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Does buying the right firewood affect my health?

Everyone loves the feel of a warm fire and the scent of smoke wafting through the air. But smoke can be bad for your health and your chimney. You can reduce these risks by buying the right firewood.

The smoke that comes from burning firewood includes microscopic particles that can cause negative health effects. Long-term smoke exposure has been linked to reduced lung function.
It has also caused the development of chronic bronchitis and, in some cases, premature death.

This smoke also causes the added buildup of creosote, a harmful residue, in your chimney. Failure to remove creosote can lead to a chimney fire.

You can protect yourself and reduce your exposure to harmful smoke and creosote by burning the right firewood. For starters, burn hardwoods in your fireplace. These woods are denser and burn more efficiently. This emits less smoke. Woods like oak, beech, ash, hickory, hard maple and pecan are all great choices for your fireplace.

Burning dry, seasoned wood will improve your fireplace experience. Avoid wet, newly cut woods because they burn inefficiently. This is because the water locked in the wood turns to steam when the wood is placed into the flame.

Make sure to avoid using leftover construction wood or painted wood. The chemicals found on these woods will be released into the air when the wood is burned. This can be harmful to your lungs and your fireplace. You should also never burn toxic plant matter in your fireplace– the smoke can be just as irritating to your body as the oils on the leaves.

Learn which types of firewood to avoid next.

ERIEĀ® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.