The Worst Types Of Wood To Use In Your Fireplace During The Winter

Fireplaces are a wonderful way to keep your home warm and cozy during frigid winters, but burning the wrong type of wood can lead to some serious issues. Wood that has been treated or painted can be dangerous to burn, as the chemicals on the wood will end up in the air and could be harmful for your family and pets to breathe. For example, arsenic is present in the ash of pressure-treated wood, and exposure to it can be fatal. Driftwood can also put off chemicals when it's burned because of the salt it contains.

Other types of wood, such as spruce, pine, and green wood, aren't a good choice to burn indoors because they produce more creosote inside your chimney. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approximately 7% of household fires are due to excessive creosote in chimneys. To enjoy your fireplace and keep your home safe, use wood that burns hotter and produces less smoke, and make sure to only burn fully dried logs. It's also important not to burn varieties that could send sparks flying, such as gumwood.

Types of wood to burn in your fireplace during Winter

While some types of wood, like chestnut and willow, produce too much smoke and don't give off a lot of heat, and others, like poplar, don't smell great, some varieties are more suited for your indoor fireplace. Maple, oak, and hickory are all great choices that will burn at a good temperature, won't fill your home with smoke, and won't leave as much creosote along the sides of your chimney. Additionally, yew, ash, beech, cherry, and birch will also make for a comforting fire in your home. Some of these woods, like maple, cherry, and hickory, will fill your house with a pleasant scent.

Even if you avoid burning types of wood that could be a fire risk for your home, it's still important to have your chimney inspected and cleaned regularly. Though oak and other woods that are better for fireplaces put off less creosote, it could still build up over time if you don't properly clean your fireplace and chimney.