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Burning the Right Wood in Your Fireplace

Choosing the wrong firewood can result in an inefficient winter—and you may run out of fuel quickly. Alternatively, the wrong firewood may mean the fire does not burn hot enough, or there could even be a serious safety issue.

Make sure you have the right firewood, seasoned appropriately, to get you through the winter (or reconsider using the fireplace!).

Selecting Your Wood

Dry, seasoned wood is the only way to go. Seasoned means it has been left to dry for at least 6 months or more for harder woods. And that’s important because creosote is produced at a much faster rate when the wood has excess moisture in it. Creosote is a flammable byproduct of using a fireplace, and in order to prevent home fires, you want to do whatever you can to keep it to a minimum.

You should put some thought into choosing which types of wood to use. Some burn faster than others, and for the dead of winter, you want to choose hardwoods that produce a slower, hotter fire. Hardwoods you may be able to find include:

  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Sugar maple
  • Rock elm

Wood should be split into pieces 6 inches thick, stacked, and covered for 6-12 months.

It Still Depends on the Fireplace

A new fireplace that is properly installed is always going to be safer and more effective. If you’ve been considering an upgrade, a wood insert or pellet stove offers even more comfort and peace of mind.

If you have an older fireplace and chimney that has not been inspected or cleaned this year, it’s important to go to a qualified chimney sweep. It’s possible that your flue vent is undersized or oversized, or that there is a buildup of creosote already, and even the best firewood won’t help with these types of issues.

Call 2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. for chimney and fireplace services in St. Paul, MN.

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