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If you can’t bear the notion of replacing your genuine wood fire with gas logs which are kinder to the environment—you can take the following steps for healthier burning. You still will not be allowed to burn wood in your fireplace on “no-burn days” if you live in Maricopa or Pinal counties, but you can reduce the amount of pollution your chimney sends into the air year-round. 

  • Burn seasoned hardwoods like oak, mesquite and pecan instead of softwoods like cedar, fir and pine. Hardwoods burn hotter, so they produce less creosote and smoke.
  • Split your wood and let it dry for at least six months.Wet or “green” wood creates more smoke when you burn it.
  • Small pieces of wood burn more efficiently than large ones.That makes them a better source of heat.
  • Keep painted and treated wood out of your fireplace. It produces pollutants that are toxic.
  • Likewise, your fireplace is no place for plastic, charcoal or paper printed with colored ink, like the Sunday comics. They, too, produce toxins when they are burned.
  • If the smoke from your chimney blows into your neighbor’s yard, it can irritate anyone who lives or visits there. Be a good neighbor and put out the fire.  

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