What Wood Not to Burn in a Fireplace?

The fireplace is a very powerful heating system that is part of the structure of a house.

In order to enjoy the warmth during the cold winter days, it is one of the best alternatives. To enjoy an excellent combustion, you must select the right type of wood.

Which species should you choose for best performance?

guide wood not to burn fireplace

What is the best wood for the fireplace?

The chimney is a masonry construction that you need to feed in order to enjoy the warmth in your interior.

This classic heating system requires the use of wood to function optimally. Here is a list of options you can consider.


For domestic heating, hardwoods are the best solution you can think of.

Among the different options available to you, there are beech, oak, ash and hornbeam.

They have the particularity of being dense and give off more heatThis allows you to enjoy comfort on cold evenings. The fibers of hardwoods are dense, so combustion is slow.

The main advantage with this option is that it allows you not to recharge your chimney at a frequency too high.

Also, hardwoods burn very slowly, so you can keep them in stock for a long time.

Note, however, that these essences have drawbacks. When they are wet, they take a long time to dry.

To ensure the optimal functioning of your fireplace, it would be ideal to obtain wood from species such as hornbeam, beech and oak.


Soft woods are less calorific than hard woods. They flare up very quickly, making them perfectly suited for fire starting.

The weak point of this solution is that it is not adapted to the use in firewood.

On the other hand, you can use it to start the fire in your fireplace.

In addition, the drying time of soft woods is very fast. Be careful with these species, however, as they degrade very quickly if stored incorrectly.

Among the soft woods you will find on the market, we can mention: basswood, willow, birch and poplar.


Just like softwoods, Softwoods have a low calorific value.

Because of their high resin content, they ignite very quickly. However, they are appreciated for their rapid rise in temperature.

If you plan to heat your home quickly using your fireplace, softwoods are exactly what you need.

Among the species that you should favour are fir and pine.

When using softwoods, you must be careful. That's because, their combustion may cause small splashes out of the fireplace.

So remember to protect your floor with a protective sheet.

Which wood burns the longest?

If you are looking for woods that last a very long time, hardwoods will meet your needs.

The wood of hardwood trees such as cherry, maple, oak, beech and ash are species with interesting calorific powers.

Nevertheless, they all have their particularities. For example, oak wood produces long-lasting embers, but it requires the addition of temperature to avoid the production of tannic acid.

As for ash, it burns with small flames and sparks.

Birch offers a beautiful blue flame, but it burns faster than beech wood. Note that the latter has the particularity of lighting easily and lasting long.

wood not burned fireplace

Why not burn the tree?

In terms of wood consumption, Fir is not very interesting because it burns faster than hardwoods.

So if you plan to use this type of wood as your primary heat source, you need to build up a large reserve.

One of the weak points of the tree is thatit has a lower calorific value than hardwoods. Therefore, you won't get as much heat from burning it.

In addition, the fir achieves a rapid and less complete combustion that can cause significant air pollution.

The smoke produced by the fir tree causes creosote to build up in your chimney. Finally, burning a fir tree requires regular maintenance.

What wood is toxic when burned?

The smoke usually produced by a wood fire is composed of gases, fine particles and toxic air pollutants.

Toxic components of combustion include: nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, soot carbon and mercury.

These different components have a negative impact on the eyes and on the respiratory system.

When you are exposed to smoke from a wood fire, several health problems can occur.

These include irregular heartbeat, stroke, heart attack, worsening asthma, bronchitis, etc.

best wood not to burn fireplace

Unfortunately, there is a class of wood that is toxic and harmful to your health and the health of the people living in your home.

To fuel your fireplace, you must avoid treated wood. Indeed, to improve their durability, they have undergone a chemical treatment.

Normally, they should not be used for heatingIt is used for the manufacture of furniture, fences, pallets and frames.

In addition to releasing toxic products during combustion, treated wood quickly clogs the chimney.

In addition, painted wood is also a bad idea when you want to fuel your fireplace.

Like treated wood, this category of wood contains toxic chemicals.

These products are dangerous for your interior and its inhabitants.

Finally, you should avoid using plywood and particleboard which are reconstituted woods.

When they burn, they produce toxic and carcinogenic fumes. For your health, it would be ideal to avoid them.

In the end, the chimney should be fed mainly with hardwood.

To preserve your health and that of your family, learn about the essences to prefer.


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Experienced handyman, I had the pleasure to build myself my last 2 houses. But my real passion is to create, modify or give life to all the objects that decorate my home. That's why I'm sharing my experience with the intensive use of Dremel tools. They are indispensable to me and I use them every day 😀

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