If you are looking for affordable fuel for your home, then using an abundant clean burning wood in your fireplace is a great way to save money.
And the Silver Maple tree (also known as Creek Maple), is a fast growing abundant tree that’s native to Canada and the USA. So, with plenty of easily accessible Silver Maple wood, is it worth using this tree for firewood?
Well, in this post, you will learn what makes for clean burning firewood. You will also discover how much heat Silver Maple can generate in your fireplace.
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What Type Of Wood Generally Burns The Cleanest?
Good firewood should be dry, first and foremost. After that, it should contain very little tree pitch or sap.
And last, but not least, firewood should not come from a poisonous or otherwise toxic tree species.
Now, when it comes to heat, you will also need your firewood to be fairly dense. That is because dense wood burns longer and hotter.
So, with all of this in mind, dense hardwoods like White Oak and Birch wood, both make for fantastic firewood.
What About Smoke? How Do You Minimize Smoke Emissions?
When firewood produces a lot of smoke, it is because there is a lot of moisture in that log.
The fire burns the moisture, turning it into steam. And that excessive steam thickens up the smoke. If you want to minimize thick lung clogging smoke emissions, then you need to minimize the moisture content inside firewood.
Now, the way you do this is by allowing firewood to dry first before burning it. This is called seasoning wood, and it involves allowing wood to dry for a few months.
Related Post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)
And What Kind Of Wood Should Not Be Burned In A Fireplace?
Avoid burning wood from poisonous trees. The reason for this is simple; the poisonous compounds in those trees can collect in the smoke, fumes, and soot.
And those toxic compounds are far too dangerous to have gathering in your home.
In addition to this, you should also avoid using wood that has a lot of sap or pitch in it. That’s because these wood types pose a fire hazard if they are burned in an indoor fireplace.
You see, tree pitch/sap are thick resinous substances that can collect in the soot lining a chimney flue. This can cause chimneys to become backed up, and that can lead to chimney fires.
Related Post: Is Mulberry Tree Wood Good For Firewood?
OK. So What About Silver Maple Wood? Is It Safe To Burn In An Indoor Fireplace?
When it comes to most of the main criteria for firewood, Silver Maple wood passes.
It’s lumber isn’t toxic to humans. And although this tree produces a lot of tree sap, that sap is very watery — and it’s a world away from the thick resinous sap you’d find saturating trees like Cedar and Pine. So, you can safely burn Silver Maple in a fireplace with a chimney.
Nonetheless, the one area that Silver Maple falters — as a firewood — is in the heat it produces.
This particular wood type doesn’t produce much heat for your home — especially when you compare it with better firewood options, such as Oak and Birch.
How Much Heat Does Silver Maple Produce Then?
Well, the BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating of wood reflects the amount of heat generated by burning wood.
The BTU measures the amount of energy it takes for fire to consume a piece of material. The more energy it takes, the longer that firewood will burn. And this in turn leads to more heat for your home.
Medium to Low BTU firewoods don’t burn for very long, and are little more than good kindling — and are certainly not good sources of fuel.
Now, when it comes to Silver Maple, this hardwood has a BTU of 19.0. Yet, when you compare it against White Oaks 25.7 BTU rating, and even Birch’s 23.6 rating, Silver Maple isn’t really that great.
Related Post: Is A Honey Locust Tree A Good Source For Firewood?
So Does That Mean I Shouldn’t Use Silver Maple?
Far from it. If you can get your hands on a great supply of free or otherwise readily available Silver Maple wood, then you should go ahead and use it.
This wood — provided it’s dry — is a clean burning source of fuel. And besides, free firewood is one of the best firewoods you can get.
However, if you are looking for affordable firewood that’s going to take significant time and/or money to stack up, then there are better options.
To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Clean burning firewood should contain little sap, and should come from non-toxic trees.
- 2). Good firewood should also be fairly dense, so that it burns long enough to produce a fair amount of heat.
- 3). Silver Maple is a clean burning firewood. However, when it comes to density and heat, it pales in comparison to better options in the form of White Oak and Birch wood.
Wood Heating | Forestry.usu.edu
Wood Smoke Awareness | EPA.gov