Best Firewood Heat Values and Tips

Best-Burning Wood



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Do you burn firewood? Here is a list of best-burning wood to use as well as firewood tips.

Best Firewood: Heat Value

Here is a list of hardwoods in descending order of heat value:

  • Elm, rock
  • Hickory, shagbark
  • Oak, white
  • Hickory, butternut
  • Beech
  • Oak, red
  • Birch, yellow
  • Elm, red
  • Ash, white
  • Elm, white
  • Mesquite
  • Hop hornbeam
  • Locust, black

Firewood Tips: Wood Burning

  • How much is a cord of wood? One cord of wood burned as firewood provides the heat equivalent to that produced by burning 200 to 250 gallons of heating oil, depending on the type of hardwood you are using.
  • Cutting wood: Freshly cut wood contains up to 50 percent moisture and must be seasoned to 20 to 25 percent moisture content before burning. Wood containing more than 25 percent moisture is wet, or green, and should never be burned in a fireplace or wood stove.
  • Splitting wod: Wet wood is easier to split than dry wood. Wood must be split into pieces and stacked out of the rain for at least six months to season properly.
  • Seasoning firewood: If steam bubbles and hisses out of the end grain as the firewood heats up on the fire, the wood is wet, or green, and needs to be seasoned longer before burning. Well-seasoned firewood generally has darkened ends with visible cracks or splits. It is relatively lightweight and makes a sharp, distinctive “clink” when two pieces strike each other.
  • Burning pine: Limit the amount of pine you burn. It’s a resinous softwood.

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