How Hot Does Wood Burn: Stats & Visual Guide

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  • Different species of wood actually have different combusting temperatures- though generally, it’s around 300 degrees Celsius
  • Once burning, firewood burns at temperatures ranging from 800 to 950 degrees Celsius, which is 1472 to 1742 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Learn more about how hot wood and gas fireplaces get
  • Fire colors also indicate temperature

Wood burns at different temperatures depending on the type of wood. Hardwoods like oak and maple burn hotter than softwoods like cedar and pine. Seasoned wood burns hotter than unseasoned wood. And green wood, or wood that has been freshly cut, can actually sizzle and smoke without igniting.

Courtesy of LumberJax

So how hot does wood burn? It depends. The moisture content of the wood, the type of wood and how long it has been cut all have an impact on a burning piece of firewood.

Wood contains water, which helps keep it from igniting as readily as coal or oil. How much water is in a piece of wood will determine how hot it will burn. For example, pine has a higher moisture content than oak. As a result, it will smolder and produce more sparks than oak when burned.

In general, hardwoods have a lower moisture content and will therefore burn hotter than softwoods. This is why hardwoods are often used in fireplace and wood stove settings. They produce less smoke and more heat.

The age of the wood also affects how hot it will burn. Seasoned wood, or wood that has been cut and allowed to dry for at least six months, will burn hotter than unseasoned wood. The drying process helps remove some of the water from the wood, making it easier to ignite. Green wood, or wood that has been freshly cut, can actually sizzle and smoke without igniting.

So, how hot does wood burn? It depends on the type of wood, the moisture content and how long it has been cut. Seasoned wood will burn hotter than unseasoned wood, and hardwoods will burn hotter than softwoods. Green wood can actually sizzle and smoke without igniting.

How Hot Does Wood Burn

If a person has a wood burning fireplace in their home they need to understand that when wood burns it is very hot. Different woods will burn at different temperatures but when they are in full flame their average temperature can range between 800 and 900 degrees.

A person needs to make sure they have a proper fireplace installed to handle this heat and take precautions to stay away and contain this fire.

Wood Burning Information

Wood Burning Information

There are some things that will impact the temperature at which the wood is going to burn. The structure and the density of the wood will have an impact on the temperature. If the wood that is being used is porous it will burn at around 500 degrees C.

Wood that is denser will burn at a higher temperature such as 1000 degrees C. Pine and spruce will burn around 630 degrees C.

If the wood is wet then it will not burn properly. It will not reach the proper firing temperature. Wood that is wet should not be burned as it can release dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide. This will also release a lot of smoke into the home.

Temperatures of Wood

Temperatures of Wood

Depending on the type of wood that is being burned the average temperature may vary.

These are some average burning temperatures based on the type of wood that is bring burned. Some of these woods types are suitable to be burned in the home fireplace while others may need to be burnt in a fire pit outside of the home.

  • Redwood Burns at 669 degrees F.
  • Douglas fir will burn at 660 degrees F.
  • Oak will burn at a hot temperature of 1,653 degrees F.
  • Birch also burns ta a hot temperature of 1,500 degrees F.
  • Spruce will burn at an average temperature of 1,148 degrees F.

Temperatures that wood will ignite at

There are three phrases to get wood to burn and many people do not know how hot wood needs to be so it will ignite. When the wood is first lit it will burn at 320 degrees F.

There will be some changes in the wood and as it continues to burn the temperature will rise to around 482 degrees F. This is the first stage in the wood burning process.

The next phase in the wood burning process will allow the wood to heat up more and reach higher temperatures. The wood will begin to break down allowing more heat production during this time.

During the third phase of wood burning the temperature of the wood is at the hottest. The wood will be burning at full force and will leave ash behind.More About the Stages

Evaporation of Water

After the wood is cut it needs some time to dry out. The wood will shrink by around 20 percent. The would also release the rest of the water when it is first lit. If the wood is wet more energy will be wasted and it will not provide as much heat. This will also lead to a mess.

Smoking

When the wood is smoking it is releasing a lot of oxygen. If the wood is producing excessive smoke that it will condense in the chimney and lead to the buildup of tar.

It is important to make sure the wood is dry enough so that it will not produce this smoke and can reach higher temperatures for a clean burn.

Correct Burn

If the wood is burning correctly there will be flames. There will be some smoke but it will not be overpowering. If the wood is dry it should light up right away.

The smoke coming from the wood should be white. If it is gray there is a problem and the combustion is not going as it should.

Factors That Affect Temperature

There are some things that will have an impact on the temperature of the wood and will impact how hot it will burn.

Airflow

There will need to be air getting into the fireplace or the furnace so that the wood is able to burn and the flames can build up the most heat. This will also change the gas particles into heat which will help warm up the home and will reduce waste.

Humidity

Moisture in the wood will have a direct impact on its ability to burn and its ability to produce heat. Fresh cut wood will have a higher moisture content than wood that has been allowed to dry for some time.

The longer the wood has been allowed to dry the quicker it will light and the hotter it will be able to burn. To help encourage the wood to dry it should be cut into smaller pieces and it should be kept out of the elements. Under natural conditions, it takes the wood around one year to dry.

This is some information about the temperature of the wood and the temperature at which it will ignite and burn. This can help a person enjoy their fireplace without having too much smoke and get the most out of their burning for heat.

Choosing Firewood for a Hot Burn

The purpose of the fireplace in the home is to provide heat. A person does not want to purchase the wood and have it wasted or not allowed to burn. Birchwood has the most heat-producing elements.

It is not important to heat the home with the most expensive woods but with quality wood that has been dried out and will burn at high temperatures.

Spruce and pine product moderate heat but they are not recommended for use in an indoor fire. They work great in outdoor firepits and will help a person prepare their good at a higher temperature.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.

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