Many people believe because they are burning a natural material in their fireplace there is no harm caused to the environment (we won’t mention the poor trees that died in the making of this fire). However, anything burned in your fireplace is adding harmful volatile organic compounds into the air. This doesn’t mean the true eco-friendly household needs to stop using their fireplace. It just means you can take on some new approaches that will make your fireplace more eco-friendly.
Newly designed fireplace inserts can be added to any fireplace (generally speaking). These EPA approved inserts can actually reduce emissions and burn 70 per cent more efficiently than a traditional or “open” fireplace. This is an impressive addition to any eco-friendly home. If you already have an insert but it is pre-1992 you can upgrade to a newer model. This can improve efficiencies by 50 percent. They also produce less creosote, the build-up that occurs in your flue and chimney. Older models of inserts can produce as much as 6-8 inches of creosote which is a real fire hazard.
Burn Baby Burn
Many people do not realize that soft and hard woods burn differently. There are many choices you can make to improve not only emissions, but the build-up of that pesky creosote:
* Burn hard woods as they burn hotter than softer woods. It is the cooler burning that leads to more creosote due to condensation. Woods such beech, maple, ash or oak are considered hard woods.
* Season your wood for a year to ensure it is completely dry. The drier the wood the cleaner it burns. Find a dry place in your home to store wood and have it on a rotation based on age.
* Never burn wet wood. If it sizzles or is hard to light put it aside and let it dry out for a good few months for best results.
* Burn your wood in nice stacked bundles, not spread out, to get the hottest fire.
Have regular cleanings and maintenance with a company that provides Chimney Repair Columbus, OH home owners hire. These guys will remove creosote and make sure things are working efficiently inside and out.
When you are doing your best to lead a “green” lifestyle, these eco-friendly tips when using your fireplace will help.
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