Softwood for the fireplace?

It almost seems like a truism: coniferous wood is not allowed in the fireplace. In this article you will find out why this is only partially true, why hardwood is actually better, and what you definitely have to pay attention to when heating with coniferous wood.

Suitability of softwood

Basically, it is said that softwood leads to soot formation in the chimney and sooting in the chimney. The resin contained in conifers should also splash and not only create unsightly dirt, but also dangerously splashing embers. But all of this is only partially true.

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When can you heat with softwood

Resin remains a problem; the resin can make viewing panes heavily soiled and unsightly.

However, as far as sooting and soot formation are concerned, that is not entirely true. Wood that burns at optimal temperatures and does not slack off for a long time - regardless of the type of wood - produces little soot formation in the chimney. So you can always put coniferous wood in the fireplace if it can burn quickly - on the other hand, it is less suitable for long-term heating at low combustion temperatures. Individual, very resin-rich types of wood always produce more soot than others.

Differences in calorific value

Hardwood has a significant advantage over softwood: It burns more slowly and gives off more heat overall. This is because softwoods tend to have a lower mass density than most types of hardwood. The following table shows some comparative values:

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26.49 EUR To the product Type of wood kWh per cubic meter kWh per kg of wood
beech 2.100 kWh per cubic meter 4.0 kWh per kg of wood
birch 1.900 kWh per cubic meter 4.3 kWh per kg of wood
fir 1.400 kWh per cubic meter 4.4 kWh per kg of wood
Spruce 1.500 kWh per cubic meter 4.5 kWh per kg of wood
jaw 1.700 kWh per cubic meter 4.4 kWh per kg of wood

Softwood as kindling

It can be a good idea to use softwood as a kindle wood. It quickly provides a lot of heat and burns quickly at the beginning. In order to keep the warmth, beech wood logs can then be placed on the embers. The prerequisite is that you have no problem with possible resin splashes. However, wood that is very resinous, such as pine, should be avoided as far as possible.

Price advantage

Softwood is often much cheaper than hardwood. The price difference is put into perspective with the shorter burning time if you heat continuously, but softwood can still be worthwhile for occasional fire-making if it is not too resinous.

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About the product Tips & Tricks In the past, pine wood was used less often as kindling (instead, the so-called "pine shavings" were usually made as a torch), but pine cones and pine wood shavings (pine scrap).