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Home & Garden

Things You Should Not Burn in Your Fireplace or Stove

November 3, 2019

Things You Should Not Burn in Your Fireplace or Stove

Knowing what kind of wood to burn in your wood stove or fireplace is essential, but equally vital is knowing what NOT to burn. We’ve compiled some items you should never burn in your fireplace or wood stove to ensure your family’s health and safety. 

Stove and Fireplace Resources

Looking for information about the best types of wood to burn or want to know the best way to prepare your stove for the season? The experts in our home and hearth department have the answers you need. Stop by anytime or check out these articles.

What to Know Before Adding a Stove or Fireplace to Your Home

Winter Pellet Stove Preparation

Choosing the Right Stove for Your Home

Pellet, Gas, and Wood Stove Safety and Efficiency

How to Avoid a Chimney Fire

Moisture Matters

Whatever wood you choose, be sure you season it before burning it. When a live tree is cut, the moisture in that wood is often more than 50%. Chances are it would not heat your home. It would also be difficult to light and could build up residue in your chimney. Read our article How Wood Moisture Affects Your Stove or Fireplace for more.

Items You Should Not Burn in Your Fireplace

First, start with the right wood for your stove or fireplace. As mentioned, burning dry wood and pellets does help avoid creosote buildup, and efficiency can decrease harmful particles in your home by up to 70%. In addition, by avoiding burring the following items, you can minimize harmful chemicals from entering your home and avoid chimney fires.  

Cardboard (the chemicals used to make cardboard more water-resistant and sturdy can make you sick)

Charcoal (in additional to being dangerous for your family, fireplaces and wood stoves are not rated to withstand the heat generated by charcoal

Christmas Trees (the sap can create additional creosote or even ignite the creosote buildup in your chimney)

Driftwood (chemicals absorbed while at sea can be toxic when burned)

Plastics & Trash (can cause toxic fumes and creosote buildup)

Treated Wood/Plywood (stain or painted wood can release chemicals into your home)

Wrapping Paper (The inks can create flames and sparks that could light creosote buildup in your chimney, causing a flue fire, or fire on your roof.

The Home & Hearth Department Has Answers to Your Questions

If you have any questions, be sure to stop by your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. You’ll find pros at your local store who know a thing or two about heating your home with pellet, gas, and wood stoves.