Best Wood for Heating Your Home

by Jacki
(Grand Forks, B.C.)

Cedar kindling blocks

Cedar kindling blocks

There's nothing quite like the heat from a woodstove, it goes to your bones and heats you all the way through.

But what's the best kind of wood to burn? There are a lot of different ideas as to what constitutes the very best kind of wood; here are a few guidelines and tips;

Any wood will burn, but you want BTU's and warmth. The very fact that firewood is heavy, dirty and hard to process means you want the best bang for your buck, and all things being equal, you want something that is relatively easy to split, stack and move into your house to burn. Conifers like fir, pine and larch are the go-to kinds of wood burned in my area, mostly because there is a lot of it. We're surrounded by forests that blanket the mountains with lots of these trees. If you're in an area like this, you'll be familiar with that type of wood.

In other areas, hardwoods like hickory, maple and poplar are popular, because they are all around. Sometimes, willow is planted in rows and coppiced especially as biofuel, meant to heat your home. There is a whole industry built around pelletizing wood, which is then sold in bags to put in a hopper, and fed to your stove to provide heat.

No matter what kind of wood you burn for heating your home, it's got to be dry, and not only that, it's got to be seasoned. This is what it's called when it's been split and stacked under cover for at least a few months before burning it.

Around here, the summer is the best time to split wood for the winter, because then it's got from June or July until October, the beginning of our average wood burning season. The wood stacked then is the best to burn; and as an added bonus, because it burns hot, it won't plug up the chimney with soot and creosote, the two most deadly things you'll ever have to deal with. Creosote especially will start a chimney fire.

Do you heat your home with wood? What's your favorite kind of wood to burn?

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Life on the Mountain.