Tips for Choosing the Right Firewood for Your Needs

People choose a wood burning fireplace for many different reasons. Whether they want to heat their home with it, cook over it, or just want the simple pleasure of sitting and listening to the wood pop and crackle, a wood burning fireplace can do it all. The thing is, not all wood will produce the same results with some types better for certain situations.

So, if you know what you enjoy most out of a fire and want to make sure you’re getting a consistent experience every time, here are the woods to look for.

For Warmth

If you want to maximize the heat your fireplace puts out, then using the right wood is a must. Specifically, you should choose a seasoned hardwood like Ash, Hickory, or Oak. Hardwood is best for fires you want to last for hours because they take longer to burn and put off almost twice as much heat when compared to softwood.

When you’re trying to heat your home or even just keep a part of the house warm without relying on an expensive heating system, the hotter and longer lasting the fire the better. Make sure that you use seasoned hardwood to ensure you’re getting the most out of every log.

For the Crackle and Pop

One of the primary appeals of a wood burning fireplace is the ambiance the sounds create. The pop and crackle of wood appeals to our senses in a primal way, and there just isn’t anything that can quite compare. While all wood types will pop and crackle, if you are after a symphony of natural burning sounds, then a softwood could be the way to go.

Softwood dries quickly and will typically produce larger flames and more crackling fires. Keep in mind that softwood isn’t the most efficient for producing maximum heat and the fires don’t last quite as long. Also, since the pops and crackles can typically throw sparks, make sure your fireplace either has a screen or ceramic glass door for safety. While softwood isn’t always recommended for fireplace efficiency, if you want a loud fire, it’s the way to go in many cases.

For Cooking

While fires are pretty to look at, they also serve as interactive ways to cook. If you decide that you want to grill over your fire or use a cooking arm to warm up a pot of soup or tea, you should look for a super-hot, long-burning fire. To get this type of fire, hardwoods are recommended because they tend to produce the most amount of coals—perfect if you’re planning on using a Dutch oven or similar cooking method. Let the fire burn down and the flames subside a bit, and then you’re ready to get cooking.

For Quick Burns

If you live in a warmer climate or you’re pinched for time but would still love to enjoy a brief fire, softwoods like Douglas Fir, Yellow Pine, Cedar, and White Spruce are among the best options. They tend to burn much quicker than hardwood—a pro or con depending on your needs—which is why it’s important to know the kind of fire you’re after. Also, you can mix different types of woods too as softwoods are great starters as they ignite quickly, and the hardwood can keep the fire going. Whatever type of fire you’re after, make sure that you’re burning it in premium fireplace built to last.

No matter what type of wood you are burning it should always be dried, split, seasoned wood. Using wood with a high moisture content can cause an abundance of smoke, and can cause creosote build-up in your chimney, which can ultimately lead to a fire if your chimney isn’t swept annually.

About Acucraft Fireplaces

For over 40 years, Acucraft Fireplaces has designed and built innovative fire features that perfectly complement a variety of interior designs in homes or commercial spaces. From traditional wood burning fireplaces to their modern see through fireplace collection, they do it all. Acucraft specializes in custom fireplaces, and their team of design specialists will work with you one-on-one to create the perfect fireplace for your dream home or for a project you’re building. Whether you have existing dimensions and build plans or want to build the room around the fireplace, Acucraft Fireplaces is ready to work with you.

Learn more about their innovative fireplace models at

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