This article starts with a question on what firewood variant burns best.
Firewood is a popular fireplace fuel used over several centuries.
During this time, there have been discoveries about their burning efficiency. In other words, the hottest burning wood, as well as the densest among other characteristics have been discovered.
Here, we’ll be all things relating to firewood combustion efficiency. You get to find out what fuel to use for your fireplace or stove. Plus, the buildup of creosote is also brought under control by the simple act of choosing the right firewood type.
Hottest Burning Firewood Types
When it comes to the varieties of wood for your fireplace, there are lots to choose from. These range from yew, walnut, sycamore, willow, rowan, sweet chestnut, spruce, and poplar.
Other types include pine, plane, oak, pear, larch, lime, hazel, horse chestnut, holly, hornbeam, elm, hawthorn, Douglas fir, and Cherry.
That isn’t all? Other firewood variants include elder, blackthorn, cedar, birch, beech, ash, apple, and alder.
We could go on and on to list some common firewood types. However, that won’t be necessary as the focus is to list some of the best types in terms of combustion. So, are these the best types?
We’ve only set the tone for our discussion as we’ll be getting into details on what firewood varieties combust better. Before we get into our main focus, it’s important to first list some firewood types you shouldn’t consider adding, using, or burning.
5 Firewood Types To Never Burn
Not all firewood types are good for use in a fireplace. Here are some items you shouldn’t burn in a fireplace too.
These are considered bad firewood due to their characteristics. They include green wood, non-local wood, softwood, driftwood, oleander, endangered species, and poisons.
Is that all? Not at all! However, let’s explain why these are considered bad firewood.
It’s characteristic of green wood or freshly-cut wood to have loads of sap.
Common sense will require that these be left to dry out before using them as firewood. Any attempt to toss these into the fire would only result in a lot of fireplace smoke and little to no heating.
All freshly cut wood must be allowed to dry out completely before being considered as fuel.
Non Local Wood
If you’re concerned about invasive insects or pests coming into your property, then you’ll need to be on the lookout for non-local wood. Such invasive pests include the Asian long-horned beetle, gold-spotted oak borer, and emerald ash borer.
Softwoods will combust fast but produce a lot of smoke. This isn’t something you want to deal with. Plus, such firewood will easily create creosote buildup.
While they can still be used outdoors, you shouldn’t include or use them for indoor fireplace fuels.
One thing is common with all driftwood. These have been washed from the oceans or seas and are salt-saturated. Although they might burn efficiently, driftwood releases toxins or harmful chemicals.
These are shrub plants that release toxic chemicals when burned. With this knowledge, it’s easy to see why we’ve added oleander to our list of bad firewood.
8 Best Firewood To Burn For Wood Stoves
As much as there are bad firewood variants, there are also good ones. These good ones are known by characteristics such as low smoke, hotter combustion, and slower or longer-lasting combustion.
All of these characteristics are common with hardwoods.
Which Firewood Burns Best?
For firewood that burns best, one characteristic is to consider is the amount of heat energy generated per cord of wood. Certain firewood variants are known to have higher heat energy generation per cord than others.
These are the best types and include white oak, apple, and white ash.
Others include American beech, red oak, yellow birch, sugar maple, hickory, and ironwood. These are some of the best when it comes to combustion efficiency. They produce heat equivalent to about 200 to 250 gallons of fuel oil.
This gives a clear idea of the heat produced.
The list starts with white oak which is among the best-burning firewood to consider for your fireplace. It has all the basic characteristics of excellent firewood such as slow-burning, and longer-lasting.
Apple is a hardwood that burns slowly while generating a good amount of heat.
One of the features that make it quite popular is its pleasant smell when it burns. Part of its characteristics includes splitting and some sparking when it burns. In a nutshell, apple firewood burns well.
White ash is also hardwood and among the best when it comes to combustion. Plus, it has low moisture content when not dry or when green. Ash burns slowly and produces a good flame while heating well.
For best results, only use white ash when properly seasoned.
Beech is another hardwood you can rely on as an efficient burning fuel. However, it needs to be properly seasoned as it has high moisture content. You’ll need to be wary when burning this firewood type as it sparks.
Using a fireplace screen will be great.
You might want to try out red oak for your heating needs due to its efficient combustion properties. It is categorized as high-density firewood and lasts longer when burning.
If you have a smaller stove, you might want to split this firewood into smaller pieces.
This is a hardwood type that can be burned unseasoned. Unlike most hardwoods, yellow birch burns quite fast. You might need to mix it with other slow-burning firewood variants for the best results.
Sugar maples are efficient firewood that produces fewer sparks, burns well, and generates less smoke. It’s a hardwood that’s a great fuel for indoor fireplaces.
Talking about dense firewood, the hickory is an excellent candidate. In terms of quality, hickory matches oak woods as it burns slowly and produces less smoke.
These are some of the top contenders for firewood that burns best. Like we mentioned earlier, we’ll be unable to exhaust the list of the top-burning firewood variants as there are lots of them.
Also included are firewood you should avoid as they’re the complete opposite of the hardwoods mentioned above.