Choosing Firewood for the Perfect Ambiance

A fire place with freshly chopped wood in the front

Most people today are aware that modern fireplaces come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, sizes and finishes. It’s not hard at all to customize the look of a room by selecting a fireplace that perfectly accents the surrounding décor. But did you know you can also create quite a few customizations where the fire itself is concerned?
Here we’ll give you a few tips on choosing firewood and talk about the different effects you’ll get from various types of wood.
Do you want your fireplace logs to crackle?
If you’re after not only visual ambiance but also auditory ambiance from your fireplace, go with softwoods like pine and fir. Both types of wood are quick-drying, and the drier the wood, the more crackling effect you’ll get. Keep in mind, though, that pine gives off an aroma that may be too strong for some people, and that it creates more soot deposits in a chimney’s lining that many other types of wood.
Looking for a nice aroma?
Some woods are more aromatic than others. Along with pine and fir, spruce is a good choice for filling a room with a fragrant aroma. Other wood types such as walnut, apple, cherry, pear and other wood from fruit trees will give off a delicate fragrance. Experiment and find the wood that provides just the aroma you like best.
Do you want a long-burning fire?
Tree wood is classified as either hardwood or softwood. Hardwood varieties burn longer and produce a more intense level of heat. Hardwoods include hickory, birch, dogwood, white oak, beech, hard maple, pecan and others. Typically a load of hardwood logs will burn twice as long as a similar load of softwood logs.
Need a quick, short-burning fire?
Sometimes you want a fire that ignites fast, burns quickly and diminishes in a short time. Softwoods are ideal for this purpose. These woods include cedar, white spruce, Douglas fir and yellow pine. The logs burn more completely, leaving fewer embers in the firebox when the fire is finished. Softwoods are easier to light than hardwoods and are believed to create less of a creosote buildup in chimneys than hardwoods.
On the subject of creosote, it’s important to note that all wood when burned will eventually cause this sticky, potentially dangerous substance to adhere to the walls of your chimney or liner. For this reason, regardless of the type of wood you burn in your fireplace, you should have regular chimney and fireplace inspections as well as thorough chimney cleanings. When creosote is built up to a high level, it can easily ignite and start a fire in the chimney and in a home’s walls that are in close proximity to the fireplace.
If you’re thinking that a wood-burning fireplace sounds just right for your home, stop by Marsh’s Stoves & Fireplaces at 3322 Dundas Street West and take a look at some beautiful models. If you have any questions, please call (416) 762-4582.