We get it. Who would want a fire that fizzles out quickly, blows smoke all over your house and only makes trouble? Not us. Bad wood is what causes that annoying, frustrating fire. And you don’t deserve that! What you need is the best wood for your fireplace.
If you want your home to stay warm all season, with long-lasting and extremely hot fires, then look no further! We’ve created this guide to help you know what makes the best wood for indoor fireplaces.
To get straight to the point, kiln-dried hardwood is the best wood for your fireplace. But there’s a lot more to it! Keep reading to learn the benefits of kiln-dried hardwood and how to keep it in the best condition!
Why Kiln-Dried Firewood is Best for Your Fireplace
The best wood for your fireplace will always be kiln-dried firewood. This is because kiln-dried firewood has so many benefits that will keep your home warmer and cleaner.
No matter what type of wood you choose, you’ll want to make sure it’s been kiln dried. If it’s not kiln-dried, it’s not worth your time! Here’s why:
Less Moisture Means Easier Ignition
Wood that has high levels of moisture is just going to cause you disappointment and frustration. Why? Well, wood that’s too moist is difficult to ignite. You might go through the entire box of matches just trying to get it started.
The firewood you find at gas stations or grocery stores often has too much moisture in it because it has been seasoned rather than kiln-dried. Seasoning is the lengthy process of allowing the wood to air-dry outdoors, which never gets the wood as dry as it should be.
Conversely, the controlled environment of a dry kiln always brings the wood’s moisture level down below 20%. Getting under that threshold is what you need to have a good fire. Now you won’t spend forever trying to get it started! Instead, kiln-dried wood ignites quickly, and you can be sure your home will warm up fast.
You’ll Get Hotter and Longer-Lasting Flames
Another benefit of low moisture is that you’ll have the best fire! Not only will you ignite kiln-dried wood easily, but it will also give you a hot, long-lasting fire that’s worthy of putting your furnace out of a job.
Because of the low moisture, the flames won’t have to spend any energy fighting water in the wood. Instead, the fire will burn efficiently, producing bright and hot flames in your fireplace.
Breathe Easier and Stay Healthy Without Smoke or Creosote
One of the top reasons kiln-dried firewood is the best wood for your fireplace is because it produces very little smoke! Now you won’t have to worry about the fire alarms going off when you want to warm up on a cold night!
Because the wood produces less smoke, you can also forget about creosote building up quickly. Creosote is a cancer-causing byproduct of smoke that sticks onto chimney walls. It is also highly flammable and can pose a threat to your home.
With hardly any smoke, you can burn kiln-dried firewood in your home knowing it’s cleaner, safer and healthier.
Safer to Bring Inside
You don’t want wood that brings in pests, mold, mildew and pesticides from outside. Luckily, with kiln-dried firewood, you don’t have to worry about any of those. The kiln-drying process removes any pests from the wood. So, if you choose to store your wood inside, bugs won’t be a problem.
Additionally, burning mold, mildew or pesticides can create unwanted toxins in your fireplace and home. But with kiln-dried wood, you can rest assured your fire is clean.
Stay Warmer Longer with Hardwoods
The best type of wood for your fireplace is hardwood. Hardwood comes from trees that change colors and lose their leaves in the fall. Because they grow slowly, hardwoods produce dense and low moisture wood. These characteristics are perfect for indoor burning, as hardy, dry wood produces the most heat and lasts the longest.
Each type of hardwood offers unique benefits. So, while any kind of hardwood is the best wood to burn, you may choose a certain type for its accessibility, smell or heat content. The most common types of hardwood used for indoor fireplaces are oak, ash, hickory, birch and various fruitwoods.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of each:
Oak: Hottest and Longest-Lasting
When deciding what kind of wood to burn in your fireplace, oak is probably the top choice. This is because out of all the different kinds of hardwood, oak burns the longest and produces the most heat.
