Prolong Its Lifespan

How Long Does a Cord of Wood Last?


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How Long Does a Cord of Wood Last? How Can You Prolong Its Lifespan?

Sitting around a fire during the winter is a great feeling. Being inside your home that’s heated to keep the cold at bay during freezing months is life-saving. If you happen to live in a place that witnesses extreme cold for a few months, you need to have enough firewood or fuel for heating the home.

If firewood is your heating solution, you need to have enough of it to last the entire winter. Finding firewood during extreme winter can be a challenge. Its prices may also increase during those months. At this stage, there comes a very important question. How long does a cord of wood last?

Winter Preparations

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Given the harsh weather conditions that exist during extreme winter, this is one of the most important questions. We all need to answer this before the winter sets in. Undoubtedly, the exact answer would differ from house to house, depending on their area and a number of other factors.

However, it’s advised to always buy more wood than you might need to last the winter. It’s always better to have some firewood left after the winter is over than to get the stock exhausted before the season is over.

Firewood is one of the cheapest heating solutions for your home, saving you a decent amount of money. Using natural gas, oil, propane, and electricity is more expensive than firewood. So, it’s a good idea to stock enough firewood for the winter. That’s why it’s important to know the exact answer to the question above. How long does a cord of wood last?

A Cord of Wood Will Last 8-12 Weeks

It depends on the number of times you make the fire for heating the house. And, it also depends on the size of the house. Considering both are average, a full cord of wood will last from 8 to 12 weeks. For example, an average house of 1000 square feet using the fire twice a day to heat the house will see a cord of wood last from 8 to 12 weeks.

The factors that usually influence how long the wood will last include the quality of the wood, the quality of insulation, and the area to be heated. As we have said earlier, it’s better to have more wood than your estimates. Surely, you would not like to see your stock of wood deplete before the winter is over.

How Much Is a Cord of Wood?

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Full Cord

A Full Cord of wood is a stack of wood measuring 4-feet x 8-feet x 4-feet. In terms of volume, it would be 128 cubic feet of wood.

Face Cord

This measurement requires the firewood to be 4-feet long, which proves to be impractical for modern stoves and furnaces. As a remedy, some wood traders would give you firewood of only 16-inch length. Their cord called “face cord” is 16-inch long, 4-feet high, and 8-feet wide. So, a face cord of wood will be a stack of wood measuring 4-feet x 8-feet x 16-inch (42.6 cubic feet).

Since Face Cord firewood comes in a more handy size, both sellers and buyers tend to prefer it. But knowing how they – Full Cord and Face Cord — compare when it comes to volume and weight is important for your calculations.

Let’s not forget that we have a question — how long does a cord of wood last? Here, we are trying to find an answer to this question.

To remove any confusion, you can remember that 1 Face Cord is roughly 1/3 of the Full Cord. This means 3 Face Cords would amount to 1 Full Cord. This comparative understanding might help you work out a perfect estimate of your firewood needs for the winter heating of the home. This will also help you work out the prices while buying the firewood.

More Measurement Alternatives

You can have some more measurement alternatives. For example, Half a Cord of Wood measures 4-feet x 12-feet x 16-inch (64 cubic feet) and 1/4 cord of wood will measure 4-feet x 16-inch x 6-feet (32 cubic feet).

How Can You Prolong the Lifespan of a Cord of Wood?

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There are a number of factors that influence how long your stock of wood lasts. In order to increase the lifespan of your cord of wood, you should work on each of these factors. You should try to control the amount of wood used for heating the house.

For example, by making the insulation of your home more effective, you can keep it warm for longer with less wood. This can reduce the consumption of wood to heat the house. Similarly, adding a few more sources of heat can reduce the consumption of wood and increase the lifespan of the cord of wood.

How long does a cord of wood last? Well, it depends. Here are a few ways you can increase its lifespan:

Add More Heating Sources

If you are using some other sources of heating as well as firewood, the consumption of firewood will be less than our estimates. You can use natural gas, oil, propane, and electricity as heat sources. These options are relatively expensive yet popular. They offer the convenience of unlimited supply and price stability. If you use these sources to heat your house, the wood you consume during the winter can be substantially less. Processed wood pellets are another very popular source of heat you can try for heating your home in the winter.

Size of Your Home

The size of your home is an important factor that determines how much energy you need to keep it warm during the winter. The homes can vary wildly from 1000 sq feet to 2000 sq feet, and more. The energy consumption to keep it warm during the freezing months of winter can vary accordingly. If you are using wood as the heat source, the consumption can jump dramatically from one size of home to another. If you have a huge house, you should try to limit the area where you want the heat.

Keep the Number of Fires as Needed

Some people make the fire twice – morning and evening – while others may want to keep it running for the entire day. If you make the fire twice for a few hours, it will consume less wood than when you keep the fire running for the whole day. The difference can be significant and will have a bearing on the wood inventory you have. Drawing upon your experience from the previous years, you can stick to the routine of a fixed number of fires every day with a daylong fire option kept for special circumstances.

Keep Insulation in Top Order?

How long does a cord of wood last? It depends a lot on the kind of insulation you have at your home. Even a small hole somewhere can significantly reduce the energy-efficiency levels when it comes to keeping the home warm. To maintain a particular temperature, you will have to use more sources of energy. In this case, you will have to burn more wood and this can tell on your stock of wood. If insulation is not perfect, over the course of 5-6 months, your estimates may go for a toss and you might need replenishment of firewood to see you through the winter.

Use High-Performance Stove

The stove or furnace you use can have an impact on the quality of fire and the amount of wood you use. If the stove is not in good order or does not do the job well, you can replace it with a new one. You will get better performance by more efficient burning of the wood. Even your experience of making and working with fire will improve because of the better performance of the stove.

Use Hardwood

Hardwood gives better fire as it burns longer and produces more heat. Compared to softwood, hardwood produces double the energy from the same amount of firewood. Hardwood such as Oak, Walnut, Maple, Locust, and Apple is heavier and burns longer. Pine, Spruce, Redwood, Cedar fall in the softwood category and they burn faster but produce significantly less energy than hardwood.

How long does a cord of wood last? The answer could lie in the kind of wood you are using. If it is softwood, the cord can deplete faster. But if it is hardwood, the cord of wood may last longer than you might expect.

Use seasoned wood

Seasoned wood is another name for dry wood. A cord of wood will last longer if you are using seasoned wood. If the wood has moisture, much of the fire’s heat will be wasted on drying the wood to make it burn.

When you are buying the wood, the amount of wood you need and the price you pay depend on the quality of the wood’s dryness. The dry wood burns easily and smoothly. It produces maximum heat and the heat is not wasted on taking out the moisture from the wood. If the wood is not fully dry, it doesn’t burn well or produce maximum heat.

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