What’s the Best Firewood to Heat My Home?

Stack of firewood, image for best firewood to use in your home.

Which is the best firewood to use to heat your home? Discover the answer to that and how some woods are better than others, the distinctions between hardwood and softwood, and how to keep your wood burning fixture safe.

Wood is a fantastic, aromatic, and effective method of heating your house. On a winter evening, nothing beats the comfort of a fire, which is both warm and dry. If you heat your house with a wood stove or fireplace, you may be wondering which kinds of wood are best to burn. We’ll look at a few different types of wood, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to choose which to use in your fire.

How Does Hardwood Compare to Softwood?

Hardwood and softwood are two very different types of wood. Softwood originates from evergreens like pine and spruce, whereas hardwood comes from deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves in the autumn). Thanks to sap, softwood provides a quick hot fire, but too much of it leads to creosote accumulation in your chimney.

The Problem with Creosote

Creosote is a sort of soot that may build up in your chimney when you use your wood stove. When wood burns, smoke produced by softwoods leaves creosote behind. Creosote builds up in your chimney when the smoke does not climb quickly enough.

Creosote is initially simple to get rid of. However, when it accumulates over time, it transforms into a tar-like material and this drastically increases your chances of a chimney fire.

What’s the Best Fireplace Wood to Burn for Heat?

British Thermal Units are used to measure heat. The BTU of wood varies according to the species. You may be looking to burn the hottest woods you can get your hands on, but they are also some of the most difficult to split. That’s something to bear in mind if you’re the one chopping the firewood.

Here is a list of the most commonly used firewood along with its BTU ratings per cord in millions. Keep in mind that a cord of firewood is equal to 128 cubic feet of piled firewood.

  • Osage orange: 32.9
  • Shagbark hickory: 27.7
  • Black locust: 26.8
  • Apple: 26.5
  • Red oak: 24
  • Black walnut: 20.2
  • Spruce: 14.5
  • White pine: 14.3

How Does Green Wood Differ From Seasoned Wood?

Moisture content is another key consideration when evaluating firewood for heat energy. Green wood, which has more moisture than seasoned wood, produces less heat and a lot more smoke, which isn’t what most people want flowing through their homes. The ideal wood to burn in your fireplace or wood stove is seasoned, perfectly dry firewood.

Hardwood takes longer to season than softwood, and is generally more costly, taking one to two years on average, but the heat energy savings are worth it.

5 Wood Burning Safety FAQs & Tips

Always remember to keep safety in mind while burning wood, particularly when burning wood inside. The following frequently asked questions will assist you in doing so.

#1 Where’s the Best Place to Buy Firewood?

While you can find firewood for sale online, you should look for a trustworthy local source.

This saves money on shipping and helps to protect the environment. Purchasing rare kinds of wood from other states or nations, for example, may result in the introduction of invasive species into your region.

#2 How Do I Maximize My Wood’s Burn-Time?

Choose wood that will burn for the longest duration while producing the least amount of creosote.

If left uncontrolled, the creosote resin coating within the chimney slows airflow, posing a fire threat; it’s also poisonous and may harm your health if exposed to it for extended lengths of time.

While a creosote remover may be used to lessen the danger of chimney fires, it makes more sense to utilize wood that generates less of the toxic compound altogether.

#3 How Much Does Firewood Cost On Average?

Purchase your fireplace wood well in advance of the holiday rush.

Firewood has no set price, which means it varies based on market conditions such as weather, supply, and demand.

A cord is equal to 128 cubic feet and is the standard unit of measurement for firewood. Smaller amounts known as “facial cords” are also available from certain providers.

For softwoods like fir, a cord may cost as little as $225. Hardwood and mixed woods cost between $300 and $600 per cord.

#4 Which Types of Wood are Easiest to Ignite?

Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and beech are harder to ignite in general, but they burn for a longer period of time.

Softwoods such as fir, pine, and cedar produce more smoke and so creosote. These evergreens, on the other hand, contain aromatic resins and oils that quickly catch fire without needing a fire starter, making them ideal for kindling.

#5 How Do I Reduce Smoke From My Fireplace?

Always choose seasoned wood that is dry to the touch and prepared for burning by allowing excess moisture to fully evaporate.

Green logs that have been freshly cut emit a lot of smoke, also making them dangerous, particularly when burned inside.

Only use logs that fit into your fireplace or wood stove effortlessly. Before being added to the fire, logs with a diameter of more than five inches should be split. If you chop your own wood, keep in mind that it might take anything from six months to two years for it to completely dry, depending on the species.

When you buy wood from a provider, be sure it’s well seasoned and ready to use.

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