To the editor:
Re: Dec. 16 letter to the editor from Ron Bernard: Wood Burners.
Ron, It is disheartening to hear that the wood burners of B.C. are distasteful to you.
Although you are right about the effects of wood burning (as seen in this sites report http://www.toronto.ca/health/hphe/pdf/techreport_fireplaces.pdf) if your neighbours are burning other products than wood then you should approach them and tell them that wood is acceptable, but by-products are not. Used properly a wood stove can be efficient and a cost-wise way of heating your property. True, some people cannot maintain their fire place due to cost limitations, but any reasonable amount of effort will help.
All that said, there is still something to a real fire, and my family and I really enjoy coming out in the crisp fall or winter morning air and smelling the wood burning from the chimneys…it’s like being camping every day in West Kelowna.
Perhaps it’s one of those vices right up there with a great beer, good wine, suntanning at the beach, ferociously good sex, or a good cigar—all could kill you one day…or not.
Here’s an excerpt from the EPA Fireplace guide.
Tips for using your wood burning stove safely and efficiently.
What else can you do to keep the home fires burning all winter long, but limit your exposure to smoke from wood burning stoves? The following lists some important tips:
• Ensure that your stove is installed properly and maintained regularly.
• Keep your flue open to allow plenty of oxygen in while using your stove.
• Start your fire with clean newspaper or dry kindling.
• Don’t burn anything other than clean, dry wood that has been properly seasoned.
• Avoid burning particle board, treated wood, stained wood, painted or wet wood.
• Burn hot, bright fires. Avoid fires that smolder.
• Let the fire burn down to coals, then rake them into a mound towards the air inlet and wood stove door. Don’t spread the coals out flat.
• Reload the wood stove adding three pieces at a time, placing the wood on, and behind, the mound of hot coals you’ve created. Refrain from adding only one piece at a time.
• In milder weather, burn smaller fires.
• Keep the doors of your wood stove closed at all times, unless you are loading it with wood.
• Remove ashes from your stove on a regular basis.