Many people may think that wood is wood when it comes to what they can burn in their fireplace or wood burning stove. This is not true, because depending on the tree, the wood is different. The most important thing that homeowners need to know about what type of wood to burn is that it needs to be of good quality and it should be seasoned as well.

Wood that is seasoned has been left out to dry for at least six months. Seasoned wood ignites quicker and burns much better than other woods. If the wood is too wet, it will create more smoke and there will not be as much heat coming from the fire. An easy way to check to see if the wood is dry is by banging two logs together. If they sound hollow, then they are dry enough for a fire.

Logs that are hardwood will burn longer and hotter than logs that are softwood. However, homeowners will need both types of logs. One reason is that it is more difficult to start a fire with only hardwood. The other reason is that homeowners may choose to burn softwood logs when the temperatures are milder, since they do not produce as much heat.

A few of the best types of hardwood logs that homeowners should be using are:

  • Ash
  • White oak
  • Red oak
  • Birch
  • Beech
  • Hard maple
  • Hickory
  • Dogwood

The best softwood logs that homeowners should be using are:

  • Douglas fir
  • Yellow pine
  • White spruce
  • Cedar

Some homeowners prefer crackling fires and these fires are easily achieved by using softwood. Fir and pine are two good choices of softwood for crackling fires and they have a wonderful smell which will transfer through the entire house. Be careful with pine though, because the oils from the logs can build up inside the chimney.

Homeowners should make sure that the size of the logs they are using are appropriate for their fireplace or wood burning stove. If the pieces are too long, it can be more difficult to stoke the fire. It is best if all of the firewood is consistently the same length and shorter pieces are better.

Selecting the best wood for a fire can be easy if homeowners know what they are doing. By the following the tips above, all homeowners should be able to successfully build many amazing fires in their fireplace or wood burning stove. Lou Curley’s Chimney Service is located in Drexel Hill and provides all types of chimney services to homeowners and commercial property owners in the surrounding areas and along the Main Line. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation, a chimney inspection, or chimney cleaning.