Cedar is a popular wood for building furniture, fences, and other outdoor structures as it is very durable and resistant to decay. However, when it comes to using it as fuel for a fireplace, cedar may not be such a great choice.
To determine whether or not cedar is a safe and efficient option for fireplace use, it’s important to consider several factors. These include the type of cedar being burned, the condition of the chimney, and the frequency of use.
In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of burning cedar in a fireplace, as well as provide tips for minimizing the risks associated with using this wood as a fuel source.
Should You Burn Cedar In A Fireplace?
Cedar, like any other wood, will burn when it is set on fire. This means that asking whether we “can” burn cedar in a fireplace is the wrong question as of course, it is possible.
The question we should be asking is whether we “should” burn cedar in a fireplace.
The Problems With Burning Cedar In A Fireplace
Cedar is commonly used for outdoor fireplaces and fire pits because it has several properties that make it an excellent choice for these circumstances.
However, those same properties make it less suited to indoor fireplaces.
Many people choose to use cedar outdoors because it is extremely flammable and burns very quickly. This makes lighting and maintaining a fire easier but can pose risks when used indoors.
If your chimney doesn’t have adequate airflow and ventilation, you may quickly find that your fire becomes out of control.
Cedar is also full of many volatile oils that help it to burn as quickly as it does. If there are any kindling or other flammable materials near your indoor fireplace, these could easily catch fire as well.
As cedar catches fire so quickly, it is more prone to spitting sparks. The chances of a cedar fire spreading are much higher than with many other types of wood.
While it burns, cedar can produce a lot of ash as well, and this can make cleaning out your fireplace a very messy and annoying chore.
The Advantages Of Burning Cedar In A Fireplace
You might be wondering why anyone would consider burning cedar in a fireplace when there are many other types of wood that are well-suited to the job.
Although cedar can be a dangerous wood to burn in an indoor fireplace, it does also have its advantages.
Cedar can produce a really nice aroma as it burns. Many people love the smell of burning cedar and find it more appealing than the smells produced by other woods.
It produces a degree of smoke as well which helps the aroma spread throughout the room. If you’re sensitive to smoke and strong smells, however, this may be another disadvantage of cedar!
While it’s burning, cedar produces a beautiful flame. It looks really good in a fireplace and is very relaxing to watch.
Cedar is quick to catch fire and once the fire has caught, it doesn’t extinguish easily. If you’re not that skilled at setting a fire and maintaining it, then cedar is an easy wood to use.
You don’t need much experience with fires to keep a cedar fire burning.
However, as cedar can be dangerous, it is not the best wood for beginners to use in their indoor fireplaces.
Tips For Using Cedar In An Indoor Fireplace
We recommend thoroughly considering all of the pros and cons of cedar before you decide to use it in your fireplace.
It’s not a wood that we recommend to anyone who is new to building fires and is best avoided if you have young children or pets.
Although the majority of people decide that cedar isn’t their choice of wood, we do have some tips if you decide to use cedar in your fireplace. Following these tips will help you to use cedar safely and get the most from your wood.
Use Dry Logs
To ensure that your cedar burns cleanly and as it should, make sure that your cedar is thoroughly dried.
The oils contained in cedar do not react well with water and this can cause your cedar logs to burn in an uncontrolled and dangerous way.
Keep Your Fireplace And Surrounding Area Clean
Cedar burns quickly and is prone to spitting fire, especially when it first catches.
For this reason, it is important that you keep your fireplace clean and ensure that there is nothing nearby your fireplace that is flammable.
Cedar produces a lot of ash so make sure you clean this and any debris out of your fireplace frequently.
Don’t store the rest of your cedar logs next to your fireplace. You should also ensure that there are no rugs in front of the fireplace and that any furniture is kept at a safe distance.
Don’t use cedar in your fireplace if it is located near a wall and is within spitting reach of any curtains, either.
Always Use A Screen
Whenever you burn cedar in a fireplace, make sure that a screen is in place over the top of the fireplace. This will protect you from any fire spitting.
Only Use In A Well-Ventilated Fireplace
Cedar has a great aroma but can produce a large amount of smoke. Make sure that your fireplace is well-ventilated and has decent airflow before you burn cedar.
You should also consider keeping a window open to allow more smoke to escape if necessary.
In this article, we took a closer look at burning cedar in a fireplace. Although cedar can be burned in a fireplace, it can be dangerous and many people choose not to use it.
If you do use cedar, make sure you follow all appropriate safety precautions.