With autumn finally here, those of us with wood stoves or fireplaces may be gearing up to sit next to the crackling fire on chilly evenings. While this certainly creates a wonderful ambiance in your home, making sure that the wood smoke generated by your fireplace isn’t adversely affecting your indoor air quality should be a key step in getting your fireplace ready for this season.
If you haven’t used your fireplace in a few months, ensuring that your chimney, flue, or air intake isn’t blocked or damaged is the first step to better indoor air quality. Branches, animals, or even just the age of your home, fireplace, or wood stove can cause your fireplace to pull smoke into your home and indoor air quality instead of out, so making sure that pathway is clear can help keep your indoor air quality at a high level.
Wood smoke contains a number of different small particles that can negatively affect your health if they are released into your indoor air quality and breathed in through your lungs. Smoke might smell good, but it isn’t good for you! The small particles and gases that are released as wood burns can aggravate lung diseases like asthma, affect your eyes and nose, and long-term effects might even include cancer and developmental effects on infants. Keeping your indoor air quality safe when burning wood in your fireplace is a top concern that can have long-term effects on you and your home.
Another quick thing that every homeowner can check before getting their wood stove back online after the summer months is their smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Having these two devices installed close to your stove is not only the law, but it can help alert you to changes in your indoor air quality.
If you have had problems with your wood stove and your indoor air quality has been compromised or continues to be affected by smoke, our professional teams at SafeAir can help you rehabilitate your home and improve your indoor air quality. While we aren’t experts in wood stoves, we do have in-depth knowledge and understanding of how indoor air quality can be affected by their use, and can offer strategies and tools to help reduce your exposure to the harmful effects that wood smoke can have on your indoor air quality.
One of the first things we’re likely to suggest in installing a high-efficiency particle air filter (HEPA) to lower the number of particulate matter in your indoor air quality. In a study out of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC, researchers monitored 45 non-smoking adults who live in homes where wood stoves are common. Air purifiers with and without HEPA filters were used in conjunction with indoor air quality tests, and the preliminary research found that some particle concentrations were reduced by 60-75%, suggesting that a measurable indoor air quality health benefit can be had through the use of air filtration systems.
If you have a woodstove and are curious about the indoor air quality of your home, give us a call at SafeAir! Our qualified technicians would be happy to help you assess your home and suggest ways to improve your indoor environment and comfort.