The Real Truth About Spare the Air Days

After another hot dry summer season with raging California wildfires and ozone pollution, it might feel like sitting beside a cozy fire at the fireplace over the Holidays are a long way off. Yet the Holidays are just around the corner! Your friendly local Orinda Chimney Cleaning Services can help.

Fireplace Safety

It is perfectly safe to have a wood fire if safe burn practices are followed. Staying aware of Spare the Air days and regularly getting the chimney inspected and cleaned can allow us to enjoy our fireplace this winter. 

7 Safe Burn Practices: 

  1. Burn seasoned wood, or wood that has been dried for at least one year. This significantly reduces smoke than fresh, “wet” wood. 
  2. At no time burn plastics, garbage, paper, or other harmful substances.
  3. On no occasion use a liquid firelighter to start a fire in the fireplace  
  4. Get a chimney inspection and cleaning annually. 
  5. Keep flammable materials like curtains and furniture a safe distance from the fireplace.
  6. Make sure that nobody sits so close to a fire that clothing could catch fire 
  7. Check the local Spare the Air alerts before burning. 

When can we have a cozy fire?

A family gathering over the Holidays is often cozier and more memorable with a lovely traditional fire burning. We can use our fireplace when an alert has not been issued. Most people don’t realize that Spare the Air days are normally few and far between. In 2021, there have only been five no-burn days so far. 

Understanding Spare the Air Days 

In the Bay Area, there are two major air pollutants to pay attention to: ozone and fine particulate matter. When these pollutants are in high concentrations and deemed unhealthy for long-term exposure, a Spare the Air alert will go into effect. 

  • Ozone is the primary ingredient in summer smog. It comes from a reaction between sunlight and pollutants emitted by refineries, cars, power and chemical plants, as well as other industrial facilities. 
  • Fine Particulate Matter are small particles which can travel into the lungs. Fine particulate matter comes from vehicle exhaust, chemical reactions to pollutants and other materials. Wildfires can cause particulate matter to travel hundreds of miles. 

Did you know….

In the Bay Area, mandatory Spare the Air Days begin on November 1st and end on the last day of February of any year?

Check the Bay Area’s current air quality on the Bay Area Air Quality Management District organization’s website. 

How Can The Irish Sweep help?

Regular chimney cleaning and inspection services help preserve the structural integrity of the chimney. If a fireplace hasn’t been used over the summer, perhaps a squirrel or other creature has made its home there!

4 Main Reasons for a Chimney Inspection and Clean 

  1. Prevents carbon monoxide poisoning
  2. Prevention of chimney collapse- both the summer and winter months can be harsh on the integrity of the chimney. A dry climate along with heat and strong winds over the summer can harm the integrity of the cement and brickwork. Add in the fact that earthquakes, no matter how small can create tiny fractures in the brickwork. A chimney inspection can be a proactive way to detect this and prevent further or costly damage. 
  3. Reduces the likelihood of chimney fires from dust residues and creosote build-up
  4. Reduces the chance of the house smelling smokey 

We are your friendly local Orinda Chimney Cleaning Services.

Schedule a Chimney Cleaning 

Our services at The Irish Sweep can help maintain and enjoy a wood-burning chimney and fireplace for years to come. We take great pride as being your neighbor offering Orinda chimney cleaning services to the resident community and the local Bay Area.  

To schedule an appointment with our professional Orinda Chimney Cleaning team, call us at (510)521-4088, or use this simple contact form by clicking here.

Enjoy the crackle of a yule log in a roaring fire this Holiday season.