The best wood to burn in your fireplace
If you are new to having your own wood-burning fireplace then you may not know that certain types of firewood burn better than others. Some woods can be terribly smokey or cause creosote buildup, while others are more efficient and warm your space better. Here are a few tips on choosing the best firewood.
What type of wood should you burn?
Most people consider oak to be the best wood for fireplaces because it has a reputation for burning slower, more evenly, getting hotter, and lasting longer. Thankfully oak is easy to find and abundant. Any of the “hardwoods’ are good choices. Hard trees are those that go dormant in the winter, produce any type of nut or fruit, and have wide leaves instead of needles like the pine tree.
Softwoods have needles, are conifers, and do not go dormant in the fall. Some examples of softwood trees are pine, poplar, and fir. The wood from these trees may be cheaper but they produce less heat and cause more creosote buildup for your chimney. So, when you are buying firewood, it is recommended to use hardwoods instead like oak, maple, birch, or wood that comes from fruit trees. Besides the type of tree your wood comes from, here are some other things to keep in mind.
- Only use seasoned firewood – seasoned firewood is firewood that has been dried for long periods of time to remove the
water content. “Greenwood” is wood that has been freshly cut. Green wood contains a good deal of water which is terrible for burning. Instead of flames, the heat causes the water in the firewood to evaporate which will produce steam and smoke rather than the warm fire you were hoping for.
- Avoid woods not meant for burning – this could include wood for construction, leftover wood from paint projects that may be painted, or cardboard. Though these materials may burn, they contain additional chemicals for preservation that when burnt can be toxic.
- Protect the wood you intend to use – You can do this by storing firewood off the ground on plastic, concrete, or even clean gravel is better than leaving it on the soil. It’s also recommended to cover the wood with a tarp only on the top layer. Airflow is important to allow the firewood to dry.
- Avoid pests by only bringing wood inside that you are ready to burn, – bugs are attracted to the wood so having more than you need laying around can unintentionally attract bugs inside.
If you are unsure about the make and model of your fireplace let alone what type of firewood that should be burned. Give us a call here at Burlington Fireplace, we’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction. We know that owning and operating a fireplace can have quite a few challenges, that’s why we’ve been helping our neighbors in Wisconsin and Illinois for more than 25 years. You can contact us online using our contact form.