When looking for firewood for your wood-burning fireplace or stove, you need to keep some basic facts in mind. For instance, it is vital that you use only hardwoods to fuel your fire. Softwoods burn much less hot, and necessitates that you use more firewood than you would otherwise need to. Also, this lower temperature burn doesn’t allow for the combustion byproducts to completely incinerate. Because of this, softwood releases more creosote, in gas form, that collects on the sides of your chimney in a dark, sticky, and flammable substance.

Hardwoods, on the other hand, burn more slowly and with more heat. Not only does this cut down on the creosote, but it also will last longer in your fireplace. There are various types of hardwood for you to burn, and you need to know what they are. Hickory, maple, oak, and ash are just some of the hardwoods that are ideal for burning in your fireplace or stove. They produce relatively high heat, are decently easy to split, and produce a low amount of heavy smoke. The heavier the smoke, the more creosote it contains.

You need to remember, however, that all wood needs to be seasoned or dried. This goes for hardwoods as well. Kiln dried firewood will be the driest, and it can get down to as little as 20% moisture. Seasoned firewood can get down to around 30% moisture. It can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to properly season firewood. If at all possible, try having your firewood kiln dried. Not only will it dry quicker, but more moisture can be removed. Kiln dried firewood can be ready in as little as 72 hours, depending on the type of kiln.

Lastly, make sure you buy your firewood from a reputable dealer. You will want to make sure that they have properly prepared the firewood for burning. Otherwise, you will need to season the wood yourself. This will help you to have a safe wood burning season in your home.