.

  • Roof Cowls prevent downdrafts.

We’ve mentioned earlier that wind directional cowls help prevent downdrafts from entering your chimney. If you live in an area that’s always windy, you may want to get one of these. A wind directional cowl helps keep your chimney and house clean, so it’s an excellent choice. It’s also a pretty cool bonus to see these cowls swaying with the wind

  • Roof Cowls add aesthetic value.

Do you live in an area where precipitation and winds aren’t a problem? Don’t let this stop you from getting roof cowls since some of them are installed for aesthetic value. All you need to do is find a design that would fit your home, and you’re ready to go.

Find Out How Roof Cowls Installation Can Improve Your House

Roof cowls aren’t just useful and extremely functional; they can also look great. If you would like to learn more, or would like some help in choosing Roof Cowls in the Sydney area, you’re in luck. Sydney Roof & Building Supplies is here to serve you regarding your roofing needs. Please visit our website at or call us on 02 8090 3483 and we will be glad to help you.

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