Wood smoke, combined with other forms of pollution, causes:
- Lung diseases, such as bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes
Newer fireplaces and wood stoves lessen the amount of smoke that escapes into the air, minimizing the potential damage to the health of individuals, communities, and the environment.
What Is Being Done?
States are regularly updating the law to systematically remove the oldest, dirtiest, and most dangerous wood-burning devices. Replacing them with cleaner alternatives does not entirely remove the problem, but it does mitigate it without going so far as to ban fireplaces and wood stoves altogether.
Previous laws have worked to:
- Lower the threshold for calling burn bans.
- Require the disclosure of uncertified wood stoves and fireplaces when you buy a home.
- Give local governments authority to ban the use of old wood stoves and fireplaces that violate federal limits on pollution.
Writing these laws is a difficult balancing act. On one side, there are the individual rights of people on their own properties. On the other, smoke doesn’t just stay on one person’s property: It affects your neighbors and their family members, guests, and pets. The latter has understandably been winning, which makes sense considering that a high-emission fireplace is like a smoker following their neighbor around all day and forcing them to breathe in the fumes.
Keeping your fireplace and/or woodstove legal and enjoyable is where Chimcare comes in.
Chimcare Removes and Disposes of Uncertified Wood Stoves
Chimcare does not just clean and protect your vents, but helps keep your wood stoves and fireplaces legal so that you can enjoy them year-round.
It is typical for older buildings to have uncertified wood stoves and fireplaces. The only thing to do with these uncertified wood-burning devices is to replace them. Luckily, Chimcare can help with safe and legal disposal.
If you are removing and/or updating an old wood stove, chances are that you will need additional work to make the fireplace safely operational again. Depending on the changes made to the fireplace before the wood stove’s installation, there are three updates you’ll need to make to have it back in working order again:
- A chimney sweep needs to remove creosote from the chimney. Creosote is the condensed tarry remnant of coal and wood carbons in the air. It is highly flammable and, for this reason, dangerous.
- When removing the wood stove insert, you need to install a rooftop damper. This will replace the fireplace damper that was removed during the wood stove’s installation.
- If there are any missing elements of the firebox, such as the back wall, you need to replace them
Protect Yourself and Your Neighbors
Wood smoke may be natural, but that doesn’t mean it is healthy. To be able to legally and safely enjoy your fireplace, check in with Chimcare to have your old wood stove removed and your fireplace restored.