All wood burning produces particulate matter and hazardous chemicals. However, if you are going to burn wood, then it is important to make sure you are following the best practices. Proper techniques can minimize emissions and reduce threats to public health. Always make sure to:
- Use dry, seasoned wood.
- Burn hardwoods like oak, in place of soft ones like pine.
- Never burn trash, plastic or pressure-treated woods.
- Avoid using an accelerator like gasoline to start a fire.
- Don’t leave a dying fire to smolder. It produces more air pollution and presents a safety hazard.
- Check your local air quality forecast before you burn.
If you burn indoors:
- Keep air vents clear of ashes.
- Regularly clean your chimney or flue.
- Upgrade to an EPA-certified wood stove or fireplace insert. These burn cleaner, more efficiently, and emit less particle matter.