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Best And Worst Types of Wood for Your Fireplace

Now that fall has arrived and the evenings are getting cooler, you’re probably thinking about using your fireplace again, but you have questions about what kind of wood to use. It’s wise to understand what the best and worst types of wood for your masonry fireplace are. Why? Because different types of wood have unique effects when burned. Some types of wood are dangerous when burned. Read on to find out what kind of wood you should burn in your fireplace and what kinds you shouldn’t.

Wood Burning Fireplace in Sewanee TNBest Types of Wood to Burn


Why it works: Oak is a hardwood known for its protracted burn time and high temperatures.

Benefits: Because it constantly burns, it will warm your home for longer durations.

Safety concerns: Minimal, especially when well-seasoned.


Why it works: It ignites swiftly, providing a dependable heat source.

Benefits: Even when green, ash has a steady burn, although seasoned ash is preferable.

Safety concerns: Low, which is why it’s a popular choice for a large number of fireplace aficionados.


Why it works: Maple is a hardwood that delivers steady heat and consistent flame.

Benefits: It’s excellent for those seeking a uniform and efficient burn.

Safety concerns: Minimal, especially when correctly seasoned.

Woods to Approach with Caution or Avoid


Why it’s bad: Even though pine can provide a hot flame, it tends to flash burn and go out right away. Pine is also notorious for its creosote output, leading to a strong odor and more frequent chimney cleanings.

Dangers: Increased risk of creosote buildup, which can increase the risk of a chimney fire.


Why it’s bad: Even though it’s hardwood, it doesn’t compete with oak or maple and doesn’t provide any hot or long-lasting burn.

Dangers: Poplar is not dangerous but inefficient.

Treated or Painted Woods

Why they’re bad: Treated and painted woods are coated with potentially harmful chemicals. When burned, they may release toxic chemicals which are harmful, even deadly, to inhale.

Dangers: Aside from being a health hazard, they can corrode your fireplace and chimney liner over time.

A Final Thought

When it comes to fueling your fireplace, the choice of wood significantly impacts the ambience, safety, and efficiency. You can enjoy a cosy fire without worry by choosing the best woods, like oak or ash. On the other hand, by avoiding problematic woods, such as pine or treated lumbers, you ensure a safer environment for yourself and your family.

It is also imperative if it’s been some time since you had your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned, you have that done before using it for the first time this fall. There may be hidden issues you can’t see that a qualified Chimney Sweep Service can detect and repair. They can also remove dangerous creosote buildups that could lead to a chimney fire.

Seasoned Firewood for a wood burning masonry chimney in Tullahoma TN

A-1 Chimney Specialist Can Help Guide You This Fall

If you live in Estill Springs, Franklin, Marion, Bedford, Moore, Coffee, Warren, Lincoln, and Grundy counties in Tennessee or Madison County in Alabama and want to have your chimney inspected and cleaned, give us a call at 931-967-3595 (in Tennessee) or 256-285-4895 (in Alabama). You can also fill out our simple contact form.

One of our chimney experts will be in touch to discuss your fireplace and chimney or answer any questions you may have about what type of wood to burn.