A fire blazing in the fire place always helps to create a warm and homey feel. Not only that but it helps to take away the chill on those long cold nights. While sitting in front of your fireplace have you ever wondered about the effects that a fire can have? The smoke from your fireplace can be full of harmful particles. According to the EPA smoke can have volatile organic compounds. Smoke can also foul up the air inside and outside of your home. Exposure to these particles can cause serious respiratory problems. There are ways to help prevent exposure to these chemicals and make your fire safer for you and your family. Here are 5 tips for an eco-friendly fire. If you have a fireplace, consider an insert. Some models burn 70% more efficiently than an open fireplace. Upgrading to new equipment could save you money. Newer models produce less smoke and soot and are 50% more efficient than traditional models which will save money on fuel. Burning the right kind of fuel can also help. Try to burn wood that has been dried for at least a year and avoid burning wet wood. Use the right sized grate for your fireplace. For the hottest and cleanest burning fire you want logs to be bundled together in the center not spread out. Lastly, skip the home chimney cleaning remedies. It is always best to error on the side of caution and have a professional clean your chimney and fireplace. A professional will know what to look for and can identify if there is a problem. Professionals have the equipment that will allow them to get to those hard to reach places to ensure that there are no blockages, or any damage in the internal structure of your fireplace that cannot be seen from inside or outside of your home.