Tips for Improved Indoor Air Quality Around Your Fireplace

Tips from Georgia Mechanical and the EPA for keeping your home and air quality safe when using your fireplace.

Fireplaces are a tradition of the winter and holiday season for homes across America. We all love enjoying a good fire with our friends and family on winter nights, but we want to make sure you’re doing so without compromising your indoor air quality in the process.

The EPA is concerned about the impact on air quality as well and have urged awareness for everyone considering using their fireplace in a recent press release:

“Wood burning … emits small particles and other air pollutants that can be significantly reduced with some common-sense practices … For some people, even short-term exposure to wood smoke can aggravate lung or heart conditions. Children, teenagers, older adults and people with lung diseases such as asthma and COPD, or heart conditions are most susceptible to the effects of wood smoke.”

Tips to keep your family and the air in your home safe for everyone:

  1. Make sure the wood you’re using is dry by allowing it to sit outside, protected by a tarp or other covering for at least six months. This gives time for the moisture in the wood to evaporate, providing a more efficient burn. Dry wood can be identified by its telltale characteristics: it will be darker and have cracks in the grain.
  1. Use newspapers or dry kindling to start your fires. Once the fire is going, add wood to maintain the fire at a high temperature to keep it burning efficiently. DO NOT use cardboard, plastic, wrapping materials, painted materials, pressure-treated wood or garbage.
  1. Proper fireplace maintenance is essential. According to the latest statistics, there are over 25,000 chimney fires every year in the US that are responsible for over $125 million dollars in property damage. Prevent any potential issues by removing ashes regularly. You should have your chimney and fireplace inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearance with cleaning and repairs done if needed.
  1. Add a HEPA filter. When placed in the same room as a fireplace, a HEPA filter can reduce particle pollution by as much as 60%. Georgia Mechanical offers several options that can improve your indoor air quality which can be over 40 times more effective than your typical throw-away filtration systems.

We hope you take the EPA’s recommendations seriously before firing up your fireplace this winter. Georgia Mechanical offers exceptional indoor air quality (IAQ) packages that we encourage you to consider if you live in Northern Georgia and can provide you with a free home inspection where we can outline the best possible IAQ package for your home and budget.

About Georgia Mechanical, Inc.

Georgia Mechanical is located in Buford, GA and provides heating and air conditioner installation, air conditioner repairs, and air conditioner (HVACR) maintenance for all residents and businesses in the greater Atlanta metro area. Visit our website to find out more about us, and check out the many other posts on our blog for tips, recommendations and industry insights.  To speak with an HVACR professional about your specific heating and cooling needs, please send us an email using the contact form to the right, or call us at 770-614-9214.