On a cold winter night, there’s nothing quite like the warmth and ambiance of a crackling fire in the fireplace. But with so many different types of firewood available, what’s the best wood to burn in a fireplace?
Not all woods are created equal. Some woods burn hotter and longer than others, while some produce more smoke or creosote. In this blog, we’ll look at the best woods to burn in a fireplace, the factors to consider when choosing firewood, and how to store it properly.
What Is The Best Wood To Burn In A Fireplace?
When choosing firewood, it’s important to consider the type of wood, the moisture content, and the size of the pieces.
Type of wood
The best woods to burn in a fireplace are hardwoods, such as oak, maple, and birch. Hardwoods burn hotter and longer than softwoods, and they produce less smoke.
Softwoods, such as pine and fir, can be burned in a fireplace, but they burn faster and produce more smoke. It’s important to note that softwoods can also produce creosote, a sticky black substance that can build up in the chimney and cause a fire hazard.
Firewood should be seasoned, meaning it has dried for at least six months. Seasoned wood burns more easily and produces less smoke than unseasoned wood. To test whether firewood is seasoned, look for cracks in the end grain. Seasoned wood will also have a lighter color than unseasoned wood.
Size of the pieces
Firewood should be split into pieces that are no more than six inches in diameter. Smaller pieces of wood will catch fire more easily and burn more evenly.
Some Of The Best Woods To Burn In A Fireplace
- Oak: This is called the best hardwood for firewood. Oak is a dense hardwood that burns slowly and produces a lot of heat. It is also a very fragrant wood, so it will fill your home with a pleasant aroma.
- Maple: This wood burns slowly and produces a lot of heat. It is also a very clean-burning wood so it will produce very little smoke.
- Birch: Birch is a hardwood that burns quickly and produces a lot of heat. It is also a very fragrant wood so it will fill your home with a pleasant aroma.
- Ash: Ash burns very quickly and produces a lot of heat. It is also a very clean-burning wood so it will produce very little smoke.
- Hickory: Hickory is a very dense hardwood that burns very slowly and produces a lot of heat. It is also a very fragrant wood, filling your home with a pleasant aroma.
Worst Wood To Burn In Fireplace
There are a few types of wood that you should avoid burning in a fireplace. These can be the worst wood to burn in a fireplace and produce harmful smoke or creosote, which can damage your fireplace and chimney and pose a fire hazard.
Softwoods like pine, fir, and spruce are not ideal for burning in a fireplace. Softwoods burn quickly and produce a lot of smoke and creosote.
Wet wood is difficult to burn and produces a lot of smoke. It can also cause creosote to build up in your chimney.
Treated wood, such as pressure-treated wood, should never be burned in a fireplace. Treated wood contains chemicals that can be released into the air when burned, which can harm your health.
Painted wood should also be avoided, as the paint can release harmful chemicals into the air when burned.
Driftwood can contain salt and other minerals that can damage your fireplace and chimney.
How To Store Firewood
Properly storing firewood is essential for keeping it dry and ready to burn. When firewood is wet, it produces more smoke and creosote, which can build up in your chimney and cause a fire hazard. It is also more difficult to ignite wet wood.
Here are some tips on how to store firewood–
Choose a dry, well-ventilated location
Avoid storing firewood in damp or humid areas, as this can promote mold and mildew growth. Storing firewood away from direct sunlight is also important, as this can dry out the wood too much.
Elevate the firewood off the ground
This will help to prevent moisture from wicking up into the wood and to improve airflow. You can store firewood on a wood pallet, a firewood rack, or even just a few pieces of lumber.
Stack the firewood loosely
Don’t stack the firewood too tightly, as this can restrict airflow and promote moisture buildup. Leave a few inches of space between the pieces of wood to allow for air circulation.
Cover the firewood
If you’re storing firewood outdoors, cover it with a tarp or other waterproof covering to protect it from the elements.
How to burn firewood safely and efficiently?
- Prepare the firebox. Make sure the firebox is clean and free of debris. Place a layer of ash or sand at the bottom to insulate the fire and protect the hearth.
- Don’t overload the firebox. Overloading the firebox can create a lot of smoke and creosote. It’s also important to leave some space between the pieces of wood so that air can circulate.
- Build a pyramid. Start with a few small kindling pieces in the firebox’s center. Then, layer larger pieces of wood on top, building a pyramid shape.
- Ignite the kindling. Use a match or lighter to ignite the kindling. Once the kindling is burning, slowly add larger pieces of wood.
- Adjust the air intake. Most fireplaces and wood stoves have an air intake damper. Adjust the damper to control the air flowing into the firebox. A good rule of thumb is to keep the damper open until the fire is well-established. Then, you can close the damper slightly to slow down the burn.
- Maintain the fire. Once the fire is established, add more wood as needed. Be careful not to overload the firebox, as this can create a lot of smoke and creosote.
- Extinguish the fire safely. When you are finished with the fire, extinguish it completely by pouring water on it or using a fire extinguisher.
A warm and cozy fire is the perfect way to spend a winter evening. But it’s important to know what’s the best wood to burn in a fireplace and to burn it safely and efficiently.
If you have any questions or concerns about your fireplace or wood stove, feel free to contact a qualified professional. Austin Chimney & Air Duct Cleaning Solutions is here to help you keep your fireplace or wood stove in top condition so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.
What kind of wood should not be burned in a fireplace?
You should not burn wet, treated, or painted wood in a fireplace. These types of wood can produce dangerous fumes and smoke.
What wood burns the longest in a fireplace?
Oak has the longest burn time of any common firewood so it will last the longest in your fireplace. It is a dense hardwood that burns slowly and produces much heat.
What part of the wood fire is hottest?
The hottest part of a wood fire is the tip of the blue cone, also known as the inner cone. This is where the combustion reaction is most intense, and the temperature can reach up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius).