I have some pine that I would like to use as firewood. I have yet to
split and season these pieces yet. I am trying to find out if it is
really as safe as a hardwood to burn indoors in a fireplace. If not I
can burn outdoors in the bowl.
Seasoned pine is fine for undamped fires. Good screen on the fireplace and
a good draft will do all right. Never will do as well as denser woods for
heat, but what you have is what you have.
Not sure any of those "logs" for chimney cleaning do any good.
It is totally safe however don't burn Treated Pine lumber. The pine will
burn faster and will create more creosote which will require your chimney to
be cleaned more often.
I only burn hard woods and had my chimney cleaned for the first time in 20
years a few years ago. The chimney sweep removed very little residue.
On Sep 18, 12:12 am, email@example.com wrote:
You can burn pine in your fireplace, but if it was me I wouldn't
(that's just paranoid me though) I've known folks who have done it
for years with no problem. I choose not to.
The cleaning logs don't really have any effect that I can see. I've
used some powders that seem to make the creosote come off easier, but
that was for a chimney on a stove in a shop that we did burn pine
Either way you'll definitely want that screen up...
Enjoy the fire!
On Mon, 17 Sep 2007 21:12:22 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I've burned a LOT of pine over the years... burns easy and hot, but FAST...
I used to order a cord of oak every year and a 1/4 cord of pine... Used the pine
for kindling/starter logs and then added oak when the fire was going well..
I've been told that those "chimney cleaning" logs burn very hot and can CAUSE
IMHO, there's NO substitute for having the chimney inspected and cleaned on a
Please remove splinters before emailing
Growing up on a farm, pine is about all we used. Every few years we
had a chimney fire which is a poor man's stress test. It sounds like a
small tornado in the chimney with fire shooting out the top. We had a
tin roof and a sound chimney, otherwise it could have resulted in a
Not something I would want to live through again. That's why God made
hardwood and chimney sweeps.
Every day of every winter for about 30 years my Dad had a fire going
in his fireplace. He'd generally use pine to get it started and when
it was cold he'd throw in a lightwood knot just to take the chill off.
Every Fourth of July he'd hang a string of firecrackers down the
chimney and set them off by way of chimney cleaning. Never had a
chimney fire, or any other kind of problem with that fireplace.
It isn't the type of wood that you burn that makes or doesn't make a
chimney fire. Its the amount of combustible residue left in the
chimney that makes the difference. Burning almost any wet wood is
worse in this regard because as the water in the wood vaporizes, it
takes up heat from the "smoke" and that cools the flue gases, which in
turn makes those (sometimes unburned and volatile) gases more likely to
condense in the flue.
Burning wood with a lot of resin in it can create a similar situation.
If you make a quick fire and never get the chimney over (approx) the
boiling point of water at the top, you get deposits of pyroligneous acid
(creosote+) which can be ignited at some later date.
If, on the other hand, you get the fire going and keep it hot for
many hours, you have a pretty good chance of getting the chimney hot
enough to prevent this build up and even re-evaporate some of it.
The biggest problem I see with burning pine would be in a
damper-controlled wood stove when not much heat is needed. Here, the
stove is choked down quite a bit to slow combustion, so the flue temp is
very low. Here you'd get the max. build up of creosote, unburned
A lot depends on the type of fireplace and chimney that you have, too.
If the fireplace is fully open to the interior of the house, you can't
control the fire down to a smouldering mass, so you have a chance to
keep the flue temp up. OTOH, if you have too much draft, you are again
cooling the flue a lot.
A masonry chimney in the center of the house is pretty well
insulated so it will heat up pretty well. The same chimney on an
outside wall builds up creosote, etc. much faster.
Personally, I like a stainless steel liner inside of a
center-of-the-house masonry chimney.
I'd start with a chimney inspection.
The secret to keeping your chimney clean is to build a good hot roaring
fire every morning (don't try this with a dirty chimney, though). Keep
it hot for 30 - 60 minutes, and then close it down. The roaring fire
will clean out the chimney for you.
Caveat: Start with a clean chimney in good working order.
Don't know if the logs work, but I do use the chimney cleaning powder
once a week. The good stuff says for damped fires, and costs about $8
per little container. The cheaper $4 stuff doesn't work (and it says it
is for fireplaces).
I still go up and clean my chimney every fall, and check on it a few
times during the winter...
The main thing to make sure your wood is well seasoned and *dry* wood.
My firewood has been seasoned at least two years, and generally in the
range of four to five years. (I have storage space for 22 cords).
I burn pine, fir, cedar, oak, maple, and any woodworking scraps.
I burn anything/everything with btu's. My home, way up in snow
country, is 2200 sq ft and it's heated with my woodburner. I do have
an LP furnace, but it never kicks on. The rule is to keep your bottom
air damper mostly open and burn everything hot, using a smaller fire.
Last spring I had 1.5 gallons of dry soot in my cleanout. My chimney is
one alongside my home, masonry block with a ceramic flue, but the
masonry block has 2" of foam insulation and siding over it.
On Sep 18, 6:37 pm, email@example.com (John B) wrote:
My chimney is masonry, center of the house with about three or four
feet exposed at the top/ It is I believe a ceramic flue and was
cleaned (brush) at least three years ago. I should probably go up and
clean it again.
I inherited my dad's house. Growing up as a kid, and to the present day,
we burn whatever wood nature and convenient access bring our way. We've
burned everything from all softwood (pine, hemlock, spruce), to all
hardwood (oak, maple, birch) to any mix in between. Never a chimney
fire, never a wood stove fire, ever. We happen to have metal lined
flues, which are cleaned annually in late summer or early autumn. A few
neighbors and relatives with masonry chimneys and (we believe) a
somewhat less rigorous sweeping schedule, have had fires. No homes lost,
but it did scare the bejeezus out of the occupants.
In my experience well seasoned pine will burn hot and fast, and thus
reasonably clean. Perhaps not as clean as well cured hardwood, but not
so much worse as to cause worry in any given year.
In sum, it is not the wood that you use but the care of the fireplace
and chimney that should be of prime concern to you.
And in spite of our (nearly 75 years combined) experience we still have
some chimney fire extinguisher sticks (they look and are lit like
highway flares) within easy reach -- for the same reasons that there are
fire extinguishers in the basement, kitchen and laundry room -- hey, you
just never know when you may need one and it's better to have it and not
need it than to need it and not have it at hand. The local fire company
has several on board on every run they make, and they've saved more than
a few homes with them over the years, too.
OTOH if that pine is clear in four foot plus lengths you might just
resaw it into boards. Clear S4S pine sells for quite a premium.
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