Firewood is a renewable resource, but can produce large amounts of particulate emissions when not burned properly. Here are a few steps to consider if you burn wood.
- Use only dry, seasoned cordwood (dried for at least 6 months with less than 20% moisture). Dry logs should sound hollow when you hit them together. If you buy
bundled wood from the store, it should already be seasoned to 20% mositure, but check the label to be sure.
- Using manufactured firestarters will minimize emissions by quickly lighting your wood fires. Most of the emissions from a wood fire occur when the fire is getting started.
- Burn dense, hardwood species of trees such as oak and hickory. The resin in softwoods create more smoke and particulate emissions.
- Never burn wood that has been treated or painted, as it can emit toxins in the air when burned.
- If you burn in a wood stove, make sure it's an EPA-certified wood stove, which burn much more efficiently and emit fewer pollutants than old, non-certified wood stoves.
Check with your local air district to see if they offer a rebate program for replacing old stoves.
- For more information on heating with wood, visit the Alliance for Green Heat.