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Can You Burn Pine In A Fireplace?

By Lawrence Macmillan May 19, 2022

If you have a fireplace in your home, then you are probably always on the hunt for new fuels to burn.

Some are more expensive than others, while some can be found for free right outside your front door - but it's important that you don't try burning the wrong kind of fuel otherwise you may end up putting your whole home at risk.

 

Can You Burn Pine In A Fireplace?

So, can you burn pine in a fireplace?

Here, we are going to cover this question and find out the answer. This way, you can safely burn the right kind of fuel in your fireplace so you can keep more money in your pocket and your home nice and warm through the winter! 

Can You Burn Pine Wood In A Fireplace?

Pine wood is a popular type of fuel for outdoor fires, so many people wonder if it's possible to bring this fuel indoors as well.

The answer is yes, but with restrictions.

Pine wood is a softwood and contains a lot of resinous sap, which means that it's very easy to set alight and burn.

Resinous sap acts as an igniter which is why so many outdoor fires use pine wood as it doesn't require a lot of effort to light. 

However, there are a few risks when it comes to burning pine wood indoors. This is because of the high sap content of pine wood, which means that it produces a lot of creosote. 

Creosote is a tar-like substance that coats the inside of your chimney and traps smoke, meaning that it cannot escape entirely.

A lot of creosote build up in your chimney means that smoke is blocked and more likely to fill up the inside of your home, staining your furniture and causing the whole place to smell a lot more strongly like smoke.

Not only this, but breathing in a lot of smoke is very bad for you and increases the risk of fires, so you need a well ventilated and clean chimney to reduce this effect. 

The rule of thumb is that the more sap in a wood, the more creosote it will produce so pine wood needs to be treated before you burn it in your indoor fireplace - especially if you have collected the pinewood yourself from outdoors. 

Wood absorbs a lot of water and pine has a very high moisture content (some pine woods average at a 180% moisture content).

Not only does this reduce the ease of ignition, but it also means this wood will create a lot of smoke and release a lot of carbon monoxide (a toxic compound to humans and animals) into your home. This can cause serious health problems.

So - pine wood needs to be seasoned first before you can burn it indoors. If you don't, you will end up producing a lot of smoke and creosote that will put you and your home at risk. 

How To Season Pine Wood

Seasoning wood means to remove its moisture content which makes it easier and safer to burn indoors. 

Most people air-dry for their seasoning method. This means that you have to split your pine wood logs up and then stack them outdoors to expose them to the air.

This will dry up most of the moisture stuck inside the pine wood and make it safer to burn. 

So, you need to chop your pine wood into small, stackable logs. You should also stack your pinewood logs in a sunny, well ventilated area where it can dry up thanks to both air circulation and sunlight.

You need to cover the top with a waterproof material like tarpaulin and elevate your logs off the ground to reduce the chances of them getting wet from rain.

However, you need to remember to take the cover off during sunny weather to allow the sunlight to help dry out the pine and cover it again during the night. 

After about six months, your pine firewood should be nice and dry and ready to burn!

This time frame can vary depending on how moist the pine was already so some logs may only take two months to season, while others can take nine months - but the general average time to season pine wood is six months. 

This process may sound like a long time but this is because pine is a softwood that contains a lot of sap and moisture - so it takes a lot longer to season and dry than other types of wood!

So, plan in advance when it comes to preparing your pine wood and have lots of stacks ready so you can have a constant supply of dry pine firewood.

Can You Burn Pine Needles In A Fireplace?

So, you can burn pine wood in an indoor fireplace as long as it has been seasoned - now what about pine needles?

As they are a part of the same tree, a lot of people try to burn pine needles as well as pine wood because they believe that it must be harmless. However, this is not the case. 

Burning pine needles is actually a very dangerous and risky procedure. This is because when they burn, pine needles emit a lot of chemicals that can convert into aerosol particles.

These particles can have a serious negative impact not just on the health of humans, but animals and the environment altogether. 

This is why wildfires are so damaging - not just because they damage wildlife habitats and kill important fauna and flora, but also because the burning of certain types of leaves like pine needles emit dangerous chemicals into our atmosphere. 

Because of this danger, a lot of places have banned the burning of pine needles as fuel.

Although some restricted manufacturers may have permission, this is because they have the right types of furnaces to trap these chemicals and prevent their release. 

Your home fireplace does not have the appropriate tools needed to prevent this so you should not burn pine needles in your fireplace. It's dangerous not only to you and your family, but to the environment overall. 

Can You Burn Pine In A Log Burner?

If you have a log burner instead of a fireplace, then the same rules apply when it comes to using pine as firewood. 

You should only burn pine in your log burner once it has been completely seasoned and is dry.

Otherwise, you will only release a lot of smoke and creosote into your log burner's chimney, which can cause block ups and it can become less efficient. 

So, make sure you season your pine first just as you would if you were burning pine in a fireplace instead.

Also, you should avoid burning pine needles too for the same reasons above. They are toxic and harmful to the environment and life in general when burned. 

Conclusion

So, can you use pine wood as a firewood for indoor fireplaces?

Yes, but only once it has been seasoned. Burning moist, sapy-filled pine will release a lot of toxic smoke into your home and increase the risk of spreading a fire.

Not only that, but it will contribute to the creosote build up in your chimney which also contributes in turn to the build up of smoke and carbon monoxide in your home. 

Make sure you have seasoned your pine wood appropriately and only burn it once it is dry. This way, it will release less smoke and creosote, making it much safer to burn indoors. 

Good luck!

 


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