Expert answers to the most important questions about maintaining your hearth.
What Should (and Shouldn't) You Burn?Do burn soft woods like fir, pine, and cedar, which ignite easily and burn rapidly, so they are ideal to use as kindling. For staying power, use harder woods, such as oak, maple, and hickory. Freshly cut wood contains a lot of moisture, pitch, and resin and tends to produce creosote, a flammable substance that attaches to chimney walls. So buy seasoned wood, or season your own by keeping it off the ground under a rainproof tarp for at least six months, says the Environmental Protection Agency. (Hit a log against another; if it makes a hollow sound, it's ready.)
Never burn chemically treated or painted wood, foil, plastic, or other garbage, all of which produce noxious and sometimes toxic fumes. Other no-nos:
- Christmas trees. "The unseasoned wood and dry needles make them powder kegs, highly combustible," says Roy Marshall, director of the Residential Fire Safety Institute, a national advocacy group.
- Gift wrap, and other chemically treated paper―lit fragments can ignite creosote on chimney walls or land on your roof, says Ashley Eldridge, education director of the nonprofit Chimney Safety Institute of America.
Most Popular Galleries
“Despite definitely knowing better, you popped a pimple and it erupted. Rather than lecturing you on how bad it is to pick at your skin—because it is a bad idea—here’s how to cover it up: A...”
All Ellen DeGeneres fans (so that’s everyone, right?) need to get excited,...
from The Nest Blog » house & home
An international team of scientists has deciphered the genetic code of the tset...
Saturday Night Live's Cecily Strong is all fun and games, but her NYC apart...
from POPSUGAR Home
Beginning this week, you'll see three new flavors of Doritos on store shelv...
from Tastepartner on The Huffington Post
from HuffPost Home - The Huffington Post
Back in the 1930s, this lakeside community in the Santa Monica Mountains of Cal...