The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Firewood for Your Fireplace
So, you’ve got yourself a wood fireplace, and now you’re wondering what type of wood is best to fuel your cozy fires, right? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to explore the world of firewood, helping you find the best wood for your fireplace. We’ll cover everything from hardwoods to softwoods, and even which types of wood to avoid. So, grab a cuppa, and let’s get to know the ins and outs of firewood!
Hardwoods – The MVPs of Firewood:
When it comes to firewood, hardwoods are the real MVPs. They’ve got high energy content, which means they give off more heat and burn longer. It’s like getting the VIP treatment from your fireplace! Some top-notch Australian hardwoods you should consider are:
a. Ironbark: This wood is like the superhero of firewood – strong, powerful, and reliable. Ironbark has high density and is known for its excellent burning properties. It burns hot and slow, giving you long-lasting fires with minimal smoke and creosote buildup. Talk about a crowd-pleaser!
b. Redgum: Another fan favourite, redgum is a dense hardwood that burns slowly and produces a good amount of heat. Plus, it’s got a lovely aroma that’ll make your home smell amazing. The best part? It’s slow-burning, so it’s perfect for overnight fires. Sweet dreams!
c. Jarrah: This Aussie gem not only produces high heat output and low smoke but also has a unique, sweet aroma when burned. Your neighbours might just start getting a little envious of your toasty home!
Softwoods – The Trusty Sidekicks:
Alright, so hardwoods are the stars, but that doesn’t mean softwoods don’t deserve a mention. While not as efficient as hardwoods, properly seasoned softwoods can still have their place in your fireplace. They ignite easily and burn faster, making them great for kindling or for use during milder weather. Here are some softwoods that can help keep the home fires burning:
a. Pine: Now, pine isn’t going to last as long as hardwoods, but it can still be useful for a quick, hot fire. Just keep in mind that it can produce more creosote, so regular chimney cleaning is a must. Don’t let that deter you, though – pine can still be a great addition to your firewood stash.
b. Cypress: This softwood not only burns well but also has a pleasant scent that’ll make your fireplace experience even better. It’s a good option for kindling or for mixing with hardwoods to keep that fire going strong.
The “No-Go” Zone – Wood to Avoid:
Now that we’ve covered the good stuff let’s talk about the wood you should avoid like that dodgy burger joint down the street. Burning certain types of wood can cause problems for your fireplace and even your health. Here’s a list of wood you should keep far away from your fireplace:
a. Green or Unseasoned Wood: This wood is like that friend who’s always late to the party – it’s just not ready. Burning wood with a high moisture content results in a smoky, inefficient fire and increases creosote buildup. It’s best to let green wood season before using it.
b. Treated or Painted Wood: This wood is a big no-no. Burning wood that’s been treated with chemicals or painted can release toxic fumes that are harmful to your health and the environment. Trust us; it’s not worth the risk.
c. Driftwood: While it might look cool and beachy, driftwood has a high salt content that can cause corrosion to your fireplace and chimney. Save it for decoration, not for burning!
Seasoning and Storing – Getting the Most Out of Your Firewood:
Choosing the right wood is only half the battle; you also need to make sure it’s properly seasoned and stored. Seasoned wood has a moisture content below 20%, making it perfect for burning. To get your firewood ready, follow these tips:
a. Give it Time: Seasoning takes time – anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the wood species and local climate. Patience is key!
b. Location, Location, Location: Pick a well-ventilated storage spot that’s protected from rain and gets some direct sunlight to help the wood dry faster. Keep the storage area away from your home or other structures to minimize fire and pest risks.
c. Elevate and Stack: Raise your firewood stack off the ground using treated lumber, concrete blocks, or pallets to prevent moisture absorption and deter pests. Stack the wood neatly in rows, leaving space between them for airflow. This will help the wood dry more evenly.
d. Cover Up: Protect the top of your firewood stack with a waterproof cover, like a tarp or custom firewood cover. Just make sure it doesn’t completely block airflow, or your wood will take longer to season.
There you have it – the ultimate guide to choosing the best firewood for your fireplace! By opting for hardwoods like ironbark, redgum, or jarrah and avoiding the “no-go” zone woods, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying cozy, crackling fires all season long. Just remember to properly season and store your firewood, and you’ll be a fireplace pro in no time.
If you need help selecting firewood, have questions about your fireplace, or just want to chat with someone who knows their stuff, don’t hesitate to contact Alister at Prime Plumbing. They’re ready and waiting to help you make the most of your fireside experience. So, what are you waiting for? Give Alister a call and get ready for some seriously warm and cozy nights by the fire!