This time of year the thought of curling up in front of a nice roaring fire while the wind rages outside is hard to pass up. Below is a list of 5 tips from coit.com on how to care for those wood burning fireplaces. Just make sure you are using them only on Green Burn Days. KSL.com's weather section is a place you can easily check the air quality for the day.
1. Only burn well-seasoned hardwood like oak, maple, & birch. Green woods like pine and spruce can cause smoky fires and creosote buildup. Hardwoods burn hotter and cleaner.
2. Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned by a chimney sweep at least once per year.
3. Inspect or have the chimney sweep check the chimney cap. It keeps wildlife and debris from getting into the chimney.
4. There should be no smoke in your home. Get the fire burning as hot as possible, as quickly as possible to minimize smoke and incomplete combustion. If the fireplace is smoking, it is likely either due to an incompletely adjusted flue or creosote buildup. Once the fire is burning well, the flue should be open just enough to let the smoke escape.
5. Don't let ashes build up in the fireplace. Keep a one-inch layer of ash in the fireplace during burning season to protect the floor of the fireplace and insulate coals. Make sure ashes are completely cool before cleaning them out of the fireplace. Don't leave ashes in the fireplace year round as they are acidic and can draw moisture.
Those are the tips from coit.com. It's a great article and I will link it below.