Fighting Indoor Pollution
From air and water to particles and substances, we are exposed to more pollutants than we like to think. And those of us living in the Kansas City area know a thing or two about the effects of environmental pollution. While it might be easy to think that air quality alerts don’t apply to us when we’re inside our homes, the air inside isn’t always better. Here are some helpful tips for eliminating your fireplace as a potential pollutant inside your home.
While spilled milk isn’t something worth crying about, smoke spillage certainly is. Not only does it irritate your eyes and throat, smoke also has effects that linger long after the smoke clears out: respiratory problems, cardiovascular issues, lung cancer, and damaged lung tissue. Your average fireplace needs a lot of air. It’ll use all the air in your home three times for every 24 hours of operation (standard 36in fireplace in a 1200 square feet home). All that consumption creates negative air pressure—when there isn’t enough air and the fire has to pull it down through the chimney—and negative air pressure causes spillage.
The good news is—you can send that spillage right back where it belongs. Check around your house to see if there are any appliances running that use air, such as a clothes dryer, exhaust fan, shower, etc. If you’ve made improvements to your house recently, you might notice changes in the way your fireplace performs. If you’ve installed new windows, you’re going to have better seals. This type of thing reduces air flow in your home, which is great for your utility bill, but not so great for your fireplace. Try opening a window or door when the fireplace is in use to help create better airflow.
You can also have your chimney sweep install an exhaust fan that will help draw the smoke up and out of the chimney. This is a great solution that will help if you don’t feel like playing duck-duck-goose trying to figure out what could be causing that spillage.
An unseen enemy of the air in your home is mold. Moisture can enter your chimney from weather conditions outside. Chimneys are the ideal place for mold to thrive and reproduce, and it’s not that harmless fuzz that grows on old bread. This mold can cause sinus and respiratory problems, coughing, headaches, and eye/throat irritation. There are a couple of things you can team up with your chimney sweep to combat mold: install a chimney cap and get a waterproofing treatment. Chimney caps are a great solution for a number of problems, like keeping animals, birds and debris, as well as moisture out. Waterproofing is a vapor-permeable treatment that not only repels moisture that leads to mold, but also helps to protect the structure of your home against damage from water entry. Be sure that your sweep uses Chimney Saver®, the leading product for waterproofing.
At Fluesbrothers, my techs and I are dedicated to you and your chimney. We are certified, and committed to continuing our education to ensure that you’re getting the best of the best. Give us a call if you’re concerned about your air quality. Our number is 913-236-7141. Or you can just click here, if that’s easier.