Complying with burn bans and exchanging older, dirty wood stoves will help to reduce fine particle pollution. But practicing clean burning can also go a long way toward keeping our air on the safe side.
Clean Burning Checklist
CONSIDER MANUFACTURED LOGS
Manufactured logs are a cleaner choice for ambience burning in your fireplace. Read up or consult your local hearth dealer about which energy logs are appropriate for your stove or insert. And always store manufactured logs in a dry location.
Split your firewood prior to stacking
Split firewood is exposed to air, which helps it dry. Dry firewood provides more heat with less smoke.
Store your firewood off the ground and covered from the elements.
Keeping your wood covered and off the ground will allow air to circulate and ensure it will remain dry. This can also help reduce the number of unwanted critters making homes in your woodpile.
Season (store) your wood for at least 12 months before burning.
In order to achieve a hot burning, low-smoke fire, wood must be seasoned for at least 12 months. Seasoned means dry and properly stored. Pick up a moisture meter at your local home improvement store to check on the moisture of your wood.
Choose a clean burning device, such as a pellet stove or EPA certified wood stove.
Uncertified wood stoves and fireplace inserts can produce twice as much pollution as cleaner, EPA certified devices. Switching to a certified device will help reduce the amount of fuel needed to maintain adequate heat in your home.
Read the manual for your device.
Each manufacturer provides a useful manual for their products. Reading the manual will ensure you know the ins and outs of your device and understand how to get the best performance possible.
Burn small, hot fires.
Keeping your fire small and hot is critical. They will keep you toasty and are much better for the air – both inside your home and out.
Manage your smoke.
Think of wood smoke as wasted heat. If your fire is smoky, you aren’t getting all of the warmth out of your wood.
Monitor the smoke coming from your chimney. Ideally, you should barely be able to see it – if at all. If it appears thick, you need to adjust your airflow or fuel, or check to make sure you are only using dry, seasoned wood.
Is your fire still smoky 20 minutes after starting it? Adjusting your airflow or fuel could help. If these measures don’t reduce the smoke, it may be time to replace your device.
Never let your fire smolder.
Especially not overnight. It’s bad for the air inside your home and the air around your neighborhood.
Keep in mind...
Keep your smoke clear.
It’s always illegal to produce thick smoke with over 20% opacity, burn ban or not, and fines apply. Don’t smoke out your neighbor.
Uncertified stoves will soon be illegal.
On September 30, 2015, it will become illegal to own or operate uncertified wood stoves within the Smoke Reduction Zone.
For more detailed information, check out some of these resources.
These highly polluting devices must be removed or rendered inoperable.
Do you own an uncertified wood burning stove or insert?
Take advantage of our discounts for a new, cleaner heating device.