Burning wood for heat during the colder days of the year is a cost-effective way to stay warm. Yet some types of firewood tend to burn better than others. This is because certain types of wood have a higher energy content per cord than others. What is the best fireplace wood to burn?
How to Select the Best Fireplace Wood
Did you know that freshly-cut firewood may contain up to 45% water? This is called “green” firewood. In order for it to burn, the moisture must first be removed. If it is placed into a fireplace in this green status, then most of the energy content of the wood will be used ineffectively.
That means the best fireplace wood to burn has been seasoned for a minimum of 6 months after it has been cut. The natural elements will reduce the water content of the wood so that you have more available energy content.
The seasoning process is more important than finding the correct type of wood to burn. For that reason, a wood digital moisture meter can be a great investment. We recommend this highly rated model from Stihl for this process.
What Is the Best Type of Firewood to Burn?
The best type of firewood to burn depends on the results that you’re looking to achieve with your fire. Softer woods tend to burn faster, but they’ll also burn hotter. Many soft woods also tend to offer a more fragrant fireplace experience. The best softer type of firewood to burn is usually fir. Fir firewood is easy to start, easy to split, and creates a large fire.
If you’re looking for a hardwood to burn, there are several good options available to you. Oak tends to be the most popular, but that also means it is usually the most expensive. In some areas, you could pay more than $350 for a cord of oak.
Walnut, madrone, and eucalyptus are other forms of hardwood that may be a little cheaper, but just as effective for firewood. Hardwoods that are properly seasons will typically burn quite hot for longer periods of time because they have more available fuel energy.
How Can I Tell If My Firewood Has Been Seasoned?
Unless you are purchasing pine or fir firewood, then it is virtually impossible for it to be properly seasoned if it was cut this year. Only warm, dry climates where the firewood was properly stored can season firewood in the time when winter ends and autumn begins.
Seasoned firewood also looks quite white on the inside. Unseasoned firewood tends to look like lumber products that you would purchase at your local DIY store.
It is also important to note that old firewood will deteriorate. Even properly stored and seasoned firewood will only last about 3 years at most.
So what is the best firewood to burn? The correct answer would be “last year’s firewood.” If your cord was cut and split this year, you might not have the right burning experience.