Keep Your Fireplace, Lose the Toxic Side Effects

Concern over environmental pollution caused by traditional fireplaces seems to be a hot topic. In fact, widespread discussion over the amount of toxins emitted into both indoor and outdoor environments by fireplaces has prompted many people to limit or stop using their wood-burning fireplace altogether.

Fireplaces have long been coveted by homeowners for the charm that they add to a room, but they’re aquiring a bit of a stigma.

As a health- and eco-conscious citizen, how do you avoid being clumped in with the likes of gas-guzzling SUV drivers, sprawl-loving homeowners, and unapologetic polluters, while holding fast to the beloved crackle of a warm and cozy fire? Luckily, you have a few options.

Burn Wise, a partnership program of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), offers a few suggestions for smarter wood burning. These include:

  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood.
  • Have your fireplace inspected and serviced regularly.
  • Install an EPA-approved wood-burning appliance.

Adding an electric fireplace to your home is another solution gaining popularity among eco-minded homeowners. Offering the same aesthetic appeal as a traditional fireplace, these electric counterparts operate with the ease of standard space heaters. This means no excessive time needs to be spent cleaning the chimney or maintaining a flue—you don’t even have to chop and dry or shop endlessly for environmentally-friendly wood.

Most electric fireplaces just require a standard outlet and the ability to flip a switch. And….ta-da! You get warmth and charm, minus the toxic side effects of smoke and ashes. Most electric fireplaces feature realistic flames, and some actually crackle and pop for even greater effect. Plus, since the flames aren’t created by actual fire, you can enjoy your fireplace year-round! Electric fireplaces come in a variety of designs, from modern wall-hanging designs to rustic wooden mantle ones, so there is sure to be one to fit your décor.

For more information about electric fireplaces, check out our article Electric Fireplaces Add Ambiance, Preserve Energy Savings, and Subtract Cost.

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