Which firewood is best to burn in a fireplace?

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If you’ve recently purchased a wood burning stove for your fireplace, one of the first questions you’ll need answering is; which firewood is the best to burn on a fireplace?

We’re frequently asked this question and we’d be happy to go into further detail for you. It’s well known that hardwoods are better for burning in wood burning stoves than softwoods, but why is this? Generally, hardwoods are produced by slow-growing deciduous trees (those that lose their leaves) so the logs consequently have a greater density than the softwoods from faster growing evergreen trees.

Oak is considered one of the best woods to burn in a fireplace, and this is because you get a slow-burning fire that lasts longer and burns evenly. Another popular option is birch as it gives off a beautiful flame, but it does burn much faster than oak, so you’ll need to have more at your disposal. Ash firewood is a fine option too and it certainly offers desirable heat and splits easily. Here at Firewood and Logs we provide bulk bags of seasoned hardwood firewood, which is ready for immediate use on open fires, stoves, chimineas and fire pits.

Should softwood be avoided?

Hardwood is the best option in our eyes, but there are some advantages with buying and burning softwoods too so you don’t have to completely rule this out. Our seasoned softwood bags sell very well and they include a blend of spruce, pine and larch that has been dried through the summer.

These all season faster than hardwoods and they’re certainly easier to split, however, they also burn faster and leave more ash residue. That’s not to say you shouldn’t burn them in your fireplace. If you have plenty of supply or prefer a wood that’s easier to split then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t invest in seasoned softwood for your fireplace.

In an ideal world, you should always look to use fully seasoned chopped wood logs with a moisture content of less than 20%, but if you’re ever unsure, a moisture meter will come in handy. This tool is specifically designed for testing wood logs and will without a doubt pay for itself over and over again, so if you’re going to be burning firewood on a regular basis, this device will be your new best friend.

If you’re looking for cheaper ways to buy kiln dried or seasoned firewood, you can purchase unseasoned hardwood or softwood for your fireplace. All you need is a log store or barn with good airflow and you will have yourself an economical alternative. This of course means getting organised earlier than usual so the logs have time to season, but once you get into a routine you can continue to save money on firewood and burn more frequently!

We hope this information was of use to you, but if you have any follow up questions please feel free to send us a message or give us a call on 01536 373234. We’re always here to help.

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