Stay Warm This Winter
Learn which woods are best for building a toasty fire
For all of FPL's technological advances in wood science over the past century, the simple act of wood providing warmth and ambiance in fireplaces and wood stoves is still important.
According to the USDA publication "Firewood for Your Fireplace," choosing the best wood for your fire depends on several factors. You should consider what species are readily available to you, any personal preference you have as to aroma, and what type of fire you want to build.
Softwood species are easy to ignite and burn with a hot flame. However, they also burn rapidly and require frequent replenishing to stay lit. Softwood species are recommended if you're looking to warm up with a short fire that will burn out quickly.
For a longer lasting fire, hardwood species are a good choice. These woods burn less vigorously with a shorter flame and produce long-lasting, steady glowing coals.
The ideal fire, then, would be made with a mixture of softwood logs for easy ignition and hardwood logs for longevity. By adding wood from fruit trees (such as apple and cherry) or nut trees (such as hickory, beech, or pecan), your fire will also emit a pleasant aroma.
The chart to the right outlines the characteristics of several species and may help you decide which wood to use the next time you're looking to keep warm by the fire.
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