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Old 09-09-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I'm being relocated to Anchorage soon. Will be taking a trip soon to find a home. As much as I enjoy sitting by a crackling fire, I am sensitive to smoke and air pollution.

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and I don't recall having an issue, in the dead of winter, with smoke. I seem to think the smoke just went straight up and you never smelled it. Later, we moved to the Gulf Coast. Here, folks will light up a wood fire when the temperature drops into the 60's or 50's (unlike what I recall in Northern Illinois). I don't know if it's the humidity or the fact that the air is relatively warm (and less dense), but the smoke does NOT dissipate. I've had issues with going outside as soon as the temperature drops (when I like to be outside the most), because the smoke/smell seems to drop and spread across an entire neighborhood despite only 1% or so of the homes actually burning.

Anyone have comments on winter time smoke in S. Anchorage and/or Eagle River? Is one of these locations preferable to the other in terms of the amount of wood smoke in the winter?

Sincere thanks to everyone for their help.
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Anchorage
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People are starting to light fires in their homes to help keep warm. You can certainly smell is and see it. If is particularly cold some days we get what's called "Ice Fog" which is caused by the smoke/exhaust coming from the city and hanging low like a blanket over the town.
This happens mostly in the interior where it gets extremely cold, but I suspect It can and does happen in the Anchorage area as well.
I would also imagine that living farther from Anchorage proper would result in more people buring wood for heat, ie: more smoke.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Deltana, AK
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Anchorage itself doesn't get it bad at all (at least by Alaska standards). Maybe a little over on the east side of town, at the base of the hillside. South Anchorage shouldn't be a problem. Eagle River on the other hand is a different story. The main commercial strip there by the highway probably isn't too bad since it's outside the narrow river valley, but most homes are back in the valley where the air can get pretty stagnant and smoky on clear, cold days.

Whatever you do, don't go to Fairbanks. Some of the worst air quality in the world during a winter cold snap.
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Old 09-14-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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Thanks so much for the replies. That really helps. We go next week to begin the home search. As great as Eagle River sounds in many respects, I think we'll stick with S Anchorage. I was fortunate to come across someone who lived up there until recently, and he lived in Eagle River. He too said it was probably more smoky up there, as it's a little more "frontier" living.

I suppose neighborhoods that are newer would have gas-log fireplaces. Maybe I need to limit where we look to newish areas? Then again, I get the feeling there is not a much (any?) new construction in S. Anchorage! Probably more in Eagle River.

Anyway, thanks a so much for the replies.
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Old 09-14-2011, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
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Every single home we looked at when buying had wood burning fireplaces. Some people might have retro-fitted some with gas. I think you might be right that newer homes might have only gas fireplaces.
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