Nothing beats the cozy feeling of a warm, crackling fire.
Whether you light up your fireplace all season long or just for special occasions… burning the right wood makes a big difference. Check out this list of best firewood tips before you stock up for the winter.
What makes good firewood?
- Choose hardwood: This type of wood is denser and burns more efficiently with less smoke. Common hardwoods include oak, beech, ash, hickory, hard maple and pecan.
- Make sure it’s seasoned: That means that the wood has been split into pieces and left to age in a dry place for at least six months. Properly seasoned hardwood feels light when you pick it up and makes a distinct “clink” sound when you hit two pieces together.
- Buy it where you burn it: Aim to get your firewood from the closest source you can find – 10 miles or less is best. Why? Moving firewood can spread tree-killing diseases, fungus or invasive species. Even if the wood looks normal, these tiny threats can tag along unseen and eventually spread to harm whole forests.Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org.
- Know what to avoid: Steer clear of freshly cut “green” wood, which has too much moisture to burn properly. Never burn leftover construction wood or painted wood, which can release toxic chemicals into the air. Finally, avoid softwoods like pine – this wood is filled with sticky resin, which produces a lot of smoke and can gum up your chimney with harmful creosote.
One final tip: Don’t forget the chimney inspection. A professional chimney sweep has the tools, equipment and experience to check for safety issues you might not notice. Learn more about how to hire a chimney sweep.