Whether you know it or not, there is actually such a thing as bad firewood. Many people believe you can throw any wood in a fire pit or fireplace. Though, that is not the truth. So, in this article, we will discuss three types of bad firewood and which ones are best for your wood fireplace or fire pit.
The first type of fire wood you should avoid is painted or treated wood. You will be able to tell if it has been coated or treated because it may be a greyish color and look slightly different than the typical brown color most wood is. If it has been painted, that will be pretty obvious and easy to spot. The reason you do not want to burn painted or treated wood is the chemicals in the paint are toxic and release into the air when burned. Those fumes are harmful to your body and the environment. So, avoid burning treated and painted wood altogether.
Next on the list of fire wood you should avoid burning is freshly cut wood. The good news here is that freshly cut wood eventually becomes good wood. Though, when you first cut wood it is too wet and/or filled with sap to burn. If you do choose to burn wood right after cutting it, it will produce tons of smoke. If you do this in a wood fireplace, that smoke will create excess creosote and cause issues in your venting system. It is best to wait at least six months before using wood you buy from a store. If you are cutting your own wood, it's better to wait a year. You can buy a moisture meter that tests the exact percentage of water in the wood if you want to be absolutely sure the wood is ready. Otherwise, allow your firewood to season for some time then you will be good to go.
Lastly, you should avoid burning soft woods. Softwoods include several types of cedar, pine, and fir. Poplar is technically a hardwood but it is one of the softer "hardwoods" so use it with caution as well.
Soft woods, much like freshly cut green wood, produce a lot of smoke. They will fill your chimney with soot too. So, if you want to use soft woods, make sure you do it outdoors.
For today, that is all we will discuss about the types of firewood you should avoid using in your fireplace or fire pit. If you have any questions please feel free to call us at 800.203.1642