Minimize Pollution from your wood burning appliance by following these simple steps:
- Firewood should be seasoned by splitting and stacking it at least eight months before it is burned. Your woodpile should be covered in a way that keeps rain and snow off but allows air to circulate through it. Dry seasoned wood burns best!
- Burn only clean, dry wood in your wood stove. Never burn green, wet, painted or treated wood including plywood, pressboard, railway ties or utility poles. Never burn household garbage in your wood stove or fireplace!
- Burn only small bright fires. Start the fire using small pieces of wood kindling, and keep the fire moderately hot, adding larger pieces of split wood as required. Do not damper down the fire too much, as this will produce a smoky, oxygen-starved fire.
- Watch for signs of incomplete burning such as visible smoke coming from your chimney or long, lazy flames in the firebox. When you see these signs, more air is needed to improve your fire. You must open the dampers to allow additional air into the stove.
- Don't burn on fair or poor air quality days. Your wood smoke will add significantly to the problem, particularly on days of atmospheric inversions and still winds.
- Buy the right stoves for your needs. The most common mistake is choosing a stove too large for the area to be heated. A stove that is too large for your home will have to be dampered down to maintain a comfortable temperature, thus creating smoke and increasing air pollution.
- Don't burn in moderate temperatures. Save your wood for cold days. When you do use your wood stove or fireplace, keep the fire small and bright and only burn clean, dry wood.
- Don't damper down your fire, as this will produce a smoky, oxygen-starved fire. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions for the safe operation and maintenance of your particular stove. Check your chimney frequently for creosote buildup: a common cause of house fires.
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