Best Burn Practices
- The installation and design stage is vital to success as most common fireplace problems are expensive and hard to correct after the fireplace is built.
- When correctly built and properly used, a fireplace ought to be smoke free. You probably have a problem if you smell or spot smoke. To reduce smoke inside and outside your home, apply these guidelines to burn wisely in your fireplace.
- Use only dry, well-seasoned (aged at least 6 months) wood that has been split correctly.
- By burning locally cut firewood you decrease the risk of moving invasive forest pests to your property.
- Start the fire correctly by using only clean newspaper or dry kindling. Don't ever use gasoline, a propane torch, kerosene, or charcoal starter.
- Never let the fire smolder. Many people believe they should let a fire smolder overnight. But this does very little for heating and increases air pollution.
- Always clean the ashes from your fireplace. Left-over ashes clog the air intake vents which reduces efficiency. To reduce the risk of fire, make sure you dispose of ashes in a metal container away from the house or any flammable materials.
- Keeping your chimney clean provides a good draft for your fireplace and decreases the risk of a chimney fire. Have a certified professional inspect your chimney at least once a year.
- By following best practices for burning wood you're being a good neighbor. Check your local air quality forecast and always remember to comply with state and local codes.
- Choose the proper-sized fireplace for your needs. If your fireplace is too large for your house or room, the fuel will smolder and pollute the air.
- And don't forget to properly install and maintain a smoke alarm which is one of the best and least expensive methods of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire.