How to Choose the Best Firewood for Your Apex Chimney

January 21, 2020

Firewood might look pretty similar from one batch to the next, but different types of wood burn very differently. Not all firewood produces the same results, even if it’s properly seasoned.  You may be looking for firewood that crackles nicely; wood that burns efficiently without creating excessive heat; or wood that provides the most heat per log. Below are some tips on choosing the right kind of firewood for your needs, from our Apex chimney contractor. 

Best Wood for A Quick, Crackling Fire: Fir 

If you want a fire that’s full of crackle and pop, you can’t go wrong with fir. This affordable softwood dries quickly, splits nicely, and creates large, beautiful, crackling fires. Best of all, fir fires produce a wonderfully fresh aroma, so your house will smell like Christmas without any chemical air fresheners necessary. If you opt for fir, just make sure you have a good protective screen in front of your fireplace, because the crackling and popping throws more sparks than other types of firewood. If fir is unavailable, pine is another softwood that produces a crackling fire, although burning pine can cause oily soot deposits in your chimney. 

A Hot Fire: Hardwoods (Oak, Maple, Ask, Hickory, etc.) 

For a hot fire that keeps your home warm and toasty all evening, forget about softwoods. Hardwood trees, which are much denser, give off more heat for that same reason. A load of hardwood weighs much more than the same-sized load of softwood, and provides twice the heat. With that said, hardwood logs are difficult to light, so it’s best to use softwood kindling to get your fire started and then add the hardwood afterwards. The wood burns more slowly, too, meaning you’ll spend less time getting up to add more logs. 

Which Type of Firewood is Better for My Chimney? 

This is debatable, but most chimney sweeps will argue that softwoods are better for your chimney’s health. Softwoods burn quickly and cleanly, and don’t produce a lot of embers which continue to smolder after the fire has died down. At least one study has shown that seasoned softwoods cause less creosote in the chimney than hardwoods. 

However, with all that said, any wood is a good choice as long as you schedule a yearly chimney cleaning and inspection. Call one of our licensed, certified Apex chimney sweeps to make sure your fireplace and chimney are safe and ready for the burning season. Click here for an estimate