A Simple Wood Burning Guide

If you have difficulty getting a fire started in your fireplace or if you don’t know how to burn fires that produce the amount of heat you want, this simple guide for wood burning is for you. Improving your wood burning skills will be a lot easier than you think. Check out our tips for getting the perfect, warm fire going during the next few months.

Lighting the Fire

The best fuel for rekindling or starting a fire is either two or three finely split, very dry softwood logs or some other type of kindling, such as small sticks. The best wood to use for kindling is pine, cedar, or any other dry softwood. Set some pages of newspaper under the kindling and light it with a lighter or match. As the kindling burns, slowly add increasingly larger logs.

Please note:

  • Do not throw any type of flammable liquid, such as petrol, on the fire because it is both unnecessary and extremely dangerous to do so.
  • Do not burn glossy printed paper such as magazine pages on the fire because it can release toxic fumes and cause dangerous creosote in the chimney liner.

Burn  only Seasoned Hardwood or Softwood


If the fires in your fireplace are usually either too warm or not warm enough, it could be because of the type of fuel you are using together with the way the fire is built.

The wood you burn needs to be seasoned or dried out. Unseasoned firewood is full of moisture. Fires built with wet or green wood are smoky, highly inefficient, and put off very little heat.

When wood is properly seasoned, it will provide warmth, burn clean, and produce very little smoke. It usually takes from six to nine months for firewood to dry out, as long as it is properly stacked and exposed to air but not moisture.

Hardwoods are very dense; they burn longer and produce more heat. Softwoods burn more quickly and radiate less heat.

Build the Ideal Fire

Not only the type of wood you burn but also the way the firewood is placed in the fireplace determines whether your fire burns quickly or slowly and how much heat the fire produces.

For a rapidly burning fire than can provide the right amount of heat for a mild winter day, loosely stack at least three pieces of softwood in a crisscross pattern.

For a long-burning fire that produces a lot of heat, use large pieces of hardwood and place them close together.

Our chimney professionals are available to help you get your chimney and fireplace or wood stove in top working condition. Give us a call today.