Which materials can I burn in my fireplace?

Picture this… You have a newly installed, gorgeous wood burning fireplace within your home and you’ve been enjoying the novelty of a cosy, roaring fire in the evenings. You might find yourself wondering if there are any materials other than wood that you can burn in your fireplace. We’re here to tell you the answer – here are all the things you can and can’t burn within your wood stoves!

Do burn… Hard woods

Hard woods burn for longer periods of time and are more efficient, giving off more heat. This will reduce your fuel costs, meaning you’ll have to buy wood less often. The ash these woods produce is also coarser than soft woods, meaning it’s easier to clean (can you say ‘bonus’?). Hard woods such as maple, birch, ash, and oak will all be brilliant to burn in your fireplace and give you lots of heat and comfort of an evening.

Do burn… Soft woods

Soft woods will be cheaper to buy than hard woods, although they burn faster and leave behind a finer ash which can cause a lengthier cleaning process. They can, however, be more manageable for those on a budget, still creating the cosy atmosphere that people with a wood burning fireplace adore. Woods such as fir, pine, spruce, and cedar will all be useful if you’re looking for a soft wood to burn in your fireplace.

When burning wood in your home, it’s very important to make sure that it is dry, seasoned firewood. Wood that still retains moisture will produce less heat and much more smoke. To make sure that your seasoned wood is dry, stack it in a cool dry place that has efficient air circulation, and rotate it as much as possible. This will aid the drying process!

Do burn… Briquettes

These compacted logs are made of pure wood sawdust. They are a good alternative to high-quality logs and burn at a very hot temperature for longer. They create minimal clean up – all these reasons make them an economical alternative to traditional wood. They have a very low moisture content, which could mean that you spend less time drying out your wood and more time sitting and relaxing by the fire!

Don’t burn…

You should not burn any of these materials within your wood burning fireplace:

  • Smokeless fuels or coal – Wood burning stoves are not designed for the higher ash content that are produced from these materials.
  • Treated or painted wood – Woods with paint or varnishes can release toxic fumes if burned.
  • MDF or chipboard – These materials are made using glues and resins, which can be toxic if they are released into the air.
  • Christmas trees – You may wonder what to do with this after the festive period, but fresh trees can release sap that can damage your fireplace.
  • Household materials – Materials such as cardboard, cereal boxes, wrapping paper, plastics, clothing and dryer lint aren’t suitable for your fireplace. The chemicals that are released can be harmful to you.

These materials can either harm your fireplace or harm you, and we’re sure that you would want to avoid either of these options! Stick to the materials we have previously outlined, and your fireplace will burn efficiently and beautifully.

If you’d like some more advice about your wood burning stove and fireplace safety, or you’d like to discuss alternative options such as gas or electric fireplaces, come to Fiveways Fires & Stoves. Give us a call on 0208 127 4747 or email .