(NC) There’s nothing like a warm fire on a cold day to nurture your soul. But despite its cozy scent, wood smoke contains pollutants that can be harmful, including chemicals and fine particles. Fine particles can penetrate deep into your lungs and bloodstream, sometimes leading to serious health effects or even death.
If you use a wood stove or fireplace in your home, here are some steps you can take to reduce your health risks:
Maintain your stove
- Make sure that your wood stove is well-maintained, vented correctly and working properly.
- Have it inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
Clean your chimney
- Clean your chimney and flues regularly, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Use your dampers
- Allow more airflow (ventilation) when starting a fire and close the dampers when the wood is well charred. This technique produces more heat, so you use less wood.
- Avoid burning wood on days when outdoor air pollution levels are high.
- Only burn dry, seasoned...