Canyon Smog

Submitted by Randall WiseCanyon Resident

‘Tis the season to be jolly Light the fire And hang the holly…

Many of us in the canyon enjoy using our fireplaces in the winter. The glow of a fire is cheery and it warms the soul as well as the house.

But there are several ways we can enjoy this pleasure. We can load up the fireplace with wood and paper or we can use gas logs or we can have gas logs that also efficiently produce heat for the house.

While gas logs are good the best combination is a gas log fireplace with a firebox designed to produce heat for the house. These units are made in various sizes and can be inserted into an existing fireplace. The gas heats the firebox and a fan then circulates air from the room around the hot box returning warm air to the room. Because the box is sealed – typically with a glass front so we can enjoy the fire – warm air from the room is not sucked up the chimney and out of the house.

Unfortunately a wood burning fireplace is the least desirable option. While it is warm to stand in front of a fire, the warm air rising up the chimney actually sucks warm air out of the room. It also creates soot and ash and finally it creates SMOG in our beautiful canyon.  Just one wood fire burning in our canyon can fill half the canyon with smoke.

So if you have a wood burning fireplace and you haven’t investigated other options now might be the time. The advantages in efficiency, safety (soot buildup in a chimney is a fire hazard), convenience and improvement to our environment are worth considering.