The Best Type of Wood for the Fireplace

powers-cmWith Valentine’s Day approaching, why not prepare for a romantic evening right at home in front of a crackling fire? With a warm fire and a glass of champagne, you couldn’t have a more romantic atmosphere. However, to keep the fire burning all night long, you need the best wood for the fireplace.

Optimal Wood for Burning

Simply put, hardwood is the best choice. Its density allows for it to burn longer. When shopping for firewood, or even if cutting your own, know the wood’s energy per cord. This refers to the burning duration from a stack of wood that’s 4 feet wide, 4 feet high, and 8 feet long.

Generally, these woods have the highest energy per cord:

  • Ironwood
  • Rock elm
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Sugar maple
  • Beech
  • Yellow birch
  • Douglas fir

Know the Moisture Content

If you’re buying from a supplier, confirm that the wood was cut and properly stored at least six months prior to being sold. This allows for the moisture to evaporate. Even the best hardwood will underperform if it has too much water inside. Ideally, the moisture content should be no higher than 20% to 25%. You can determine moisture levels by using a wood moisture reader. This can easily be acquired at your local Home Depot.

Regardless of the wood you use, it’s essential that you get your chimney cleaned before using the fireplace. This is important for both safety and improving function.

Don’t Kickstart the Fireplace Without a Chimney Sweep

If it’s been a while since you last used the fireplace, have Powers Chimney & Masonry inspect the unit. Components from the masonry and chimney liners may need to be repaired before the fireplace can safely be used. We can also make recommendations on the best wood for the fireplace that’s available and native to the Seattle area.

Prompt Chimney Cleaning & Sweeping

Serving the communities of Arlington, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and all South Snohomish & North King County

Edited by Justin Vorhees