Wood stoves and asthma

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pickapeppa, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone who has asthma use a wood stove for heating? If so, does it aggravate the condition? Our little guy has asthma but was diagnosed with it after we removed the woodstove, so I'm not sure if it aggravated his condition as we were unaware of it or he developed it later on. I do remember that anytime we added wood, the smoke would belch into the living room. And also, when my sister heated with a wood stove, they all smelled like they'd been camping at christmas time. So her's belched enough smoke into the living space to saturate their clothing, hair, etc. with the aroma. This isn't unpleasant to me at all, but I'm concerned for ds if we reinstall it this winter. I'm having second thoughts about it.
     
  2. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    We have a few with asthma in our house. Have a son who's been in the hospital a few times with it, in fact. This winter we'll find out if he can tolerate a wood stove. Ours draws very well, so we won't have much smoke in the house.

    Meanwhile, look into bee pollen. It helps many asthmatics. Make sure you get FRESH, not dried, pollen.
     

  3. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    I think it really depends on what your asthma triggers are. I can't handle smoke of any type - campfire, cigarette, woodstove. Our woodstove is out in a room that is separate from the rest of the house so we can shut out the smoke if needed and open when things are pretty clear for the warmth.
     
  4. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If everyone smells of woodsmoke they need a new stove.

    I have asthma and cannot tolerate smoke. But a woodstove that does not smoke (inside the house that is) is easier on my asthma than forced air heat because of all the junk that is usually in the air ducts.

    You might also consider an outside wood furnace.

    I'd also run an air filter in the house.
     
  5. wayfarer

    wayfarer Active Member

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    I have asthma, and I am the one that gets it going in the morning...it does
    not trigger my asthma. But our stove doesn't smoke...we just installed another one this year in the basement. I would check into getting your chimney cleaned...or tell a stove place about the smoke coming out, maybe they can help with that. You could also you a good air purifier and change the filter frequently.
     
  6. Deb862

    Deb862 Well-Known Member

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    I am an asthma with quite alot of "indoor irritants" bothering me. For me, we rented 2 different properties that had wood stoves (both were older models, not the new "air tight" ones) and I never had a problem. However, when we built our own home and installed one of the brand new "air tight, efficient" models, I could not live with it. I ended up going to the hospital in the middle of the night several times as I just could not breathe. I don't know why this occurred as I had never had any problems with the older model woodstoves. May be just coincidience. :shrug:
     
  7. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dad smoked in ther house. He had it cause his dad smoked in the house. BUT, now I realize that there was a wood stove in the house at those times also. When my kids were born, I wouldnt smoke in the house, and none of them got it, BUTT, by then, I didnt have a wood stove anymore, so, who knows. I got shot in the lower back when I took a knife to a gunfight. It broke off a corner of my lower lumbar and it would always slip out of joint. The folks took me to a chiropractor and he helped. B ut theyed only take me once or so until it slipped out again. He had said he could heal asthma, but nobody believed it. Finally, wwhen the company I worked for saiud that they would cover C visits in their insurance, I weent to one and asked him if he could heal asthma. He said he coould, BUT, id have to continue going to him on a regular basis through the year till and through my season when it would start up, which was in the fall till Frost. So, now that I thinkj of it again, wood stoves shouldnt have been the problem as after frost and all threough winter I wasnt bothered. Anyway, I went regularly, aand come fall I didnt have it, and dont have it now. That was around 7 yrs ago. But if anyone wishes to go, find one thjat uses one of those trigger guns that he cocks and it puts a slight push when fired where he wants it to do the job. Stay away from the cracka practors that twist you up like a pretzel. There better for you, but opouch do they hurt during the visit. The hurts over by the time you leave the office, but................ :rolleyes: `
     
  8. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    With proper draft You should smell nothing inside the house. If you smell smoke in the house you should have it checked out by a sweep. This is a very serious situation due carbomonoxide. When the fire goes to Coals theirs no smell but the CO levels increase. As the fire cools less draft is created and more of the gasses can stay in the house.

    A properly functioning stove and flue is key for safety.
     
