There are two main kinds of firewood: hardwood and softwood. Contrary to what their names suggest, however, hardwood isn’t always harder, and softwood isn’t always more workable.

They’re classified as such since hardwoods are typically denser than softwoods, thereby producing more heat since they can withstand burning for longer.

There’s a wide variety of firewood, and choosing the one that’s best for your fireplace can be a little confusing, since different kinds of firewood give you different results.

Here’s a basic overview:


The trees that produce hardwoods grow slowly, making them a lot denser than most softwoods. They burn slower and produce high-intensity fires that are great for cooking and heating your house. The most popular hardwoods are oak, ash, and birch. Hardwoods are better for your fireplace than softwoods.


Oak is probably the most popular hardwood due to its mass availability. It’s an immensely dense wood that can provide a long, slow-burning fire. Oak is best used in combination with other kinds of logs, since it helps them burn better. If your house is cold and you need a fire that lasts the entire night, oak is a great option.


Birch burns efficiently and quickly, even when it hasn’t been seasoned. Different categories of birch burn with varying efficiencies.

Among these, black birch and yellow birch make for the best firewood, since they provide the highest heat. White birch can also be used as firewood, but doesn’t burn with the same intensity as its counterparts.

Since birch burns quickly, it’s best used in tandem with slow-burning logs like oak.


If you’re looking for a steady, consistent fire that produces a high heat output on its own, ash is a great firewood choice. While it’s on the pricier side, it combines the best aspects of oak and birch.


Softwoods are generally better suited to outdoor fires than fireplaces, since they have a higher water content than hardwoods, thereby producing sticky tar deposits that build up in the fireplace. They’re a great choice for kindling and for campfires, and are perfect if you’re searching for woods that provide a lower heat output.


Cedar is well-liked due to the aroma released while it’s being burned. It’s a convenient choice, since it requires no seasoning before being used as firewood. It provides a low-intensity, consistent fire.


Burning pine also releases a pleasant aroma, but its high quantity of sap makes it an unsafe choice to use within the house. Used in small quantities alongside slow-burning woods, it can act as an excellent fire-starter.

Gas logs

If you’re tired of the hassle of using firewood altogether, perhaps it’s time to get a gas log for your house. These are made of ceramic and can provide the appearance of a wood-burning fireplace while supplying high-intensity heat.

Using gas logs will rid you of the time and effort it takes to start a wood fire. Get a free quote for installing a gas log in your house.

If you’re looking for licensed chimney sweeps to perform fireplace or chimney repairs in Gainesville, contact Chimney and Dryer Vent Services LLC. Our chimney and fireplace services in Gainesville, including dryer vent cleaning, will allow you hassle-free heating for the entire house.

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