Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to burn only one type of fuel. Used as all-purpose incinerators, these devices can pose the following hazards:
- Harmful vapors can vent into the living space. Even the most efficient fireplaces will vent directly into the living space while they’re opened and closed for cleaning and refueling, exposing everyone in the house to potentially dangerous fumes.
- Harmful vapors will vent to the outdoors. Most newer fireplaces and wood stoves do an excellent job of funneling smoke and fumes to the outdoors, but the problem doesn’t end there; this pollution persists, contaminating household and environmental air.
- Burning inappropriate fuel can cause mechanical damage. Chimneys can become lined with residue from inappropriate items, which may lead to a dangerous chimney fire. The fumes from certain items will quickly wear out sensitive components, such as catalytic combustors in wood stoves.
Read the following guidelines to better understand what can and cannot be safely burned in a residential fireplace or wood stove.
(read full article on InterNACHI)