Tips on Buying Firewood for Home Use

Having firewood at your disposal during winter is a good way to have comfort and heat in your homes.

Since, time immemorial, wood have been tool for men to parry the cold during winter and even during spring and fall. Now, things have not changed and we still rely on wood to keep us warm.

If you are new to wood burning and have just moved in the states where heater is not available, how then can you buy firewood for your needs?

You may want to answer a few questions as you think of purchasing firewood.

  • What, in the first place, is the measurement used when buying wood?
  • What types of woods areideal for winter?
  • What woods are easy to burn and what wood generates more heat?

Definitely, firewoods are not created equal. With a variety of woods available in the market, there must be a select few that can suit well for your needs.

In this article, we will walk you through the basics of firewood buying.

Knowing basic information regarding firewood is a well-invested time. You will not have to rely on trial and error in getting the best firewood for your winter needs and at the same time saves your valuable resources when purchasing them.

Fire Wood Measurement

If you are going to buy firewood, the first thing that you need to know is how wood is measured.

Woods are usually measured by cords, the standard measurement for woods. A cord usually is a pile of 8 feet long, by 4 feet tall and 4 feet deep.

Though, sometimes, woods are also measured by the truckload or rick. A rick is usually a pile of woods. Sometimes, many dealers when they sell in fraction call them “face cord”, “furnace cords”, or “stove cords”.

Since there is a difference in the names and measurement used for buying woods, misunderstanding usually happens. It must be clear to you what the measurement amounts to when talking to dealers. This way, each party’s expectation is met.

The trick in still getting the right idea how much wood you would get from your dealer in spite of how it is measured, is by using volume measurement.

When you are given a measurement in the truckload for example, try to convert it into volume measurement. This way you can compare prices and pick the best deal for you.

Green and Seasoned Wood

As a common practice, the woods that you will get from your dealer are green woods. These are woods that have just been cut from new fallen trees. This is the reason why it is good to buy firewood during spring and store before using it on the winter months.

Though there are also times when suppliers sell seasoned firewood considering they stack and store their supply until they sell. In this case, the firewood has seasoned.

The only thing you have to anticipate is that these seasoned firewood are more expensive.

Different Woods, Different Fire 

In selecting and buying woods, the adage “not every wood is created equal” should be well remembered.

Even if these woods are seasoned and dry, they will still produce heat differently.

There are woods that crackles and burn efficiently while at the same time not giving off excessive heat. Then there are woods that provide the most heat compared with others.

You can know what type of wood suits your needs by knowing their basic characteristics.


There are two types of firewood: hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwoods are known to have the highest British Thermal Unit (BTU) content, which means they produce more heat.

A volume of hardwood, for example, gives off twice more heat as compared with the same volume of softwood.

More than this, hardwood usually burn slower when compared with softwood and is ideal for cooking food and when aiming to produce more intense heat.

The only disadvantage of hardwood is that they don’t easily fire. This is the reason why softwood are used to start a fire and only later on do hardwood are added.

Below is a table of hardwood that produces intense heat and at the same time produce less smoke: Almond; Apple; Ash; Beech; Birch; Dogwood; Hard Maple; Hickory; Pecan; Red Oak; White Oak.


This type of wood usually comes from the gymnosperm family tree. These trees usually have cones and needles. It is estimated that around 80% of all woods originated from softwood.

They also usually ignite fast which makes them a good starter for fire. More than this, they also burn fast and cleanly. Research found also that this type of wood does not produce much creosote.

The disadvantage of this type of wood is that they produce less heat.

Below is a list of softwood ideal for making a fire: Cedar; Douglas Fir; White Spruce; Yellow Pine.

More Tips When Buying Firewood

Below are more tips when buying your firewood. Observe these simple tips and tricks and you will have no problem about buying good firewood.

  • Ask family members and friends for reliable firewood dealers
  • Buy firewood personally. Don’t buy on the phone as you need to check the length and size of the firewood.
  • Choose clean wood over muddy and sandy wood.
  • Buy firewoods that have been split already as you don’t want to split it yourself.
  • Manually splitting wood can be challenging work, if you have to do it yourself, it’s important to choose between an axe vs a maul to use for the job. If your budget allows, an electric wood splitter is also a great choice, too!
  • Stack the firewood before paying for it so you get the exact volume for your money.


Buying your firewood can be intimidating at first, especially if you don’t know what to look for and have no idea on the types of firewood in the market.

You can start by knowing that firewood is measured by the cord – sometimes wood is also measured by rick or truckload.

The next thing to do is follow the tips and information given in this article and you surely will have no problem when you purchase your next firewood from your dealer.

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1 thought on “Tips on Buying Firewood for Home Use”

  1. My wife and I are thinking about getting some firewood for our house, but we didn’t know how to buy the right kind. It’s interesting that you say to look at the different woods are in season and dry. It would be nice to know that you are going to get the most out of your firewood, and that it won’t get damaged.


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