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Wood Burning Tips for a Green Hearth

Although less harmful than throwing a can out the window, burning a wood fireplace can have its negative effects on the environment. Toxic gasses such as nitrous oxide and fine particulates of soot get released into the air every time you enjoy a fire in the hearth. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is a harmful byproduct of burning wood. Further, the act of cutting down a large, mature tree to use as fuel has a negative impact on Mother Earth.

Eco-Friendlier Wood Burning Practices

Consider the below green wood burning tips to get the most from your fuel.

Burn Only Seasoned Firewood

This fuel source releases less harmful particulates than unseasoned wood.

Only Burn Hardwoods

Hardwoods burn cleaner, longer, and hotter than softwoods, thus reducing the amount of smoke and soot the fires emit. Some examples of hardwood trees are ash, oak, birch, cherry, maple, poplar, and walnut.

Keep Embers Hot

Minimize the amount of smoke your fire releases by keeping the embers hot. A smoldering fire generates plenty of smoke and releases dangerous particulate matter into the air.

Keep Your Chimney Clean

Ideally, schedule an annual chimney cleaning by a professional chimney sweep. A dirty chimney exhausts more harmful byproducts and burns less efficiently than one that is regularly cleaned.

The Truth About VOCs

While natural trees do not release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when they are burned, VOCs are emitted as gasses when certain solids and liquids are burned. Here are a few examples of items which release VOCs when burned:how to use your fireplace

  • Trash
  • Arsenic
  • Pesticides
  • Formaldehyde
  • Any treated wood, such as particle board or cardboard
  • Glossy or colored paper (except for black & white newspaper)
  • Wood that has been glued, painted, or stained

Contact Hi-Tech Appliance today for the installation of a fireplace insert or for any questions you may have about your home appliances and how to use your fireplace in a way that does not negatively impact the environment.

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