Everyone loves the feel of a warm fire and the scent of smoke wafting through the air. But smoke can be bad for your health and your chimney. You can reduce these risks by buying the right firewood.
The smoke that comes from burning firewood includes microscopic particles that can cause negative health effects. Long-term smoke exposure has been linked to reduced lung function.
It has also caused the development of chronic bronchitis and, in some cases, premature death.
This smoke also causes the added buildup of creosote, a harmful residue, in your chimney. Failure to remove creosote can lead to a chimney fire.
You can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to harmful smoke and creosote by burning the right firewood. For starters, burn hardwoods in your fireplace. These woods are denser and burn more efficiently. This emits less smoke. Woods like oak, beech, ash, hickory, hard maple and pecan are all great choices for your fireplace.
Burning dry, seasoned wood will improve your fireplace experience. Avoid wet, newly cut woods because they burn inefficiently. This is because the water locked in the wood turns to steam when the wood is placed into the flame.
Make sure to avoid using leftover construction wood or painted wood. The chemicals found on these woods will be released into the air when the wood is burned. This can be harmful to your lungs and your fireplace. You should also never burn toxic plant matter in your fireplace– the smoke can be just as irritating to your body as the oils on the leaves.