Imagine that you are about to experience a winter storm. The weather forecast is for a blizzard coming to your area and it’s time to start preparing your home for what could be a long time indoors. Your fireplace is all cleaned and maintained to perfection, so now you just have to select the type of wood that you will use to start your fire to keep you warm. Fortunately, you have a large wooded pine tree area on your property and can access your wood. However, can you burn pine in a fireplace? Yes, pine is a softwood that lights quickly and burns quickly. However, creating a mixture of wood in your fireplace is best.
Let’s take a look below at the wood comparisons and explore why burning pine in your fireplace is perfectly fine.
What Types Of Woods
Believe it or not, all wood creates creosote. The biggest myth about pinewood being used in your fireplace or wood stove is that it creates creosote on your chimney lining and this requires that you clean your chimney more often. Additionally, you will likely only use pinewood in your fireplace as a quick starter. The BTU (unit of measurement for burning things) of pinewood is not very high and has a low heat output. According to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural Environmental Sciences, the woods that have a lower BTU are also responsible for creating more creosote buildup in your chimney lining.
Let’s take a look at some facts regarding various woods.
Pinewood and Fir
- Softwood– this causes it to burn quickly.
- Easy to light-the ability to light this wood quickly allows you to start any fire more manageably.
- Crackles and pops-giving the homeowner that feeling of comfort.
Oak, Birch, Maple
- Hardwood-this causes it to burn slower and longer-lasting.
- Slow to light-these woods typically need a softwood to get it going. Once the softwood burns out, the hardwood has had time to catch and continues the fire for a longer period.
- High heat-hardwoods burn longer and create more heat.
Understanding that all of these woods will create creosote and proper maintenance should be applied to your fireplace and chimney regardless of which wood you choose. Just like anything else in your home, preventative maintenance is key.
How Much Do Woods Vary In Cost
Costs for pinewood bundles vary depending on where you live. You can purchase a bundle of pine firewood to burn in the fireplace for around $40 from your local hardware store. Ideally, you live on a lot and have pinewood readily available to chop up into pieces. In addition, this makes it easier for you to access when you need to keep that fire going.
Other Recommended Maintenance
One area that you will always want to maintain is the fireplace itself. Regardless of whether you burn pine wood or another type in your fireplace, it does not determine how or when to maintain your fireplace. Take a look at the seven most popular ways to maintain your fireplace.
While you are spending time learning about the best types of wood to burn in your fireplace, you should also work on understanding how to keep your pipes from freezing. Although the fireplace will keep your home toasty during the winter months, it might not be enough heat to keep your pipes warm. Plan accordingly to prevent your pipes from freezing.
Finally, while you are having the chimney inspected and maintained, make sure that the fireplace lintel is intact. This beam keeps the chimney intact and the fireplace in working condition. Additionally, you wouldn’t want a damaged lintel the day you are needing to start your fireplace so check this before the winter.
When Do I Call A Professional
Calling a professional fireplace contractor is important to maintain your chimney and fireplace equipment. It is essential to maintain the fireplace at least twice a year. This is so you can clean out soot build-up and verify that all working parts are intact for the winter.
Understanding and planning ahead for the necessary chimney and fireplace maintenance as the winter months approach is vital to you enjoying your fireplace. Knowing what your fireplace is capable of allows you to stress less and sleep better at night when a freezing night is expected. Alpha building inspectors can check the fireplace in the home to ensure it is maintained and not damaged when conducting a home inspection in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and surrounding areas.