What are the things you should never burn in your fireplace? Naturally, plastics would be at the top of the list, but the other materials might surprise you.
What Not to Burn
- Wet wood – Not only is using wet wood to heat your home inefficient, but it’s also risky. Due to its high water content (wet logs can contain up to 45% moisture), wet wood produces more smoke than heat. The more smoke and combustion byproducts that pass through your chimney, the thicker the creosote—a highly flammable substance—that builds up in your chimney.
- Christmas trees – You might be thinking of putting your dried-up Christmas to good use by using it as firewood, but don’t. Evergreen trees, like the ones used as Christmas trees, have high levels of resin, which can cause flames to pop, increasing the risk of a chimney fire.
- Painted or treated lumber – When exposed to flames, arsenic and chromium—two chemicals commonly used in pressure-treated lumber—might produce noxious gases.
- Manufactured wood products – The same goes for manufactured wood products, including plywood, chipboard, and cardboard. The chemicals used in these products can produce harmful gases.
- Driftwood – The salt in driftwood is unlikely to produce noxious gases, but it can corrode your fireplace and chimney. In which case, you’ll likely need chimney masonry repair.
- Dryer lint – Lint is a great fire-starter, but like the treated wood and manufactured wood products, it contains chemicals that can produce noxious gases
What to Use
You should only burn seasoned wood in your fireplace. The process of seasoning removes the moisture content of regular wood, lessening the amount of smoke produced and making the combustion more uniform. Keep in mind that creosote builds in your chimney over time, so it’s important to have an experienced chimney sweep routinely clean it.
Looking for reputable chimney-cleaning companies in your area?
Chimney Doctors, a locally-owned company with more than two decades’ worth of experience, offers a wide range of chimney services, including chimney relining and cleaning. To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained experts, you can call us at (518) 882-5009 or leave us a message here. We serve homeowners in Clifton Park, NY, as well as the surrounding communities.