WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF WOOD TO BURN IN YOUR FIREPLACE?

When it’s cold outside, there is nothing quite like the cozy feeling of warming yourself up by the fire. Having a fireplace in your living space gives you the opportunity to bring the outdoors in and to warm up a small area quickly. Many of us have a pile of firewood next to the exterior of our homes from a recent tree-trimming project, but have you ever thought about what kind of wood is best to burn in a fireplace? In this post we will help explain which type of fireplace wood is best to burn, and why.

In short, hardwoods are the best wood to use for a fireplace, stoves, furnaces and other wood-burning appliances. The density allows them to burn longer, and thus making them a more efficient type of wood to burn. The folks over at woodheat.org have dropped a few hints we wanted to pass onto you, and below indicates the fireplace wood that would be the most dense, and moves on down to the lower density types of wood:

1. Ironwood
2. Rock Elm
3. Hickory
4. Oak
5. Sugar Maple
6. Beech
7. Yellow Birch
8. Ash
9. Red Elm
10. Red Maple
11. Tamarack
12. Douglas Fir
13. White Birch
14. Manitoba
15. Maple
16. Red Alder
17. Hemlock
18. Poplar
19. Pine
20. Basswood

21. Spruce
22. Balsam


Although they are less dense, the species in the latter half of the list can make excellent firewood for spring and fall because they make heat control easier and don’t tend to overheat the house.

If you have chopped wood on hand, ensure you have left the wood out to dry for some time. Now that winter is here, once your fireplace wood has dried out, you’ll want to cover the wood to ensure it’s dry enough for burning.

What to do before buying fireplace wood:

  • Ask friends and neighbors who burn wood for recommendations
  • Do some quick research and select the dealer who seems most reliable and comes with the best recommendations
  • Do not order wood by phone — go to the storage area to inspect the wood and take a tape measure to check piece length and pile size
  • Look for wood that is clean — sand and mud on firewood makes it less desirable
  • Make sure the pieces are split small enough for your appliance; you don’t want to have to re-split it all
  • Do not buy randomly piled wood — only stacked cords can be counted
  • If possible, get the wood in spring and stack it in your own yard so you can control the seasoning process

Heat season is here, and once you have ensured the safety and functionality of your fireplace and other wood-burning appliances, it’s certainly time to consider what you will use to fuel the fire. Literally.

Haven’t had your fireplace, chimney or other wood-burning appliances cleaned and inspected yet this year? It’s time! Give us a call and we’ll ensure you are set: (615) 823-8268.