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What is the Best Firewood to Burn

Many of us are probably guilty of throwing gift wrap into the fireplace on Christmas morning. But it’s not safe or efficient to burn any and all types of wood products in your fireplace. To get the best fire, we recommend burning seasoned firewood only—and keep the gift wrap out of the fireplace!

What is Seasoned Firewood?

Seasoned firewood is basically just firewood that has been set out to dry. When you try to burn wet wood, a lot of energy is wasted. Seasoned firewood is usually cut in the spring and set out to dry throughout the summer. Unseasoned wood appears green and has a higher moisture content, which will make it weigh more. Seasoned firewood shouldn’t appear green at all and will weigh less due to its low moisture content.

No matter what the species of wood is, it is best to burn seasoned wood in your fireplace. Because it has a low moisture content, seasoned firewood burns hotter and cleaner—producing less creosote buildup in your fireplace and chimney. When you burn wood in your fireplace, the smoke condenses into a tar-like substance called creosote. Flames and sparks in your chimney can easily ignite a creosote buildup on the inside of your chimney, causing a chimney fire to occur. Using seasoned wood is one of the best ways to prevent chimney fires, along with regular chimney cleaning and inspections.

What Species of Wood Burns Best?

The best fires are built with a combination of wood species—specifically, a combination of hardwood and softwood species. Species of wood are ranked by British thermal units (BTU) and also by weight. Softwoods include species like pines and firs, while hardwoods include species like oak and cedar. Softwoods burn more easily and quickly, allowing you to get the fire going faster. Hardwoods, on the other hand, burn slower and longer—so you can enjoy your fire for a longer length of time. That’s why combining the two types of wood is ideal.  

When and Where to Buy Firewood

If you plan to order firewood, you should order it well before the winter season. This will allow you to avoid peak firewood purchasing times and also allow you to get better seasoned wood. When choosing a firewood supplier, you can also consider whether or not they use sustainable harvesting—which is better for the environment and helps prevent specie shortages.

How to Store Your Firewood

When storing your firewood, you should choose a location that’s not right beside your house. Wood attracts termites, and you don’t want to extend that invite into your home. Next, you should also lay down some cinder blocks so that your wood isn’t placed directly on the ground. This will keep your wood dry by preventing it from drawing moisture from the ground.  Finally, cover the top of your wood with a tarp, but keep the sides uncovered. This will keep your wood dry but still allow air to circulate.

Using the best firewood will allow you to burn a cleaner, more efficient fire, and also help reduce the amount of residue buildup in your chimney—allowing you to prevent chimney fires and keep your family safe.

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