The Best (and Worst!) Types of Wood for Your Wood Burning Fireplace

by | Feb 21, 2023 | Wood Burning Fireplaces

Firewood is an essential component for a cozy and warm fireplace. However, not all firewoods are created equal. Some types of wood burn hotter, longer, and produce less smoke compared to others. By choosing the right firewood, you can have a more enjoyable and safe fire, while also being mindful of the environment.

With numerous amounts of different woods available, choosing the right one is no easy task. We’ve got you covered with the guide below on the best and worst types of firewood.

Only Use Seasoned Wood

The first thing you should know about firewood is that no matter the kind of wood, it always burns better and more efficiently when properly dried. As always, different types of wood will take longer than others to dry out, and knowing how to store your firewood is important. 

It is important to make sure your firewood is dry, or seasoned, before burning it in your fireplace. Here are the reasons why!

More Heat and Less Smoke

Dry firewood burns more efficiently and releases more heat, making your fireplace warmer and more comfortable.

Less smoke and soot buildup: Wet firewood produces more smoke and produces more soot, a flammable substance that builds up in your chimney and can cause chimney fires if not removed.

Easier To Light and Longer-lasting

Dry firewood ignites more easily and burns brighter, making it easier to light your fireplace.

Dry firewood burns longer and provides a more consistent heat source. It’s also better for the environment: Burning dry firewood releases fewer pollutants into the air, making it better for the environment.

Therefore, it is essential to store your firewood in a dry, well-ventilated place for at least 6-12 months before using it in your fireplace. And it will be worth it, there’s something so magical about a traditional fireplace versus an electric one! 

Best Types of Wood

Some firewoods are considered better for use in fireplaces because they have a dense grain structure and high level of resin, which makes them burn hot, long, and clean.

Hardwoods like oak, maple, cherry, ash, and birch are considered the best types of firewood for the fireplace because they ignite quickly, produce little smoke, and have a high heat output, making them ideal for warming homes and creating a cozy atmosphere.

Hardwoods

Hardwoods, such as oak, maple, and cherry, are considered the best types of firewood because they burn hot, long, and clean. These hardwoods have a dense grain structure and a high level of resin, making them a popular choice for homeowners and campers alike.

Ash

Ash is a hardwood that is well known for its fast-burning and high heat output. It has a high level of sap, which helps it to ignite quickly and burn efficiently, making it ideal for use in fireplaces, wood stoves, and outdoor fires.

Birch

Birch is another popular type of hardwood that is known for its high heat output and long burn time. It is a light-colored wood that produces very little smoke and has a pleasant aroma, making it a great choice for indoor fires.

Douglas Fir

Douglas Fir is a softwood that is popular for its fast-burning and high heat output. It is a light-colored wood that produces a lot of sparks, making it a great choice for outdoor fires.

Worst Types of Firewood

There are some types of firewood that are considered bad for the fireplace because they have low density, high moisture content, and high resin content. These factors can make it difficult to ignite the wood, causing it to produce a lot of smoke, creosote, and sparks, which can be dangerous and damaging to the fireplace and chimney. 

Softwoods

Softwoods, such as pine and cedar, are not recommended for use as firewood. These woods have a low density and high resin content, which can make them difficult to ignite and cause them to produce a lot of creosote, a highly flammable substance that can build up in chimneys and increase the risk of a chimney fire.

Willow

Willow is a softwood that is not recommended for use as firewood. It has a low density and high moisture content, which can make it difficult to ignite and cause it to produce a lot of smoke.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree that is often used as firewood in many countries, but it is not recommended for use in most parts of the United States.

This wood has a high oil content that can cause it to ignite easily, but it also burns very hot and produces a lot of smoke.

Poplar

Poplar is a softwood that is not recommended for use as firewood.

It has a low density and high moisture content, which can make it difficult to ignite and cause it to produce a lot of smoke.

Why Clean Your Fireplace Between Different Types of Firewood?

Cleaning your fireplace between different types of firewood is important to ensure a safe and efficient fire. Each type of firewood has its own unique chemical composition and burning characteristics, and using multiple types of wood in one fire can cause creosote and soot buildup in your chimney.

This buildup can increase the risk of chimney fires and make it more difficult to start and maintain fires in the future. Cleaning your fireplace between different types of firewood will help remove any residual soot and creosote and reduce the risk of chimney fires.

This can be done by using a chimney brush or vacuum to remove any soot and creosote buildup in the chimney and firebox. Keeping your chimney and fireplace clean is key to ensuring a safe and efficient fire.

Light It Up!

Choosing the right types of wood can make a big difference in the warmth, efficiency, and longevity of your fire. To ensure a safe and efficient fire, it is important to choose the right type of firewood and store it properly to prevent moisture buildup and decay.

If you don’t yet have a fireplace well then you’re in the right place, contact us now to get a free estimate

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