If you heat with wood fuel, you’ve probably thought often about which type of wood is best. Which one burns the longest, gives off the most heat, and is the best overall value. In the same way that you would evaluate all the options for a cable TV provider before signing up, it’s a good idea to evaluate all your wood options before you choose one for the winter.
Here at DR, we’ve been splitting wood for a good long time, and we know our way around a woodpile. The top things to look for in types of firewood are density, hardness, and moisture content. The latter, however, can usually be moderated with a long seasoning (drying) process. These are our top 3 picks:
Oak is a very dense hardwood. That means that it burns long and hot, and produces a long-lasting coal bed. However, because of its hardness, it needs at least a year to season. Give it the time it needs, and you will be rewarded with hot, long-lasting heat all winter!
Like oak, maple is a dense hardwood that will produce a hot, long-lasting heat. The logs will be somewhat difficult to split, but worth it in the end. Also like oak, maple should season for at least one year before burning.
Birch wood is a great accompaniment to other types of firewood. It gives off a lot of heat, but will burn pretty quickly. It is often cheaper and easier to find than denser hardwoods. Because of its balance between cost and efficiency, it’s a worthwhile addition to the woodpile.
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