AQMD advice for the winter season

The Air Quality Management District wants people to know there are alternatives to a wood burning fire place this season and is offering a voucher to help those who want to convert to a gas burning fireplace.

In addition, they had some advice for those who still plan to use their wood-burning fireplace this winter.

Excerpts from a release/e-mail sent to me follows:

AQMD provides $125 for the conversion of a pollutant wood-burning fireplace to a cleaner, more efficient gas log fireplace set. Information about eligible residents and gas log retailers is available at, along with the 10 helpful wood burning tips. For quick reference, here they are in a shortened version:

1. Choose not to burn when air quality is already poor.

2. Reduce your need for fuel.

3. Have your chimney professionally cleaned.

4. If you do burn wood, start fires with softwood kindling such as pine or fir.

5. Never burn garbage and other materials.

6. Watch chimney for smoke.

7. Beware of overnight heating.

8. For heating, switch to a cleaner wood-burning alternative.

9. Replace your wood-burning fireplace with a natural gas insert.

10. If you can smell smoke, you are breathing smoke!

On another note, the green trend is more popular than ever, and Southern California residents will undoubtedly be looking for ways to “give green” this holiday season. There are many environmentally friendly gift ideas out there: organic cookies, hemp T-shirts, bamboo plants and many others. But we can’t forget the gift of cleaner air – that’s something the whole family can enjoy.