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Published on Aug 21, 2009
Wood smoke is one of the main sources of air pollution in Washington. Wood stoves, fireplaces, and other wood burning devices put out hundreds of times more air pollution than other sources of heat such as natural gas or electricity.
If you burn, burn clean
If you heat with wood, you can reduce smoke by burning properly: Burn only dry, seasoned wood. Be sure your firewood has been split and dried for at least one year. Store it under cover.
Never burn wet, painted, stained or treated wood; colored newsprint; plastic; garbage; diapers; or magazines. Burn small, hot fires. This helps the wood burn completely and cleanly. Never allow the fire to smolder. This wastes wood, produces little heat, and causes a lot of smoke.
Make sure your fire gets enough air. Dampering down too much can cause smoldering. You can tell if your fire has enough air by checking the smoke coming from your chimney. You should see only heat waves. If you see smoke, increase the air supply to your fire.
Make sure your wood stove is the right size for its space. A stove that is too large for the space it is heating will have to be damped down, causing more smoke. Make sure your stove is properly installed.