It is a common misconception that burning softwood logs creates a resin or creosote residue within the chimney. Infact all wood can create this. It is condensation of small unburned particles in the smoke that coats the chimney surface as it exits. Properly seasoned and dried softwood logs actually produce a hotter fire very quickly and so the smoke travels faster allowing less time for condensation.
Actually softwood is great for burning, but as with all firewood, is has to be dried properly to below 20% moisture content. Some species actually have a higher calorific value in comparison to hardwoods per ton. Being less dense of course , you do need more in terms of volume for the same weight or energy output.
For use in stoves and boilers, some manufacturers actually recommend softwood over hardwood due to the increased performance.
We believe hardwood or a mix for open fires is the ideal simply because it is easier to control the speed of burn, with less chance of sparking.
Correctly storing your logs, cleaning your chimney once a year, more often for heavy use, is key no matter which type of wood you burn.
A mix is often regarded as the optimum although of course, due to the fact that softwood trees mature much quicker than hardwood trees, softwood is a much more sustainable source of firewood.