If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, then you know that there’s nothing quite like cozying up next to a roaring fire on a chilly evening. But what type of wood should you burn to get the best experience? Not all woods are created equal, and choosing the right type can make a big difference in the heat output, burn time, and the overall ambiance of your fires.
Basically, if you’re using the wrong type of wood, your fire won’t burn as efficiently and you’re system may be more prone to damage. So, what type of wood is best for a fireplace? Let’s explore the various types of firewood and the factors you should consider when selecting firewood for your fireplace.
Have more questions about your wood-burning system? Give us a call. The Wolfman Chimney & Fireplace crew is happy to serve folks throughout San Antonio, Austin, and all of their surrounding areas.
What Type of Wood Is Best to Burn?
There are many types of firewood to choose from, but not all of them are created equal.
Hardwoods are excellent choices for firewood. They’re dense, which means they burn hotter and longer than softwoods. They also tend to produce less smoke and creosote buildup in your chimney, which is better for your home’s air quality and reduces the risk of chimney fires. Some of the best hardwoods for burning include:
- Oak: Oak is a popular choice for firewood because it burns hot and long. It’s also readily available in most areas.
- Maple: Maple burns hot and has a pleasant aroma, making it a favorite among many homeowners.
- Hickory: Hickory is a popular choice for smoking meats, but it also makes great firewood. It burns hot and slow, and produces a pleasant aroma.
Fruitwoods, like applewood and cherrywood, are also great options for firewood. They burn similarly to hardwoods and produce a pleasant aroma that can add to the ambiance of your fire. Just be aware that fruitwoods can be more expensive and harder to come by than some other types of firewood.
- Apple: Apple is a hardwood that is very good for heating. It burns slowly, puts off high heat levels, and smells great. That said, sometimes applewood is known to spit a bit or even sparkle while burning. It is important to note that applewood requires at least a couple of years of seasoning to burn optimally.
- Cherry: Many firewood users rate cherry as low quality, mainly because it spits when burning. If seasoned correctly, though, cherry is a good hardwood for wood heat. It burns medium to slow, puts off a reasonable amount of heat, and, best of all, it smells delightful.
Softwoods, like pine and spruce, are often readily available and cheaper than hardwoods or fruitwoods, but they’re not always the best choice for a fireplace. Why? Because they burn quickly, and they produce more smoke and creosote buildup, which can be harmful to your chimney and your health. That said, when burned correctly, they can be used. Some of the best softwoods for burning include:
- Pine: Pine is a popular choice for firewood because it’s readily available and easy to split. It burns fast and produces a pleasant aroma.
- Cedar: Cedar is a fragrant wood that burns hot and produces a pleasant aroma. It’s a good choice for kindling.
- Spruce: Spruce is a softwood that burns fast and produces a lot of heat. It’s a good choice for starting fires.
Is Your Wood Seasoned?
No matter what type of wood you choose, it’s important to make sure it’s properly seasoned before you burn it. Seasoned wood has been allowed to dry out for at least six months to a year, which reduces its moisture content and makes it burn more efficiently. Freshly cut or “green” wood contains too much moisture and can be difficult to ignite, produce a lot of smoke, and burn inefficiently. All of this increases creosote buildup and can warrant the need for chimney repairs later on.
No matter what type of wood you choose, it’s important to make sure it’s properly seasoned before you burn it.
We Can Answer Your Chimney & Fireplace Questions
When it comes to choosing wood for your fireplace, you have many options to choose from. It is important to remember that the best types of wood to burn in a fireplace are hardwoods like oak, hickory, and maple, as well as fruitwoods like apple and cherry. Softwoods like pine and spruce should be avoided if possible, and no matter what type of wood you choose, make sure it’s properly seasoned before you burn it. By choosing the right type of firewood and taking proper care of your fireplace and chimney, you can enjoy a warm and cozy fire all winter long.
If you have any further questions about your wood-burning fireplace, or want to learn more about choosing the right type of wood, the professionals at Wolfman Chimney & Fireplace are here to help with all of your chimney and fireplace needs.
Call 830-620-9130 or schedule your next appointment online today.