One cord of oak firewood produces around 29 million BTUs. That’s equal to burning 200-250 gallons of fuel oil! So, if you choose oak for your fireplace, your house will stay plenty warm throughout the winter.
Because of the density of oak wood, it also burns for a very long time. So, oak is going to give you the best and longest burn for your money. You could heat your home for an entire night without using many logs!
Oak also saves time and money due to how plentiful it is throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. You will almost always be able to get a cord or two or oak kiln-dried firewood that’s perfect for warming your home during the cold season.
Hickory: Clean Burn and Nice Aroma
Hickory is a close second choice to oak. It’s very similar because it also burns very hot and for a long time. However, hickory also provides a nice aroma, while oak doesn’t produce a very strong smell. So, if you’re looking to warm your home and have a subtle scent, this is the best wood to burn in your fireplace.
Hickory also burns very clean because it has little moisture. So, you won’t get a lot of smoke. And even though the wood is quite dry, you’ll still get the classic firewood crackling sound from hickory firewood.
Ash: Low Smoke and Efficient Flames
Ash is another great option for your indoor fireplace. This type of wood produces a high amount of heat. And although it might not last as long as oak or hickory, it still burns at a steady rate.
Ash is typically a top choice because of how easy it is to split on your own. It also doesn’t need to be seasoned for as long as other hardwood types. But if you choose kiln-dried firewood, you won’t even have to worry about seasoning!
Unfortunately, this type of wood might be more difficult to find compared to oak or hickory. If you do choose ash, it’s best to combine it with other hardwoods for a hot and efficient fire.
Birch: Starts Quick and Mixes Well
If you’re looking to get your fire started quickly, you’ll want to use birch. Out of all the hardwoods, birch has the fastest start time. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t burn for quite as long as other types of wood.
For this reason, birch is a great option to start the fire, and the bark is great for tinder. However, to keep the wood burning, you’ll want to mix it with another type of firewood, like ash or oak. This helps to keep the fire hot and ensure it doesn’t burn out too fast.
Fruitwoods: Burn Hot and Smell Sweet
There are many kinds of fruitwoods, but the best ones for your fireplace include apple, cherry and pear. All these types of wood are hardwood, so they produce high temps and last a long time.
Fruitwoods are great options for special occasions because they make your home smell sweet. However, they are also more expensive than options like oak, so that’s why you would probably want to burn them sparingly.
Make Sure to Properly Store and Stack Your Wood
To make sure your kiln-dried hardwood stays pristine for an indoor fireplace, you’ll want to properly store and stack it.
Storage Best Practices
The best place to store firewood is indoors, as outdoor storage could allow in moisture and invasive pests. If you do opt to store your wood outdoors, we recommend storing it in a safely enclosed space, where it’s off the ground.
It’s also best to pick a location that will stay dry. So, don’t store your wood in areas with too much shade or spots that get particularly wet during a storm. Most importantly, you’ll want to find a place where there’s plenty of direct sunlight.
Stacking Best Practices
Stacking is also important for keeping your wood in good condition. The best stacking methods help to maintain dryness, prevent pests and make the wood easy to access.
Here are some principles to keep in mind when stacking:
- Elevate the stack off the ground.
- Keep a few feet of space around all sides of your stack to let it breathe.
- Keep pieces stacked loosely one another with space in between for airflow.
It’s best to find an accessible place in your home to stack your wood. This keeps your wood away from rain, snow, bugs and mold. And you won’t have to go out in the cold to get your logs!
Don’t Get Cold, Get the Best Wood for Your Fireplace Today!
As you can see, the absolute best wood for your indoor fireplace is kiln-dried hardwood. Not only will you stay very warm, but the fire will last a long time. And it can make your house smell good, too!
We at Lumberjacks provide high-quality kiln-dried hardwood that will keep your home warm all season long. If you’re looking to stock up before the snow hits, contact us today and we’ll get you ready for the cold winter.