Smoky Fires Don’t Make Good Neighbors

Smoky Fires Don’t Make Good Neighbors

By Jesse Peralta


There’s a house down the street that has billowing smoke coming from its chimney on cold mornings. It’s a small house nestled low in a cove, so the smoke hovers at the street. I hate walking my dog past the house and usually stop short to turn around. I’m a little annoyed to cut my walk short, but more worried for the people who live there —inhaling smoke is bad for your health, and burning a cold, smoky fires is a waste of money, as well as a fire hazard.


Smoke happens when wood is not completely burned. It contains free radicals and carbon dioxide that can irritate your eyes and respiratory system, and inhibit oxygen absorption. Burning a clean fire is important to your health (and the health of your neighbors).


Burning a smoke-free fire will also better heat your home. A hot fire will burn the wood completely and produce more heat than a cool, smoky fire will. Getting more heat with less wood will save you money on wood.


In addition, a cool, smoky fire is more likely to cause creosote to deposit on your chimney flue, putting you at an increased risk for a chimney fire. A professional chimney sweep, like Chimcare, LLC can remove this residue and should be called upon more frequently if you burn a smoky fire.


So Neighbor, please start burning smarter. We’ll both be healthier for it, and you might even save your house or a little extra money on firewood.  


5 Tips to a Hotter, Cleaner Fire!

  1. Only use wood that has been dried for at least six months under a shelter. If you knock on the wood, it should sound hollow.
  2. Burn a HOT fire and keep it hot by adding wood regularly.  
  3. Do not overload the fire with wood. It can create pockets of cool air and reduce the available oxygen needed to burn well.
  4. Keep the doors closed to a wood stove while in use.
  5. Never burn garbage, even newspaper. 

Call Today for your annual Chimney Sweep or Chimney Inspection!  503-655-2446

Jesse Peralta

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