Wood burning stoves are great devices to have in the winter because they are capable of providing a lot of heat to a room, but they do not offer the cleanest type of heat. If you are considering getting a wood burning stove and are concerned about the health effects it may present, you may want to find out how to safely use this new fixture in your home.
Limit What You Burn
According to the Better Health Channel, breathing in smoke from a wood burning stove can create health risks, especially for people with existing conditions, such as:
- High blood pressure
- People with weakened immune systems
This is primarily because when wood burns, it emits gases such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. You can control this by limiting what you burn and by making sure your stove is well-vented. Here are things you should never burn in your wood burning stove:
- Plastic items
- Treated wood
- Foil lined items
To reduce the toxins created from burning wood, you should only place wood and plain newspaper or paper in your wood burner.
Choose the Right Wood
Burning the right type of wood will also decrease the toxins in the air, and here are some tips for selecting the right types of wood:
- Burn small pieces – Large pieces of wood can be heavy and bulky, and they tend to be wetter than dry pieces. Chopping your wood into smaller pieces will help you create a more consistent fire.
- Look for seasoned wood – Seasoned wood is wood that is completely dry. This type will ignite faster, and seasoned wood helps with the circulation of air inside the wood burner.
- Choose the right species – Three great types of wood to burn are oak, maple, and birch. Maple and oak both burn very slowly, which means your fire will last longer. Birch may be less expensive than other options, but it produces a lot of heat.
Burning wood is a great and inexpensive way to heat a home, but it can also leave a mess of ashes, smoke, and wood particles. If you decide to get a wood burner and install it in a carpeted room, you should consider installing ceramic tile flooring around it, to prevent sparks and embers from landing on the carpet and creating a fire hazard.
With these tips, you will be able to safely use a new wood burning stove in your home. To learn more about your options and safety issues, contact a contractor that sells and installs wood burning stoves like Alpine Fireplaces.