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Investigation of Creosoting and Fireplace Inserts. Final Report.

pdf icon Investigation of Creosoting and Fireplace Inserts. Final Report. (5429 K)
Maxwell, T. T.; Dyer, D. F.; Maples, G.; Burch, T.

NBS GCR 81-365; 108 p. December 1981.


National Bureau of Standards, Gaithersburg, MD
Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC
Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC

Available from:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
Telephone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900; Rush Service (Telephone Orders Only) 800-553-6847;
Order number: PB82-169145


chimneys; creosote; fire safety; flues; heating euipment; stoves; temperature measurements; tars; wood


Estimates indicate that there are between 15 and 30 million fireplaces in existence in the United States. The use of fireplace inserts could provide primary heating sources for many of the homes in which they are located. This report presents the results of a testing program to quantify safety problems in the areas of chimney creosoting, efficiency and thermal performance of the inserts when used in masonry and factory-built fireplaces. The most important factors affecting creosote formation were found to be appliances type, moisture content and wood type. However, significant levels of creosote were formed with all fuels tested. This indicates that there is no "safe" wood to burn which will not produce creosote. Further, it emphasizes the necessity of routine maintenance on the part of homeowners who heat with wood.