Reasons Why Your Firewood Choice Matter for Your Fireplace

May 25, 2020

Fireplaces were historically used for heating a dwelling, cooking, and providing hot water for laundry and other domestic uses. While some households still use fireplaces for heating their homes, most of them now use these structures purely for additional embellishment. After all, having a fireplace on your home creates a relaxing ambiance and traditional vibes.

Even if modern appliances can readily provide heat on a dwelling during cold months, the use of a fireplace might be more cost-efficient for some people. And if you are one of the people who still use your fireplace for heating purposes, then you know that it must contain appropriate materials to generate enough heat. One of these materials is firewood.

Characteristics of Firewood

Firewood serves as the fuel for the fireplace. It can be any wooden material that is either seasoned or unseasoned. Seasoned woods prefer to dry woods, while unseasoned ones are woods that are wet or fresh. One recommended characteristic of effective firewood for fireplaces is that it must be seasoned. The lighting up process tends to be much easier and faster with seasoned firewood as it does not have any moisture that can slow down its ignition. Unseasoned wood, on the other hand, ignites slowly, burn efficiently, and smoke or smoulder.

Aside from being seasoned or unseasoned, firewood also comes into two categories. One type of firewood is hardwood, which typically comes from maple, oak, ash, birch, and most fruit trees. These woods are known to have the least pitch and sap, making them cleaner to handle. However, these woods are more expensive than softwoods. They are also more prone to leave hard and stony residues in the leftover ash. 

Softwoods, on the other hand, come in fir, pine, balsam, spruce, cedar, tamarack, alder, poplar, and other similar woods. Softwoods ignite quickly and are great starter wood, especially for your fireplace. However, do not expect them to last for a long time. So, they must be avoided if you want your fire on your fireplace to last for a long time. 

Importance of Right Firewood

Choosing the appropriate firewood is important in sustaining the fire quality of your fireplace. With the right firewood, you can expect your fireplace to heat your dwelling for a reasonable amount of time. The heat that it generates may even be more than sufficient that you do not have to rely on some heating equipment anymore. In this case, your only option for sustainable home heating would be hardwood that is already been seasoned. 

Alternatively, the use of unseasoned can be dangerous for your home. These firewood materials can become a serious health and safety hazard when they are used in huge quantities. They produce a large amount of smoke that can severely irritate our respiratory system when inhaled. And when the smoke accumulates on your fireplace, airflow may be restricted, which causes the formation of chimney fires and degradation of chimney lining. 

Aside from the heat, using seasoned firewood materials can also help you prevent any environmental issues. The fumes from unseasoned firewood materials pose a threat to not just our health but also to the environment. Once your chimney expels the by-products of combustion, all elements that come from your harmful firewood will go to the atmosphere. On the contrary, seasoned firewood materials do not emit huge smoke into the air, which helps them provide better air quality than their counterpart.

Your firewood choice matters since it can determine the effectiveness of your fireplace in terms of heating and other related activities. Moreover, some firewood materials can bring long-lasting effects to your health condition and the environment. If you want to have the appropriate firewood for your fireplace, feel free to contact us at John Tiras.

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