A wood burning stove is one of the cost-effective convenient stoves. But, every stove leaves behind residues that are toxic wastes. The wastes stick to the chimney in the form of creosote. The gases and the tiny dirt particles mix in the air as air pollution.
Creosote is a sticky bad smelling combustible residue that occurs when the wood gases don’t burn fully. A chimney fire can arise due to excessive creosote. Inappropriately installed and damaged wood -burning stoves can lead to bigger maintenance costs, smoke emission, house fire, air pollution, ill health, etc.
EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency advices the people to take care and limit the exposure if one is staying amidst the high risk.
Smelling the wood stove’s smoke is extremely harmful. If you find unnecessary smoke coming out of your wood stove, it indicates that the operation is not appropriate and the stove needs immediate servicing.
The EPA certified wood burning stoves can burn proficiently than other models. It is surveyed that the EPA certified stoves release approximately 60 – 80% less smoke. These wood stoves are eco-friendly in nature. Hence, consider buying one.
Don’t forget that safety initiates with the installation. Always install your wood burning stove hiring a certified professional. Also, take his /her suggestions on how to use the stove efficiently. The more risks lie with the people who have a chronic illness like lung problem, asthma, angina, CHF, COPD, emphysema, etc.
Inappropriate wood burning stoves can lead to certain long-term health effects. The smoke releases pollutants like particles and poisonous gases. Surveys have proved that there are more visits to the hospitals, emergency rooms, and many people died due to the particles.
One can breathe the particulate matters deep into the lungs damaging the cells and creating difficulties in breathing. The heart and the lung conditions deteriorate. People can have chronic bronchitis and die prematurely.
The short-term health issues arising from the wood burning stove’s smoke:
Other respiratory infections
People with already existing lung disease can suffer from increased wheezing, dyspnea, chronic cough, and excessive mucus production. People with present heart disease can suffer from chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, heart attack, palpitations, arrhythmias, etc.
Don’t ignore the safety measures. As per the EPA’s suggestions, certain ways are there for the protection of the self from the disastrous smoke coming out of the wood-burning stoves.
First, you have to make sure that the installation of your wood burning stove is correct.
Second, regular maintenance is required.
Thirdly, you must keep the flue open for allowing enough oxygen to get in while the stove is in use.
Fourthly, never start kindling with chemically treated substances.
Fifthly, use dry kindling or newspaper for starting a fire.
Sixthly, make sure that the woods are clean, dry and seasoned.
Stay back from the fire that burns slowly or smolders.
Always let the fire burn down fully to coals. Then, gather them and make a mound and keep them towards the woodstove door and the air inlet.
Never spread the coals.
You can reload the wood burning stove by adding some pieces at once. Place the wood. Put the hot coals behind it.
Don’t add one piece at a time.
Burn smaller fires in the milder weather.
Keep the wood stove’s doors closed. Open it while loading wood.
Remove ashes from the wood stove regularly.
Follow the safety tips while you use the wood stove:
Install a smoke alarm. Maintain it.
Install a carbon monoxide detector. Take care of it.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. It should be in good condition.
Don’t keep anything flammable near the wood burning stove. Things like furniture, newspapers, plastics, books, clothes, etc. should be stored away.
Kerosene, gasoline, propane torch, charcoal starter are not the appropriate medium to start a fire in the wood burning stove.
Along with particle pollution, wood smoke has various toxic air pollutants like acrolein, PAHs or Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, benzene, formaldehyde, etc. which are extremely hazardous to human health. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance of the wood-burning stoves are required to stay away from the negative effect and get the full benefit of the stove.