What is Wood Smoke?

Wood burning is a major cause of wintertime PM pollution. The particulate matter (PM) in the wood smoke from fireplaces and wood stoves has been a health concern for many years.

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What is PM?

Particulate matter is a mixture of solid and liquid particles in the air. The smaller-sized particles - those 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (PM2.5) - are of greatest health concern because they can pass through the nose and throat and lodge deep in the lungs. PM2.5 are sometimes called "fine" particles. For comparison, they are less than 1/25 the diameter of a human hair.

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Tips To Reduce Wood Smoke Pollution

  • Stop Burning Wood! Pollute less by finding a cleaner way to heat your home.
  • Switch to a Gas Fireplace or Insert. Convert your fireplace to gas with a new gas fireplace insert.
  • If You Must Use Wood, Burn Less Wood. Reduce your heating needs by weatherizing your house. Replace your old woodstove or fireplace with a new certified model, and get more heat and less pollution while burning less wood.
  • Change the Way You Operate Your Stove or Fireplace. Burn only clean, seasoned wood and non-glossy white paper. Build small, hot fires instead of large smoldering ones. Burn seasoned cordwood. Watch your chimney for smoke and have it inspected often. Follow your wood heater's operating instructions carefully.
  • And Remember - Check to see if it is illegal to use your fireplace or woodstove when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called by your local air quality district.