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What Type of Wood to Use With a Wood Burning Fireplace

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

When selecting wood for a wood-burning fireplace, it's important to choose hardwoods over softwoods. Hardwoods generally burn hotter and longer, producing more sustained heat and creating less creosote buildup in your chimney. Creosote is a byproduct of incomplete combustion and can lead to chimney fires if not properly managed.

Here are some examples of hardwoods commonly used for firewood:

Oak: Oak is a dense hardwood that burns slowly and produces a high heat output. It's a popular choice for fireplaces.

Maple: Maple is another hardwood that burns well and produces good heat. It's important to season it properly before burning.

Hickory: Hickory is known for its high energy content and intense heat. It's a good choice if you want a hot-burning fire.

Ash: Ash is a hardwood that burns cleanly and is relatively easy to split. It's a good choice for both heat output and ease of use.

Birch: Birch is a softer hardwood but still a decent choice for burning. It lights easily but burns faster than denser hardwoods.

Avoid using softwoods like pine or spruce in your fireplace, as they tend to burn quickly, can produce more creosote, and may lead to a buildup of resinous deposits in the chimney.

Remember to properly season your firewood before use. Seasoning involves letting the wood dry for at least six months to reduce its moisture content, which improves combustion efficiency and reduces the amount of smoke produced. Additionally, using well-seasoned wood helps prevent the buildup of creosote in your chimney.

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