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Which firewood is best for you?

September 22, 2017

Which firewood is best for you?
This cold and foggy weather has put me in the mood to start a fire and curl up on the sofa with a good novel and a cup of tea. Ok, I’ll admit, a warm glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. If you are feeling the same, it’s a good idea to have to correct wood for your mood.
Many people burn hardwoods, like oak exclusively. It burns hot, so it will warm up the house. Problem is it burns slow, so it can be hard to start. You can add pinecones as kindling if need be.
If you are in the mood for a crackling fire, then a nice softwood such as juniper or a fir will add that holiday spirit and scent. If the crackling fire is for you, it’s wise to have a good fire screen to prevent sparks from escaping. Another problem with the soft wood is creosote buildup. Professionals recommend having the chimney swept one a year, especially if you burn soft wood.
A local fire chef told me his unit responded to more fires in the winter than in the summer. That surprised me. The culprits are chimney fires and faulty furnaces.
Some mountain folks like to start with a soft wood and then switch to a hard wood once they have the cinders built up. They end up with the best of both worlds. Crackle for mood and a hot fire for heat.
If you want scent and heat, you can mix a soft wood and a hard wood or go with Eucalyptus. It is known for burning very hot. In fact, some wood stove manufactures even recommend not burning eucalyptus. As it burns it gives off a distinctive scent that people either love or hate.
Whatever fire mood you are in, it is wonderful we have an abundance of wood choices available to us to warm our spirits on these cold days.