How to Choose the Right Wood for your Wood Burner or Fireplace

Wood is a material that has long been useful to humans. As a natural material, wood is also much better for the environment than man-made materials, as long as it is responsibly and sustainably sourced, and wood is being used much more in modern times for building things like these oak framed garages

Something else that more people are looking for is that cosy feeling of sitting in front of a roaring fire. Central heating is a modern way to heat our homes, but for many the pleasure of having a blazing fire on a chilly winter’s night is something that has led to lots of people choosing to add traditional fireplaces and wood burners to their homes to enjoy in the colder months of the year.

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If this is something that you are considering yourself, or you have recently had a wood burner installed, one of the main questions that most people wonder about is the type of wood that should be put into the wood burner. Choosing the right wood is important, because there are many thousands of species of tree and the wood, and the properties of the wood can vary a great deal.

The first thing to remember when it comes to choosing the best wood is to go for hardwood over softwood. Although it tends to be more expensive, it is much better suited to indoor fires as it produces less smoke and tends to burn more slowly. Softwood can also leave deposits that can build up around the fireplace and in the flue, which you will then have to spend more time cleaning.

With hardwood, it is also important that they are seasoned. This means that they have been left to dry out for a period of time so that the moisture content of the wood is much lower, giving you much better burning. Seasoning takes around two years if you want it to be the best quality for burning.

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Here are a few native hardwoods to the UK that are used for burning on indoor fires…

Birch – The wood from a birch tree burns well, but it also burns very quickly so doesn’t tend to last as long. Many people use it to get the fire going, or to mix in with other, slower burning woods to get the best out of it.

Hazel – This is a wood that is also fairly fast burning. It doesn’t spit much but it is important that it is well seasoned to reduce as much of the water content as possible for the best results.

Ash – Most consider ash the best wood to burn by far. Due to its low water content, it can actually be burned when newly cut so you don’t have to season it if you don’t want to.

Oak – This is a great slow burning wood so mixed with birch for example would be perfect. It must be well seasoned, but it is loved for the long lasting heat that it provides.

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