Which Firewood Burns the Longest? Here’s How to Choose Your Firewood

April 22, 2020 5:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many people are surprised to learn that not all wood is equal when it comes to being used as firewood. Different types and species of wood burn in different ways. You’ll need different kinds of wood based on whether you’re building the fire indoors or outdoors, and depending on how long you want the wood to burn for.

Here’s a quick overview of what you should know about selecting the longest-lasting firewood in Utah so you get the best wood for your needs.

Choosing the species

Obviously, all wood is going to burn. The differences in wood from species to species are not in the composition of the wood, but rather in the density and moisture content. Denser hardwoods like oak and maple feature a significantly higher energy content per cord, which means they’ll release more heat and produce longer-lasting fires. Softer woods like spruce, pine, birch and poplar, meanwhile, are not as dense, which means they will burn faster and not have as long-lasting of a coal bed.

This is why people generally prefer to use hardwoods for firewood, but softwoods will still give you a warm and pleasant burn. There are some people in the coldest parts of North America who have no choice other than to use softwoods like spruce, pine and other evergreens and aspens.

Piece size

The species is the most important consideration when determining how long you can expect the wood to burn, but you also need to consider the length and diameter of the wood before you put it on the fire.

Shorter pieces are going to be much easier to handle, and are ideal for fireplaces, stoves or furnaces, because you can be certain they’re not going to be too large for the appliance. You’ll want to make sure the wood is a consistent length so you can be certain the pieces will fit into your fireplace. Usually 14 to 18 inches long is the sweet spot for appliance use. The length does not matter quite as much for outdoor bonfires, where you might have a larger, more open fire pit.

As for diameter, you’ll need to make sure you split the wood to be small enough for effective fire building. Larger pieces will smolder longer in the fire, but smaller pieces will ignite quickly. If you’re having a smaller fire in milder weather, then smaller pieces are ideal. In cold weather, you’re still going to need a few smaller pieces to help the fire catch, but you may also want larger pieces that will burn steadily for up to a few hours. It’s a good idea to have pieces ranging in diameter from three to six inches. You may need to pay extra for wood that’s already split—otherwise, you can always split it yourself.

Interested in learning more about the firewood that burns the longest and the considerations you should take into account when purchasing your firewood in Utah? Contact Huberwoods today with any questions you have about our selection of wood.

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