Q: I heard part of a conversation with one of your radio callers. You were talking about firewood and the deposit of creosote in a chimney. Did I understand you correctly that if you burn a fire with the flue fully open, you do not have to worry about the buildup of creosote?
A: You heard correctly. It is a misconception that pine wood forms more chimney creosote than oak firewood. The speed of burning and the draft up the chimney have much more effect on creosote than the type of wood burned. Creosote forms when wood stoves, not chimneys, are allowed to smolder all night. Any wood will deposit creosote if lots of smoke is produced. Oak wood is more dense than pine, so it burns longer, but both can be enjoyed in your fireplace in winter.