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The Best Wood For Your Wood Stove & Fireplace

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Nov 30, 2017


Here is a gas fireplace made to look like a wood fireplace.  If you have a wood fireplace than deciding which type of wood works best is something to think about.

Are you excited to use your wood stove or fireplace for the first time this year? If so, then it's important to have the right kind of wood ready to go. This week, I've got some tips for getting the most out of your wood stove or fireplace this winter. Enjoy!

Long-Burning Wood

Walnut, hard maple, birch, and oak are all examples of hardwoods. Hardwoods burn slowly and are the best choice for your wood stove or fireplace. They also burn very hot, providing more than enough heat to your home. Because of its great qualities, hardwood is usually more expensive than softwood.

Fast-Burning Wood

Cedar, spruce, pine, and balsam are all examples of softwood. This type of wood burns fast, leaving behind a fine layer of ash. This ash can quickly start to build up as creosote in your chimney. Though softwood is less expensive than hardwood, it is less desirable.

Wood With a Delightful Fragrance

Some types of wood create a lovely fragrance when burning in a fireplace or wood stove. I think the best part of having a fireplace or wood stove is watching the glowing flames. But a wonderful scent in the air makes the experience extra-special. For example, yew has an appealing fragrance when burned in a stove or fireplace. Plus, it's slow-burning, so you have more time to enjoy it. Though pine is a quick-burning wood, it offers you a pleasant fragrance. Other fragrant woods include apple, birch, and cherry.

What Types of Wood Should You Avoid?

Avoid putting wood with paint or varnish on it into your fireplace or wood stove. This can release toxic fumes when burned. Keep in mind that greenwood has a lot of moisture and provides little to no heat. Plywood, particle board, and pressboard are other types of wood that shouldn't be burned in your fireplace or wood stove.

Tips for Drying Wood

Whether it's hardwood or softwood, the wood you put into your fireplace or wood stove must be dry. Any piece of wood should contain less than 20 percent moisture. You can stack wood to dry it, making sure that you allow the proper amount of airflow between the pieces. Get a hand-held moisture meter from a hardware store to gauge the progress of the drying process. Be sure to factor in that it takes about one year of drying time for each inch of wood thickness.

Operating Your Fireplace or Wood Stove Efficiently

The overall efficiency of your wood stove depends on a lot of factors. In order to be efficient, your wood stove must be installed the right way as well as receive regular maintenance. A buildup of creosote in the chimney of your wood stove can be a fire hazard as well as decrease the efficiency of your stove. It's a smart idea to call a certified chimney sweep to get your chimney inspected and cleaned once a year. Your fireplace should also be inspected/cleaned once a year to get rid of accumulating creosote. Sweep the ashes out of your wood stove or fireplace to keep them from piling up and creating a fire hazard. And burn hardwood instead of softwood in your wood stove or fireplace to enjoy the highest degree of heat in your home.

Remember to be safe as you warm up your home this winter. Thanks for reading. - Alan with Alan's Factory Outlet

Topics: best wood for your fireplace


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