What Type of Firewood Burns Best?

Whether you’re burning a fire in fall, winter, or spring, it’s important that it burns efficiently and safely. The type of firewood you’re burning in your system may determine how well it heats, how much soot and creosote are produced with fire, and how often your system will need maintenance. Even if you’re finished using your fireplace for the most part because of milder weather, it’s important to know what type of firewood burns best so that you can prepare for next burn season.

Properly Seasoned Firewoodseasoned and dried firewood stacked in piles

The best firewood to burn in any wood-burning appliance or fireplace is wood that has been properly seasoned. When it’s freshly cut, wood has a high water content–water that was keeping the tree alive. This water stays in microscopic tubes inside a living tree and must have time to evaporate and dry before the wood is good for firewood. The best firewood has been cut down, cut to length, and stored for three to six months before use in a fire. Burning wet or “green” wood create less heat, will result in more soot and creosote, and will burn incompletely. In all, homeowners will waste time and money when burning green wood. It takes three times more green wood to reach the desired temperature, and it will require more maintenance and cleaning appointments.

The Type of Wood

Not all trees are created equal, even when properly seasoned. Harder wood species will need longer to dry–taking six to twelve months. These hard tree species are popular for firewood because of their density. They burn longer, creating a more consistent fire, and have the most energy per cord. Species such as ironwood, elm, hickory, and oak are among these hardwoods. Softer woods require only three to six months to season and burn hot but fast. These softer woods are often used in milder weather (spring and fall) because the fast burn allows for easier control of the temperature. Softer woods include balsam, spruce, pine, and poplar, among others.

Chimney Performance

Burning the wrong wood can cause a smoky fireplace and difficult-to-light fire. While wood is a popular option, it may be a bad choice for people who do not have access to their own wood supply or space to properly store firewood for seasoning. We want to help you diagnose your fireplace issues. Is your poor chimney performance due to wet or green firewood, or is there a bigger problem with the system?

We can diagnose your chimney issues and get you back on track with a routine chimney sweep or annual inspection this spring.

Call 802-872-0123 or contact us online to schedule today.

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