Sitting by the fireplace is a holiday season pastime that most people still enjoy. In fact, some people enjoy it so much that they sit in front of their television sets to watch virtual fireplaces blaze and crackle away. Interestingly enough, the televised fireplace is undoubtedly the smarter choice. This is because a real fireplace causes more harm than is worth the toasty warmth it provides.
On their Canada.ca website, the Government of Canada reveals that wood smoke is bad for our health. “In communities where wood heating is common, wood smoke can be responsible for as much as 25% of the airborne particulate matter, 8% of the VOCs, and 7% of the CO in the air,” informs the site.
It goes on to explain that wood smoke contains such toxic compounds as nitrogen oxides and chlorinated dioxins and can cause eye, nose and throat irritations. It can also cause headaches, nausea and dizziness. Not to mention, the smoke emitted from fireplaces is known to worsen asthma and other respiratory issues.
However, those with heart or lung problems are especially susceptible to the health hazards associated with fireplaces. Canada.ca also reminds us that wood smoke puts children in danger as they are still developing their respiratory systems. As well, because kids are generally more active, they inhale more air.
The importance of removing fireplace use for your holiday festivities this year cannot be understated. As the good people at Aire Serv Heating & Air Conditioning explain, all fireplaces release harmful emissions. In fact, their website reveals that wood burning releases more pollutants than gas. Among those pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and a long list of particles.
“One of the most deleterious wood smoke health effects, particulates released during the incomplete combustion of any fuel (wood or gas) can work their way into and damage the lungs,” says AireServ.ca, “This can cause difficulty breathing and aggravate existing conditions, particularly asthma, bronchitis, and wood smoke allergies. Long-term damage can be irrevocable, with a number of particulate fireplace pollutants linked to cancer.”
Although it really shouldn’t have to be recommended, make sure your fireplace is well ventilated if you absolutely insist on using it this holiday season. It’s not a bad idea to open up some windows as well. We understand that the opening of windows may defeat the purpose of heating up your home. However, a lack of ventilation will only guarantee the distribution of air pollutants all throughout your home.
Ventilation is important “with ‘ventless’ fireplace models, both gas and wood burning, boosting measurable pollutant levels within the home,” says Aire Serv, “Very tightly sealed homes may also suffer increased pollution buildup, including not only dangerous gases and particles, but water vapour subsequent to burning that can contribute to mould and mildew.”
At DF Technical & Consulting Services Ltd., we’d like to offer you and your family the gift of clean air inside your home this holiday season. For information about our Air Quality Services, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-855-668-3131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.