A chiminea is a great thing to have in your garden or outside space offering heat on colder evenings and providing a real focal point, but do you keep the chiminea lid on or off whilst it’s burning?
You should never keep the lid of the chiminea on whilst it is lit. Covering the top of the chiminea when a fire is lit inside the bowl can cause the chiminea to smoke a lot or cause it to overheat damaging it irreparably.
Why does a chiminea have a lid?
A chiminea has a lid to firstly make it look nice and secondly to stop debris and water from getting into the fire bowl which could after time, damage your chiminea.
If you’ve bought a chiminea as a focal point for your garden or outdoor space then you’ll really want it to look good. Whether you have a traditional clay or cast iron chiminea, when not in use, a lid will just finish off the look of your chiminea and make it look good.
Although looking nice is really important to many, the main purpose of the lid is to protect your chiminea when it’s not in use. Although very basic, a chiminea lid will do the job it’s designed to do by sealing off the neck and the fire bowl from above.
There are, as we’ve already mentioned two purposes of the lid when it comes to protection. Firstly the lid will stop debris from falling down the neck and getting stuck in the neck or in the fire bowl. Debris such as sticks and leaves will not necessarily cause damage in the short term. However, if left inside for some time and they get wet it could eventually cause damage. The main problem with allowing debris inside is that you’ll have to spend time cleaning out your chiminea each time you wish to use it.
Water, however, is another story altogether! Without a lid, any rain will easily enter the chiminea and sit inside the bowl. On cast iron chimineas, this can cause rusting and eventual failure of the metal whilst clay chimineas can be adversely affected by consistent water ingress causing the clay bowl to fail.
Do you keep the chiminea lid on or off whilst lit?
We’ve already covered this at the beginning of the article. Never leave the lid on your chiminea when it is lit!
The neck of your chiminea is a flue or chimney for the fire and has two main purposes. Firstly it is there to allow smoke and hot gasses to escape from the fire bowl. Secondly, as these gasses escape, fresh oxygen is drawn into the chiminea via the door. Without the flue taking these gasses and smoke away, the fire will struggle to burn and eventually go out.
It is therefore essential to not have the lid in place to ensure that the fire will burn properly and as we’ve mentioned before to prevent damage to the chiminea.
How to use a chiminea lid
Using a chiminea lid is very simple as they simply sit on top of the neck to prevent anything from going inside. When you decide to light your chiminea, simply lift off the lid and store it somewhere safe for when the fire is out.
Just remember that before you put the lid back on, ensure that your fire is completely out and that the chiminea is cool.
Do I need a lid for my chiminea?
If you don’t already have a lid for your chiminea then we really would suggest you buy one. They are an easy way to protect your chiminea when it’s not in use and they look good too. In addition to the lid we always recommend that you buy yourself a good chiminea cover.
Chimineas, due to their construction, are heavy and although you may be tempted to move it into a shed during winter, you must be careful not to damage the chiminea, and of course yourself.
Good covers not only help to protect your chiminea during bad weather but also from the sun. A quality cover will ensure that in all weathers your chiminea will be protected from the elements prolonging its life by some years.