The right type of firewood can make a huge difference in the efficiency, convenience, and safety of your wood-burning fireplace, stove, or furnace. Using poor quality firewood like wet wood can lead to inefficient fires and dangerously large amounts of creosote to accumulate within your chimney. At Mr. Smokestack, we are often asked by our customers about the characteristics of the best firewood to burn during the winter. We are also regularly asked about how to buy high quality firewood. We would like to make your visits to the local firewood vendor less intimidating by sharing with you some valuable tips to help you make the wisest purchase.
Measure Quantity to Compare Prices.
The standard measurement for firewood is the cord, which measures to be 4 X 4 X 8 feet. However, according to the Wood Heat Organization, few firewood vendors sell full cords as they are impractical. Most firewood vendors sell fractions of cords, known as “face cords,” “stove cords,” or “furnace cords.” These partial cords are piles of wood four feet high and eight feet long and as wide as the individual logs, generally between 12 and 20 inches. To compare the price of firewood sold in fractions of cords, calculate the volume of the wood sold as a unit and compare its cost per a full cord of firewood.
Remember That the Cheapest Price Is Probably Not the Best Deal.
Just because you are buying the least expensive set of firewood at the vendor, you should realize that you may actually be losing money by buying lower quality wood. You want firewood that is the best for your firebox in terms of piece length and thickness.
Ask Friends, Neighbors, and Family for Recommendations.
Ask around for recommendations of the most reliable firewood vendor in your area. Once you have a few good recommendations, compare prices and quality to find the best firewood supplier for you.
Never Order Firewood Over the Phone.
To be sure you are getting the best quality firewood, you need to visit the vendor in person to see the wood for yourself. You will want to see if the wood is properly seasoned and dried, stacked and stored correctly, and measure the wood to check the length and pile size. The firewood should be clean, split small enough for your heating appliance, and not randomly piled as only stacked cords can be counted.
Be Sure You Get What You Pay For.
When you purchase firewood, you should either measure the piled wood before delivery or have it stacked at home before paying. This measures the wood accurately then confirms that your money has not gone to waste and the appropriate volume has been delivered.
Buy Your Firewood in the Spring.
This will allow you to control the seasoning process yourself so you can be sure you have the driest possible firewood by winter. Stacking it and storing it properly yourself can allow the warm sun to dry the wood out for you.
If you would like more tips on buying the right kind of firewood, contact Mr. Smokestack. Our experienced staff are happy to answer any questions you may have.