creosote condensation in chimneys
Creosote is a liquid byproduct of wood combustion (or distillation) that
condenses on the internal surfaces of vents and chimneys.
If not removed regularly, it can corrode the surfaces and fuel a chimney
fire. Creosote condenses when stack temperatures drop below 250°F, so
the type of chimney is very important. An insulated one is desirable. A
large, airtight heater in a small home in a choked position will produce
creosote regardless of the type of wood burned or its moisture content.
Minimize creosote formation by:
A chimney choked with creosote
Using UL-listed wood-burning
equipment and chimney materials and installing the unit according to manufacturer's
instructions. Proper sizing of chimney and components.
Building a small hot fire for a short period rather than an "idle" fire
over a long period, when temperatures are moderate.
Keeping a hot fire; many manufacturers recommend opening the damper and
allowing the stove to burn hot for at least 15 minutes to burn away small
amounts of creosote.
Using only well-seasoned hardwoods.
Inspecting your system frequently and learning to operate it most efficiently.
Clean your chimney accordingly.