There are few pleasures quite like huddling up around an actual fire in your indoor wood burning fireplace. Whether it’s for heat, ambience, or the centerpiece of romantic evenings, a custom fireplace is a great investment in your home.
However, any live source of fire is a potential danger – and homeowners sometimes overlook the impact a fireplace can have on their indoor air quality. If too much of the smoke and soot from the fireplace makes their way outside the chimney, breathing that smoke can potentially cause health problems. It can irritate the eyes, throat, and lungs, and may particularly cause issues for people with existing respiratory problems.
This doesn’t mean you should abandon your indoor wood burning fireplace – it just means you need to take a little care that the smoke doesn’t become a problem.
Protecting Your Indoor Air Quality with A Fireplace
1. Burn dry and/or “seasoned” wood
When wood has been recently harvested, it’s referred to as “wet” or “green,” meaning it still has a lot of moisture left in it. Green wood produces much more smoke than dried or “seasoned” wood, and that’s smoke that could easily get into your home.
Don’t burn fresh wood if you have any other choice. Burn professionally dried wood if possible or set up your own drying system if you have a lot of wood on your property.
2. Burn hardwood
Hardwood creates less smoke than softwood, so it’s also the better choice for indoor air quality. It also tends to burn hotter and more efficiently, making it a superior choice all around. Hard firewood is a bit more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the extra cost.
3. Keep your chimney cleaned
One of the most common causes of fireplace smoke getting into the house is if your chimney is dirty or clogged up. The more constricted the chimney becomes, the more difficult it is for the smoke to properly flow up and out of your house. It’s always best to hire a professional chimney sweeping company like the team from Stamford Fireplaces as needed safety and efficiency, rather than attempting to clean it yourself.
If you use your fireplace regularly, we highly recommend an annual cleaning from professionals, who will ensure the smoke is being properly vented without becoming a problem.
4. Build your fire properly
Hot-burning fires produce less smoke than cooler fires, and that often comes down to how well-built the fire is. Take time to build your fire properly, and you’ll have far fewer issues with smoke. You might not even notice the smoke at all if it’s hot enough.
5. Consider an air purifier
If you have people in your house with allergies or respiratory issues, an air filter built into your HVAC system might be the best solution. This actively cleanses the air of any particulate matter – like soot – which might escape the fireplace, as well as improving your indoor air quality overall.
Stamford Fireplaces is your Niagara Falls source for the best in custom-built fireplaces! We carry traditional indoor wood burning fireplaces, as well as gas and electric models. Contact us to learn more.