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by Jennifer, CVRD Area A, March 2020
I moved here 2 ½ years ago from the lower mainland. I found a lovely rancher with a pretty treed backyard with a stream running at the back. I felt instantly at home when I walked in the house. Having so few homes for sale at that time I chose it.
It wasn’t until more than a year later I became even more aware of the smoky chimneys in my neighbourhood. I noticed that I had doubled my asthma medication so double the cost.
I had been aware of the air advisories in the Comox Valley prior to moving here. I figured that it must be only a few days here and there plus with moving from the Lower Mainland with all of the vehicles on the road that the pollution was worse there.
Now with further scientific data on how bad it really is has started my plan of action. I obtained a good air purifier, I will not walk in my neighbourhood during the winter months and I will distribute educational pamphlets on the wood smoke situation around the Comox Valley.
The neighbour’s chimney smoke enters through my vents on the outside of my house which circulates the air in my crawl space. Once in my crawl space it then enters through the cracks and gaps in the heating ducts which the electric forced air furnace pushes up into my house through the vents in the floor including the cold air vent. It’s not a good idea to close up my outside vents for it’s necessary to have air circulation in a crawl space to prevent mold and no doubt other reasons as well.
I understand well the psychological and emotional attraction towards fires. I grew up camping and have been around the odd woodstove burning merrily. The warmth it creates is wonderful. When I visit my daughter I almost get the same feeling when I sit by her natural gas fireplace. There are alternatives. The downside to the wonderful warmth from a fireplace is the huge cost to our health, our families, friends and neighbours. So eventually common sense should prevail.