At J D Burford/Mad Cowls we regularly speak to customers who need us to specify the correct cowl for them, based on the specific set of facts they provide us with. When doing so, the most important question we ask is, what problem are they trying to solve when fitting the cowl? Often a customer will be under the misapprehension that there is a general purpose cowl for all applications. However, this is not always the case anymore, and although some manufactures still purport to be able to deliver such a cowl we believe that this is no longer the case, and such manufactures are out of touch with modern demands – using old out of date and redundant cowl designs.
To provide more detail and to allow for a better understanding, I will use the following example. As with all chimneys cowl manufacturers there are products offered within our range that are purely made and sold to fit within a certain “price bracket” or, if you like to satisfy a particular market demand. However there are also those that are designed and engineered on ability, in order to alleviate a very specific range of problems. An example of this is the Mad senior cowl.
The Mad senior cowl is our most aerodynamic static down draught cowl. We have several good reasons to believe it is the most aerodynamic round static anti down draught cowl on the market, not least due to our customers’ reviews and the exhaustive testing we have undertaken. In fact, a competitor based in Europe (who has incidentally had to with draw it’s version of our Mad senior cowl due to copyright issue) had looked at and commenced testing all of the major British down draught cowls, but had concluded that due to the aerodynamic proess it possessed over its competitors the Mad senior cowl was the best product on the market. On this basis they therefore (unsuccessfully) attempted to reproduce our product. Given that European companies tend to service Scandinavian countries (that invariably rely upon solid fuel applicances as a way of heating to a greater extent that in the UK), one could say that it is a compliment to the product itself that such a company with this type of customer requirement would endeavour to base their product design upon ours. In any event this is a fantastic problem solving product- in the way of assisting with blow back or down draught.
In terms of appearance, this cowl is marginally larger than your usual static down draught cowl, which allows it to be far superior to its counterparts in three key areas:-
i) It is exceptionally good at restricting down draught,
ii) It hugely alleviates driving rain
iii) and lastly (which is common in the most popular of new smaller compact cowls that purport to achieve both of the latter), the senior does not restrict the flow of gases where smaller compact cowls often do.
Very few anti down draught cowls do all three of the above successfully. It is almost impossible to find such an expertly designed and crafted product that can successfully manage all of the above problems – this product does! In recent times we have also reengineered the senior cowl so that the structural integrity will stand up to the biblical weather our country has experienced of late. With three hidden stainless steel straps running across the body of the cowl, bent and formed to provide maximum durability, it is now stronger than those slightly smaller cowls that need less structural integrity. However, it has been designed for both durability and practicality, with a bulbous lid for ease of sweeping. In our opinion this cowl is brilliant in every way!
Finally and most importantly, customers often contact us who are considering recomissioning a fire, or putting a new stove or appliance in, and want a cowl “just incase” a down draft is present. Unfortunately, our experience tells us that most cowls that are designed to deal with a down draught problem, that are used on a chimney where it is later becomes evident there was no such down draughtt issue, can cause the customer major problems, the most significant of which is congestion of smoke in a fire that draws well. This again is where the senior proves to be a far superior product. The design and layout of the cowl means that if the above scenario arises this product will not restrict the smoke from the chimney (where other similar products that are exclusively designed for down draft purpose would) instead the senior, with its large ventilation outlets will simply carry on working as a rain and bird protector while still allowing smoke to pass freely.
Therefore, we feel the Senior truly is an all pupose cowl. It is tested to BSEN 1856. In basic form it is made of 1.2 aluminium and 1mm stainless steel. There is also an all stainless steel model for durability with more corrossive fuels.
In conclusion, we feel we have designed and manufactured a far superior product to any of those currently competing in the market. Furthermore, we feel that the customer service and advice that we provide is second to none. This good advice has been born out of our long established engineering back ground (see website www.jdburford.co.uk). By being able to properly asses the strength and ability of a raw material through working with it we are able to engineer a better cowl, which in turn gives us a advantage over the vast majority of our competitors who invariably do not possess the engineering back ground we do. At times, we get asked by customers why is one of our cowls designed or created in a certain way, and we never say that it is because it is what our competitors do; there is always a specific reason which will relate to the engineering of the metal product. This in turn makes us a far superior manufatcurer. That is what you get with Mad cowls.
The Mad cowl range of chimney cowls is widely available from builders’ merchants, chimney supply stockists and fireplace shops throughout the country. A brochure can be obtained by calling 01685 811882.