Fireplace Air Quality

Fireplace air safety

We all know that we are in couple up season, and this is the time of year where a bottle wine, blanket and a good movie, or book, will be enjoyed in front of a well lit fireplace. Or in the case of a bad storm, the fireplace may be the only source of light and warmth, during a power outage. Do you ever wonder what your air quality is like while you’re in front of a wood burning fireplace?

While it looks romantic and sets a mood, best portrayed in the movies; there are some health and air quality risks to operating a wood burning fireplace in your home.

For the most part, wood burning fireplaces are seen as traditional to the new aged electric version and while some may like the aesthetic look of the electric fireplace, most people like the nostalgia of having a wood burning fireplace. The sound of the wood crackling under the heat, the warmth that the fireplace may bring, the natural ambiance it sets and the sweet smell of the burning wood of your choice can not be replaced by an electric fireplace. So the question remains, what are you really inhaling while you enjoy your traditional fireplace on a cold winter’s night?

We all know that when wood burns, it emits smoke (you know, the smoke you see trailing out of chimneys in those winter movie classics). According to the” target=”_blank”>Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if wood is not burned completely, small particulates are left in the air which can produce particulate matter with pollutants such as carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons just to name a few.

Because of this, we can realize that extended use of a wood burning fireplace can have a negative effect on your health; in particular your lungs. When you use your wood burning fireplace for an extended period of time, it can cause effects such as wheezing, coughing, asthma attacks, coughing, heart attack and can cause additional symptoms that can irritate the eye, nose and throat.

While most may not have a serious reaction to a wood burning fireplace, some people may want to stay away from them. They include:

Anyone who suffers from asthma;
Anyone who may have a heart condition or may have had a heart attack in the past;
Anyone who may have been diagnosed with lung cancer, emphysema or any lung related illnesses;
Anyone who may have severe allergies

If you suffer from any one of the conditions above, in an effort to protect their health and in an attempt to balance their nostalgia of a lit fireplace, an electric fireplace will be the best option for you.

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