• Having a fireplace can be a charming and convenient way to help heat a home. Burning the wrong types of materials in the fireplace can cause a chimney fire or excess smoke in the home.


    Nearly any natural wood cut from timber can be burned in a fireplace, provided that the wood has been seasoned and dried. Some hardwoods like oak can produce more creosote buildup in chimneys but can be used if seasoned and dried for at least two to three years before burning.


    Softwood like fir or cedar can make excellent firewood as it does not contain the high moisture content present in hardwoods. Softwood should be seasoned for one year prior to burning.


    The firewood seasoning process includes placing cut and split wood in a wood crib or shed. The wood should have adequate air and evaporation space while being kept safe from moisture. Seasoned wood can be identified by its brown/grey appearance and lighter weight.


    Painted, varnished and treated wood should never be burned in a fireplace, as these woods can produce toxic fumes within the home and cause excessive pollution.


    Burning freshly cut wood, trash or debris in a fireplace can cause the accumulation of creosote in a chimney. Excess creosote can create a clogged chimney and rooftop fires.

    Source: Wood Burning Guidelines

    California Energy Commission: Fireplaces and Wood Burning Stoves

    Master Sweep: Best Burning Wood

    More Information:

    Wood Burning FAQs

    • Anonymous says R.I.P Nelson
      By Lauren Thompson on January 12th, 2010
  • By Answerbag Staff on January 12th, 2010
  • probably the safest wood to burn in a fireplace is Aspen. It will keep the flue clean and less chance for chimney fires.

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