Whether buying or burning, knowing a few things about different types of firewood can maximize efficiency and save you the hassle of using a wood stove, fireplace, or fire pit.
Not all types of firewood produce the same results, so understanding the properties of different types is key to choosing the best firewood for your needs.
There are two main types of firewood: hardwood and softwood; choosing the suitable wood in each of these will make a complete difference to the quality of your firewood! But don’t let the names fool you – Hardwoods aren’t always harder or more durable, and softwoods aren’t soft and usable – give or take a few exceptions.
The short version of the story goes like this; hardwoods are usually denser than softwoods, which means they burn longer and produce more heat. They are also less sticky than softwoods and are less likely to cause tar build-up in your chimney.
We’ll discuss each in more detail to better understand the benefits and features of hardwood and softwood.
What is hardwood?
Hardwood is generally a slow-growing tree that produces dense wood. Hardwood trees are usually deciduous, which means they shed their leaves in the fall and sprout new shoots in the spring.
Hardwoods commonly used for firewood include oak, ash, and birch, while walnut, maple, and mahogany are prized for furniture. With almost any hardwood, the density of the wood means it burns longer and produces more heat than softwoods. And here’s something you might not have known about hardwoods – it all comes from flowering trees!
Most hardwoods are slow growing, so they are much denser than softwoods. They are darker in color, burn more slowly, and are best for cooking and creating hotter and more intense flames.
They’re great for persistent fires with lots of coal, heating your home, and refueling your stove. Hardwood is often the best wood for your fireplace.
Use denser wood to increase heat output.
Trees that are considered deciduous (in winter) and, more specifically, hardwoods tend to be denser wood and will burn hotter and longer trees that are evergreen or softwood (with some exceptions). Firewood will also be hotter if seasoned under the roof to reduce moisture leading to heating when the firewood burns.
The thermal value of wood is measured in BTU or British Thermal Units. The higher the BTU value, the more heat you get per wood unit. Heating values are based on density, weight, BTU, and composability.
Next, we’ll discuss the best and worst tree species to use as firewood ranked by their total ability to establish and retain heat:
The five best firewood species
- Hickory: 25 to 28 million BTUs /string – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.
- Oak : 24 to 28 million BTU/string – density 37 to 58 lbs./cu.ft.
- Black Locust : 27 million BTU/string – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.
- Beech : 24 to 27 million BTU/string – density 32 to 56 lbs./cu.ft.
- White Ash: 24 million BTU/string – density 43 lbs./cu.ft.
When to use hardwood firewood
The short answer is, most of the time. That’s mainly because softwood is a poor substitute for so many uses. Here are all the cases where hardwood is a better choice than softwood:
- Indoor fireplaces. Softwoods burn faster and give off more smoke than hardwoods. Even if you light up the fireplace in your home more to create ambient air than to heat it, softwoods will smoke up your house and leave turpentine that will build up in your fireplaces and chimneys.
- Campfire. “Due to the smoky content of the sap, softwoods are not good for cooking. “That smoke will stick to the food and irritate the eyes and the taste buds! Hardwood is the way to cook. I prefer oak and cherry because of their higher density and the flavor imparted on the food.”
- Wood stove. Do not use softwood in a wood stove for the same reasons as a fireplace in a home. Even if your stove emits little or no smoke inside the house, the plastic in the wood will eventually stick to the stove and chimney. And softwood burns so quickly that it’s not efficient for heating.
- Wood burning furnace. As with wood stoves, burning softwood is not an effective way to heat a home or cabin. It’s tough to keep a softwood fire burning all night long – unless, that is, you want to get out of bed multiple times to toss more logs. Plastic accumulation is also a problem.
- Wood-burning sauna and hot tub. Unless you love the smell of pine or cedar in your sauna session, most experts recommend hardwood to heat a wood-burning sauna. You can use some softwood to burn faster, but that’s all. A mixture of softwood and hardwood for hot tubs will heat the water quickly and retain its aromatic and delicious taste.
Where to buy Vietnam Hardwood Firewood?
Woodbase has many years of experience in firewood production and distribution in Vietnam to foreign markets. We guarantee to provide you with quality and safe products for nature and human health.
You can find more products here: Firewood Manufacturer and Supplier in Vietnam – Woodbase®.
To purchase products and experience first-class factory service, please get in touch with Woodbase. You can choose the primary method of contact through our official email: email@example.com or via our official hotline: +84 382 333 168 (WhatsApp).
Practice good habits in cooking with a wood stove to help your family save firewood, fuel, and fuel. This will contribute a big part in terms of economy as well as time.
In addition to the principles and habits of cooking, how to work and build a wood stove is also very important. See more ideas for a firewood company in Vietnam to help your family reduce costs.
Thank for reading!