There is something magical about curling up on your sofa in front of a fire on a cold night. The dancing flames and the smells and sounds of the burning wood create a restful ambiance.
All firewood isn’t created equal, however, and it’s important to know the characteristics of types of wood when making your choice. Below are five of the best to use in your fireplace this winter.
Though it needs to be seasoned, or dried, for roughly three years before burning due to its high water content, beech is excellent firewood. This is due to its density, which means that it burns slowly and reaches high temperatures. Though this also means that it does not catch fire easily and you will need to light a beech fire with kindling if you are not using it in combination with other types of firewood.
Ash is also one of the best types of firewood. It has a high heat output and produces less smoke, sparks and creosote than many other popular types of firewood. When looking for the ideal firewood, creosote production is an important factor as this can build up in your chimney and reduce ventilation. If you believe that your chimney is not drawing properly due to creosote build-up, you should contact chimney cleaning Washington DC or a chimney maintenance company in your area to have your chimney cleaned and inspected before using it again.
This wood also has high moisture content and needs to be seasoned for at least two years before use. Nonetheless, oak makes very good firewood. Like ash, it produces relatively little smoke and few sparks. It’s also a slow burner and should, therefore, be used with wood that burns more quickly.
Hickory has a higher heat output than either oak or ash. Additionally, it needs less seasoning than either of these woods: a year is usually sufficient. Hickory is also well known for the distinctive aroma of its smoke, which is why it is used in cooking.
When you have chosen your firewoods, it is important that you store them correctly. First, keep the wood dry. Burning damp logs causes heavy smoke as well as creosote buildup in your chimney. Second, while it needs to be kept dry, the wood needs to breath. Avoid stacking it directly on the ground or covering it completely with a material that doesn’t allow air circulation. Finally, when you are stacking the logs, they should be kept level and each layer should placed at 90 degrees to the one underneath. If you follow these instructions, your logs will produce beautiful fires throughout the season.