Did you know that some types of wood burn better in your fireplace than others? Indoor fires are unlike campfires and require the use of a specific type of firewood that burns cleaner and hotter. Don’t make the mistake of burning whatever type of wood you have on hand. Find the best fuel for your fireplace below.

Softwood (Fir, Pine, Cedar, and Spruce)

Pliable wood, or softwood, is the cheapest type of fuel you can buy for your fireplace. However, cheaper does not always mean better—and firewood is no exception. Softwoods burn very quickly because they are less dense and more likely to leave traces of creosote—a wood preservative—which is highly flammable and could become dangerous if left in your fireplace and chimney.

Hardwood (Maple, Ash, Birch, and Oak)

Hardwood is the best type of material you could choose for your fireplace because it burns at a hotter temperature for a longer period of time. While it is more expensive, it has minimal sap and burns more cleanly in the flue, leaving minimal soot and buildup. We suggest using caution when burning birch wood because the bark can retain more moisture, creating excess smoke that will billow into your home.

Nonburnable Wood

Never, under any circumstance, should you burn green wood—wood that has been freshly cut—because it hasn’t had time to dry out. Like birch wood, green wood will create a lot of smoke if burned—and it won’t produce much heat in the process. Other types of materials that could be harmful to burn in the fireplace are scrap wood, driftwood, and painted or otherwise treated wood. Dangerous fumes can emanate from these types of wood and will most likely cause you to need chimney professionals to eliminate the toxic buildup in the chimney.

The type of wood you choose to burn in your fireplace matters for the overall health and safety of everyone in the home. Always choose a type of hardwood that is dry, untreated, burns hot, and creates minimal smoke.