There are very few things that make you feel as much at home in winter as a fire. Enjoying this sensation involves a fundamental detail: choosing the best firewood for the fireplace. Choosing the best firewood for the fireplace will allow us to optimise the cost and maintenance of the fire.
Firewood is one of the most widely used biomass biofuels extracted from the mountains and is essential for lighting the fireplace or wood-burning cooker. When buying firewood, the most significant aspect to take into account is the humidity.
The humidity of the wood should always be less than 20%. This is because, if the wood is damp, the heat is used to vaporise that moisture, but if it is too dry it will burn faster.
Hardwood or softwood for the fireplace?
Each type of wood has different peculiarities in terms of density, behaviour, usability, applications, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to differentiate each one of them:
- Hardwood: corresponds to deciduous tree species, such as oak, elm, birch, beech or ash. This type of wood is recommended for keeping the fire burning and providing heat, as it has great calorific value and high combustion.
- Softwood: it comes from evergreen trees, such as pine or cedar. It is recommended for lighting the wood fireplace and to stoke the fire at a specific moment and keep the flame alive. It is a wood that serves less heat, but that ignites sooner.
We have already mentioned the importance of humidity in firewood. In the case of hardwood, its drying time is longer, sometimes up to 2 years, compared to 6-12 months for softwood.
Types of firewood for stoves and fireplaces
We must take into account the different species of wood and know their characteristics. The main and most commonly used are:
Holm oak firewood
This is the most commonly used firewood for fireplaces and stoves. It is hard wood and has a great resistance to humidity, so it burns slowly and forms a lot of heat.
It belongs to the group of hardwoods. Its main characteristic is the large amount of flame it generates, which is why it is recommended for use in open fireplaces or wood-burning cookers.
It is also one of the hardwoods. Its use is intended for more open wood cookers and for barbecues or ovens.
It is one of the softwoods and contains a lot of moisture. It is characterised by its high resin content. It is a type of wood that burns very easily. It is usually used for bonfires or to start the fireplace.
Ash or beech wood
It is also a soft wood. It is characterised by its fast drying and very easy to light. They are excellent for wood-burning cookers and fireplaces.
What is the best firewood for the fireplace?
Ideally, use a combination of hardwood and softwood. Hardwood will allow us to maintain a long-lasting fire and provide warmth, and softwood will give us a fast fire and plenty of flame.
Our perfect combination is a mix of pine with oak, walnut or olive wood.