FIREWOOD 101

Firewood BTU Rating

  • Firewood with High or Very high heat output
    1 cord = 21,000,000 - 24,000,000 BTU = 200-250 gal. of fuel oil or 250-300 cu. ft. of natural gas.

  • Firewood with Medium heat output
    1 cord = 17,000,000 - 20,000,000 BTU = 150-200 gal. of fuel oil or 200-250 cu. ft. of natural gas.

  • Firewood with Low heat output
    1 cord = 12,000,000-17,000,000 BTU = 100-150 gal. of fuel oil or 200-250 cu. ft. of natural gas.

Consider the cost of 1 cord of firewood vs the cost of fuel oil or the cu. ft. of natural gas. The cost of firewood is usually more stable than
the cost of fuel oils or gas and should prove to be a huge savings on your heating bill.



Firewood By Weight

WOOD TYPE
WEIGHT (LBS)
Willow
2,100
Walnut, Black
3,192
Spruce
2,100
Pine, Ponderosa
2,380
Pine, Lodgepole
2,669
Oak, White
4,012
Maple, Western
3,750
Locust, Black
3,890
Juniper, Rocky
3,150
Elm, American
3,052
FIr, Douglas
2,900
Cottonwood
2,108
Cherry, Black
2,880
Ash, Black
2,992
Apple
4,100
Alder , Red
2,710
Hemlock
2,482
Tamarack
3,247
Chinquapin
3,450

Firewood Measurements





1 cord of firewood measures


8 feet long, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide
or 128 cubic feet



Firewood Storage

Store wood off the ground in a location away from the house, since termites will be looking for it.  You can easily make a place to hold the wood by placing two 2x4s or 2x6s parallel to each other on the ground.  Stack wood across these boards, then cover with a tarp, or better yet, build a small wood shed with a roof to protect it from the elements.


Building A Better Fire

Before lighting a fire, make sure the thermostat is turned down so air heated by the central furnace will not go up the chimney. The easiest and best fire for either a stove or fireplace is achieved with a mixture of softwoods for easy igniting with hardwoods for longer burning and good coaling qualities. A cardinal rule of fireplace management is to keep a thick bed for glowing coals that drop through. The coals yield a steady heat and aid in igniting fresh fuel as it is added. Keep the fire burning by adding small amounts of firewood at regular intervals. A small, hot fire is much better than a large, roaring blaze because it burns more completely and produces less creosote.


Benefits of Seasoned Firewood

The best firewood will always be seasoned firewood. Seasoned firewood is wood that burns with less smoke and provides greater heat because there is no moisture in the wood. The particular type of wood is less important than whether it is seasoned wood. An easy way to tell the difference between seasoned and unseasoned wood is the weight and look. Seasoned wood will be much lighter in comparison because it will be dried out because of no moisture. In addition, it will tend to have cracks in the wood and even look a grayer color.

For people who will only burn a few dozen fires a year, the best firewood for them will likely be softwoods like Pine,Fir or Juniper. These can be especially good during the holidays because they have a great scent that adds to the effects of a Christmas tree. Cedar should be avoided when possible because it tends to be smokier than some other woods.

For people who burn more wood than this, hardwoods are generally considered the best. This is because hardwoods tend to be denser allowing them to have more burning fuel.