What is the best wood for fireplaces? Here is a list of recommendations to burn in your unit.
One of several concerns for homeowners is the ideal type of wood to burn in their fireplace. Of course, this refers to fireplaces that require firewood as a combustion fuel.
Now, the ideal type of firewood for a fireplace depends on your level of understanding about those available.
Not every type of firewood will burn efficiently. The right types will need to be identified and used. This is where we step in to help. We aim to resolve any concerns you might have regarding the most appropriate fuels.
Choosing the Best Firewood To Burn In A Fireplace
When it comes to the best woods for fireplace heating, not all firewood types will qualify.
Certain basic features must be present if firewood must be considered as heating fuel. Some of these include dry or seasoned wood as well as non-toxic firewood varieties.
When moist firewood is used for heating, it generates a lot of problems. First such wood releases a lot of smoke.
This translates to a loss of fuel and heat. More importantly, moist wood creates all sorts of problems including health risks as well as increased creosote buildup.
About Creosote Buildup
Creosote deposits in chimneys are known to have a tar-like consistency when freshly deposited.
With a continued deposit, it gets refined and hardens, thus becoming glossy and firmly sticking to the flue lining. Creosote arises from combustion gases generated in the form of a mist that condenses on the chimney surface.
The problem with excess creosote in a chimney is the risks posed. Chimney fires can easily result when creosote is allowed to accumulate. Now, creosote is known to be highly flammable and will easily fuel chimney fires.
With a chimney fire, you may end up losing your entire property when it spreads.
The Less Smoke, the Better
Seasoned wood undergoes a drying process that ensures all the moisture content within such wood is significantly removed. When such firewood is used as fuel, less smoke is produced while combustion is more efficient.
This is much better on several levels than using moist or unseasoned wood.
One of the ways to check for dryness in wood is to look out for clues such as dullness of color, loose bark, radial cracks as well as the dullness of smell. All of these are clear signs that such wood has undergone proper seasoning.
Avoid Toxic or Poisonous Wood Varieties
Certain wood varieties should be avoided at all costs. The simple reason is due to their toxicity.
In other words, these woods release toxic substances that could negatively impact your health. Examples of such woods are poisoned varieties of sumac, oak, ivy, and oleander.
So, how does one know what varieties are poisoned? It’s easy!
All you have to do is a tick to your state’s laws and guidelines for wood purchase. There’s also a USDA’s Plant Database that serves as a guide to enable you to avoid such wood.
So what kind of wood can you burn in a fireplace?
Best Wood For Indoor And Outdoor Fireplace
Certain woods qualify as being among the best for fireplace combustion.
Some of the reasons for the preference of such woods have been listed above. So, what are those woods that fall under this category? They include hardwood, softwood, and manufactured wood.
These are actually broad categories with several subtypes under each. Let’s discuss each type as follows;
Trees that grow slowly and denser belong to this category.
These woods are ideal burning fuels for chimney fireplaces. The simple reason is that they burn slowly yet more intensely or hotter. You’d notice these by their appearance as they’re mostly darker compared to softwoods.
We won’t be able to exhaust all hardwood types. However, some of the most popular include ash, oak, and birch.
Ash is among the best woods for chimney fireplace due to its nature of combustion.
With great heat and consistent flame, there’s little wonder why it’s considered a favorite among many homeowners. Of course, this hardwood like all others needs to be well seasoned before it burns efficiently.
Oak is another top pick for efficient chimney fireplace combustion. This dense wood will take longer than most hardwoods to season. When it dries, it also lasts longer as it doesn’t burn out fast.
When you’re thinking of burning wood throughout the night, the best fuel to use will be the oak.
Birch will also serve as a good chimney fireplace fuel as it burns quite efficiently. There are several species of this wood though. Each of these species has its efficiency level
This is the next category of the best woods for chimney fireplace combustion.
Due to their nature, it takes a shorter time to season softwoods. As expected, these woods are less dense and also lighter. Plus, softwood burnout or combust faster compared to hardwood.
If your fireplace is located indoors, it won’t be a great idea to use softwood as fuel. The simple reason for this is because they produce more smoke. Examples of woods under this category are larch, cedar, and pine.
Although larch is considered a softwood species, it’s still harder than certain hardwood species.
As a matter of fact, larch is believed to be the hardest softwood you can find. One of its great features is that it burns efficiently. However, the smoke produced is the problem as it’s much.
One of the things that make cedar a favorite fuel for fireplace combustion is its unique and pleasing scent. It serves the purpose efficiently
If you need a great wood that is easily lighted and combust fast, then pine will be a great pick. However, due to smoke generated during combustion, it’s best to use pine wood outdoors.
Ever heard of wood bricks? These are also known as manufactured wood and are made from compressed sawdust or woodchips. You may want to make findings or go through product reviews for the best-manufactured wood products.
These are some of the best wood products to consider for chimney fireplace use. While some are known to serve just fine for indoor environments, others are best burnt outdoors.
The main reason is due to the smoke generated as evidenced by softwood.