  9. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    The only time we get much smoke in the house is when we don't get a blazing fire going immediately. You have to get the chamber really hot fast so the smoke goes straight up, not out while the fire starts burning slowly. I use paper trash that I save to stack the kindling, then larger sticks, then logs on top of. Then I have newspaper and cardboard pieces to place under the grate, getting a good amount packed in before lighting the fire. Once I light that, the entire thing blazes up quickly and gets the chamber hot fast.

    I have asthma, but we also have a whole house fan that vents from the same room the fireplace is in. I can open it (not power it on) and the smoke will draw out of the room slowly. So if we have a down draft or didn't get the fire started hot enough and smoke gets into the room, we can vent the smoke out pretty good.

    The only time I had a really bad problem with my asthma was when the room started filling with smoke because I didn't start the fire hot enough. I opened the vent for the fan and opened a skylight, then the front door... bundled up and went outside so I could breathe. By the time I came back in, the majority of the smoke had cleared and the fire had finally taken off good enough.
     
  10. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    I have severe allergies (that have almost taken my life several times) and asthma. My asthma is not as bad as when I was a child...

    We heat with a wood-burning heater.

    I've found out that if we keep the wood outside on the screened back porch and just bring in what we need for the heater, it does not bother my allergies....but something about the musty wood sitting there in the same room did!

    We have heated with wood for about 25 years.

    The allergies don't get worse when we start using the wood-burning heater even though I am severely allergic to just about anything and everything...

    This could change as allergies do change but so far so good.
     
  11. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    I have asthma, and I have a wood furnace, potbellie, and a wood cookstove. as long as you remember, to open the flues, before opening the stoves to add wood, and your stoves all draw good, you will not have any problems, and use clean wood. wood that hasn't got dirt and other things in it, and you will be fine. the key I think are clean wood, and wood that doesn't have mold or meldew on it, and a good drawing flue. this will help so much.
     
  12. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. Now, I feel we are armed with enough information to give it a go. The only thing left is to reinstall up to current code and we're all set for free supplemental heat.
     
  13. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Oh. You mean, you do it right! :D
     
  14. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    No surprise there. Mold & mildew are major asthma triggers. More so than woodsmoke, I would guess.
     
  15. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This has nothing to do with burning wood. My asthma was basicly cured when I started taking tumeric. Yes, the stuff you find in the spice section of the grocery store. One pinch a day, and after a month I was amazed. Just take a little bit and dab it on your son's tongue in the morning. There's virtually no taste. His asthma can also be triggered by milk, so bring the milk to a simmer for ten minutes and let cool. You can do this a gallon at a time, add a little water because of evaporation, then keep it in the frig. Pasturized milk contains ascaris, a parasite that can be the cause of asthma, this is killed in the simmering.
     
  16. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    greetings from the mountain! my DH has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and we heat with wood. the lung doctor told us that heating with wood was bad cause when you can smell smoke you are also having CO2 in your air. However our stove draws very well, had a directional wind cap to increase draw. We also have our stove getting its "input" air from outside of our very tight house. We do also have a CO detector that I leave on for one 24 hour period each week (solar power here) and it has never showed any CO2. I think it would be fair to say that wood stoves produce no more smoke and co2 than does a gas stove, but you must maintain and install it properly!
     
  17. RenieB

    RenieB Well-Known Member

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    We have used wood heat for many years. Years ago a nephew, his wife and one yr old baby lived with us. The baby had difficulty with the wood heat and the doctor advised using a hunidify in the baby's room and it seemed to help her.

    RenieB
     
  18. nodak3

    nodak3 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    On the other hand, the health dept. in NM attributes the high number of asthma and copd on the reservations with burning wood. We heated with it for years, and I suffered with sinus allergies year round. Got rid of wood heat and the problem cleared up. We have bad old gas forced air, and I do fine. For optimal low heat cost and health, I would choose hot water heat with outdoor wood furnace.
     
  19. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    When we heated exclusively with wood my son did have tremendous respritory problems linked with asthma. I don't have asthma yet have always had sinus problems with dry heat from a wood stove or forced hot air type heat.
     
  20. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

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    LOL BlueRidge! Yes. You'd be surprised how green I've been. :D

    I also have trouble with the lack of humidity in the house when using wood heat, so I use a humidifier too.