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Dry, Seasoned Wood Recommended for Indoor Heating

Farmhouse Sunshine

Burning a cleaner fire in that wood stove or fireplace during the winter months is helpful to your health, and it also benefits the state's climate, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Alison Davis, senior adviser, Officer of Air Quality Planning and Standards with the EPA, says a good way to burn the hottest and most efficient fire possible is to use only dry, seasoned wood.

"The reason this is important is dry wood burns more completely," says Davis. "That benefits you in two ways as you get more energy out of the firewood because it burns more of the actual wood itself and the fire then produces less smoke."

Davis also suggested that to maintain proper airflow and efficiency, regularly remove ashes from your wood-burning stove or fireplace.

She adds, wood smoke produces fine particle pollution, which can be harmful to human health.

"When you breathe in air that has fine particles in it, it can penetrate deep into the lungs where it can harm the heart, the blood vessels and the lungs," Davis says. "Fine particles are linked to heart attacks and strokes."

In addition to particle pollution, there's also the danger of smoke filled with toxins or harmful chemicals if certain materials end up in the fire.

The EPA advises never burning such items as plastics, foam and other garbage, or wood that's been coated, painted, or pressure-treated.

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