Choosing The Right Wood For Every Fire
Choose the right kind of wood for your fireplace. Hardwoods and softwoods behave differently. Woods can be chosen based on several properties including length of burn, heat output, and ambience.
When you have a beautiful fireplace as the center point of your room, long winter nights curled up in front of it with a book, or family gatherings playing games, or having a festive party are all creating beautiful memories. But before you strike the first match; be sure to choose the right firewood.
Safety is of the utmost importance when burning wood in your fireplace. Fresh, green firewood smokes and sputters, and the high moisture content produces creosote that clogs your chimney. Seasoned firewood burns steadily, produces less smoke, and creates more heat. When selecting wood, look for lightweight logs that have darkened ends. Or, if you do buy fresh wood, be sure to let it season for at least six months before burning it. Buying wood in the spring and storing it properly until winter is a good way to ensure that your wood is properly seasoned.
Another consideration is the type of wood you use. In general, you can choose between hardwoods and softwoods. It’s a good idea to have both on hand, as both have value and drawbacks. Each will produce different kinds of fires.
Hardwoods, including oak, almond, birch or hickory, burn about twice as long as softwoods and produce more heat. They tend to cost a bit more than softwoods. If you want a fire that lasts all night and warms your room, choose a good hardwood. Starting fires with hardwood can be a bit harder, so use good kindling. Softwoods are an excellent choice for kindling, and there are also fire starter sticks that make building a fire as simple as lighting one end and placing it on a log.
Softwoods like fir, pine, or cedar, are easy to ignite, burn faster and produce less heat. These are excellent choices for warmer months when you still want a fire without needing a lot of heat. If you want to enjoy a fire for just a few hours, and don’t need a fire that burns all night and warms your entire home, go with softwood. Softwoods burn a lot faster, In general, softwoods produce less smoke than hardwoods.
There are a lot of ways a warm fire creates ambience. The sound of crackling logs, the color of the flames dancing over the wood, and the delicious smell all impact your enjoyment. If the crackling, popping sound of a burning fire stirs your soul, pine and spruce are excellent choices. These woods have resin in them, which is what creates that popping sound. When using these woods, be sure to have a fireplace screen closed at all times, because that satisfying crackling also causes sparks to fly.
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Justin is an experienced interior designer/decorator. You can find his thoughts at: decordesigning.blogspot.com
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