Can A Fireplace Cause Allergies? How Fireplace Covers Can Make A Difference

Are you one of the lucky few with a fireplace in your home? If so, you know the joy it can bring for you and your family. As a central gathering place for special moments and a source of warmth on cold winter nights, fireplaces offer a wealth of benefits. Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to having a fireplace, one of which being the potential for them to induce allergies.

Can fireplaces cause allergies? The research isn’t clear. Some people speculate that they do while others think there’s more to the story. Hearthstopper is here to investigate the questions around fireplaces and allergies, as well as to provide you with some tips to keep your home clean whether you have allergies or not.

What to Know About Fireplaces and Allergies

People who have allergies and live in homes with fireplaces often question if there is a connection between the two. This is a valid concern, especially if you or someone in your family has a history of respiratory issues, allergies, or asthma. There are instances in which certain particles may aggravate an immune response, which begs the question: do fireplaces cause allergies? Here’s what we know.

Potential Health Hazards

It’s no secret that people with breathing problems and respiratory issues may need to be extra careful around fireplaces. Still, some people wonder if you can be allergic to wood smoke. Others wonder if they are allergic to their fireplaces. Is there any legitimacy to this? Can fireplaces cause allergies? The jury is out but what we do know is that there may be a connection. Keep in mind that a connection does not mean a cause. In this case, it’s related to the link between homes with fireplaces, where they’re located, and the people who live in them.

The Connection Between Allergies and Fireplaces

While some people speculate that there may be a connection between allergies and fireplaces, this is likely more due to the changing of the seasons than the fireplaces themselves. Fireplaces are typically found in homes located in parts of the world where there are four seasons. The changing of the seasons causes increased pollen production, which causes many to experience allergy symptoms like runny noses, watery eyes, and congested sinuses.

What’s more, people tend to use their fireplaces during the fall to winter and winter to early spring months, which is when allergies are most prominent. So is it an issue of allergies due to the fireplace or allergies due to the changing of the seasons? It’s hard to say.

The Issue of Small Particles and Wood Smoke

Those who have allergies often experience more breathing problems than others, regardless of whether or not they have a fireplace in their homes. Still, having a fireplace in the home increases the amount of small particles that may infiltrate the air.

The smaller the particles, the more likely they are to get into your lungs and potentially cause health problems. Particles that are less than 10 micrometers in diameter are described as “fine particles,” and pose the most serious health risks for allergy sufferers.  

Additionally, wood smoke can also be problematic, as it contains toxic substances that could negatively affect the lungs. 

Neither of these are particularly serious issues for the general population, but immunocompromised people and those who have a history of allergies may want to pay extra attention to how they’re covering their fireplaces.

What to Do to Limit Fireplace Small Particle Exposure

If you’re concerned about allergies appearing or your existing allergies getting worse because of your fireplace, the good news is that there is a simple fix: a fireplace cover. The Hearth Stopper™ seals off fireplaces to prevent small particles from getting into your indoor air quality and potentially your lungs.

Even people who do not suffer from allergies should consider getting a fireplace cover, both for health and aesthetic purposes. Anyone who has asthma and comes into the home may experience breathing problems if the fireplace is not covered. Additionally, covers help limit the amount of residue and debris that  comes into the home and may get on furniture and floors.

About The Hearth Stopper

The Hearth Stopper is the elegant, easy-to-install fireplace cover solution you’ve been looking for. This fireplace cover seamlessly blends functionality and style. Not only does the cover help keep your home and your indoor air quality cleaner, but it also helps prevent drafts and keeps pests and bugs out of the living space. 

Additional key features include:

  • Made from high quality material, The Hearth Stopper’s Thermolded plastic has an insulated core to keep your home warm in the face of cold drafts.
  • The versatile design of this fireplace cover means it will fit in perfectly with a variety of decor styles. It also comes in two sizes. The standard size insulated fireplace cover measures 26 x 38 inches and is designed for fireplaces with openings of 21 inches tall. The large insulated fireplace cover measures 32 x 40 inches and is designed for fireplaces with openings that are 21” tall. 
  • Safety always comes first. The unique design of this fireplace cover prevents both young children and pets from getting too close to the unit.
  • The easy-to-use, easy-to-install nature of The Hearth Stopper makes it a no brainer to put in your home. 
  • Made in the USA. Not only is our product proudly American, but it’s also built from a woman-owned family business right out of the suburbs of Kansas City. 

Steering clear of contaminants and avoiding health issues like allergies in light of using your fireplace is a true concern for many. In addition to using a high quality fireplace cover, there are several other tips you may want to consider to reduce the risk of allergic reactions to wood and fireplace particles. 

Other Tips for a Healthier Fireplace

Keep it clean

Look into chimney maintenance and schedule regular cleaning. This will help prevent buildup and may limit the amount of small particles that get into your indoor air environment. Cleaning your chimney and/or fireplace yourself is relatively simple, but if you would prefer to have a professional do it, there are many services available. 

Close the flue when the fireplace is not in use

Not only is this a best practice protocol for fireplace maintenance in general, but it’s also suggested for preventing bugs and pests from getting into your home. The last thing you want is yet another outlet for bothersome critters to find their way into your living space. Keeping your fireplace’s flue closed is the way to go.

Use dry wood

The type of wood you use in your fireplace could make a major difference. Dry wood is advisable, which means you’ll have to prepare ahead of time. Properly season your fuel supply to ensure that it doesn’t get moldy. Before bringing any wood into the home, also make sure you inspect it to make sure it’s free from both pests and rot. Pro tip: use hardwoods like oak, elm, and maple, as these are denser, burn longer, and produce hotter flames. 

Enjoy your Fireplace Fully With The Hearth Stopper

Your fireplace may not be the culprit behind your allergies, but it can’t hurt to take extra precautions to safeguard your home. Covering your fireplace with The Hearth Stopper is a simple, effective, stylish, and easy way to reduce the infiltration of small particles in your indoor space and keep your entire home cleaner. You’ll get to do this all without sacrificing using your fireplace. It’s the best of both worlds!

Installing The Hearth Stopper is easy. Once you’ve determined which size fireplace cover is best for your space, the next step is to order your unit. Head over to our page on how to install The Hearth Stopper for a detailed instructional video. Here, you’ll find a clear explanation with a step-by-step instructional guide on how to install your fireplace cover. 

Have additional questions about fireplace covers and how they can benefit your home? We have answers! Our Frequently Asked Questions page includes a wide range of common questions customers ask in relation to allergies and fireplaces,  fireplace accessories, drafts and fireplaces, and more. 

It’s time you enjoyed your fireplace, worry-free. Learn more about The Hearth Stopper when you contact us today or get started by ordering your very own!

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