Fireplaces make us feel cozy. We all have them at home. Problem with fireplaces is they exhale smokes that are harmful for the environment, and for our bodies too. The smoke produced by a fireplace contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon called benzo(a)pyrene, which is highly carcinogenic.
The smoke has a foul smell and once released from the fireplace, it quickly fills the air inside and outside of the house. Breathing in that air could cause respiratory problems. Some house owners cover their fireplaces so smoke doesn't foul up the air. But it doesn't come in much help.
What they actually need to do is ignite an efficient and harmless fire. But house owners normally don't have a clue how to make eco-friendly fire. In this article, we'll help them by charting the ways to start a safe and eco-friendly fire.
Upgrade your fireplace
This is what chimney sweeps recommend. It helps house owners as well sweeps because an upgraded fireplace is very easy to clean. To know whether you really need to upgrade your fireplace, check its date. If it's too long, then change it to a new, EPA-accredited model.
Don't back off because those fireplaces are expensive. Think of the future and the long term benefits. Environment-friendly, EPA-certified fireplaces produce less smoke and soot. Besides, they are way more efficient than their conventional twins which means you'll able to cut down on the consumption of fuel.
Expert chimney sweeps with many years of experience have explained the structure of old inserts. Those inserts are nearly 600 pounds in weight and have a coating of soot inside them. The layer of soot is six to eight inches in size. Cleaning such a fireplace could take more than 2 hours because the sweep may not see anything due to the daub of soot.
Use fireplace insert
To understand why an insert is essential for your fireplace, you first need to understand how fireplaces lose out heat. Whether it's a factory built or a masonry fireplace, if it's a conventional wood-burning one, then heat loss is evident. By using an insert, the fireplace could be made more efficient.
An insert is a box shaped fireproof close combustion system that is made of steel or cast iron. Its front is made of insulated glass. The steel or iron traps the heat and a blower releases it through the inlets on the front. Fireplace inserts scores high efficiency. If your fireplace doesn't have an insert, then install one today.
Use the right fuel
The right kind of fuel should be used in the fireplace to increase its efficiency level. If you install a fireplace insert, then you have golden opportunity to move to eco-friendly fuel options as inserts can be powered by electricity, propane and gas.
If you don't want to install a fireplace insert and want to continue to use the traditional fireplace, then at least make sure the fireplace is producing a hot fire. Soot will be produced by the fireplace if the fire is not hot enough. If you are using wood as fuel, then select dry and hardwoods. Hardwoods burn quickly than softwoods.
The size of the fireplace grate
It's a bit technical for you if you are just a house owner, but additional knowledge never hurts and so you should know what is the perfect size of a fireplace grate. As reported by chimney sweeps, house owners often buy grates that are bigger than their fireplaces and then spread the logs out. This technique is wrong.
What you need to do instead is measure the width of the fireplace back wall, the depth of the fireplace floor and the height of the opening of the fireplace. Of these, the second and the third are most important. If the depth is medium and the height of the opening is short, then go for a short grate. You can go for longer grates only if the height of your fireplace opening is 30-inches or more.
Once you upgrade your fireplace following all the tips given in this article, it'd become more efficient and produce an eco-friendly fire. So follow all the tips discussed in this article.