Firewood is a very important heat source not just in rural areas but also in the suburbs. It is used in homes in fireplaces, heaters, wood burning stoves and in ovens. It is also used in small commercial establishments like restaurants to cook, bake and grill food. And because of the continuing demand for wood, it’s now becoming harder to find quality firewood dealers. As a consumer, you must understand the basic terminologies of buying wood to be able to get the best value for your money.
Wood is sold by cords. You can buy a face cord or a full cord depending on your needs. A single cord contains a lot of wood, therefore if this is your first time to buy wood, you might want to know how many pieces of wood there is in a cord. A cord may have a lot of wood, too much for you to store or use in just one season or it may not be enough for a large home or family.
Since cord refers to volume and not quantity, the number of pieces of wood in one cord can vary according to how each piece was cut. It will also depend on what kind of wood was felled and cut. To make an estimate, a face cord is made up of 220 – 240 pieces of wood.
A full cord can have around 700 pieces of wood because this is about three times the size of a face cord. But there is never a set number of pieces of wood in a cord. Therefore if you really want to have a precise number, visit a lumberyard or a retailer and cut the wood one by one to find out.
The cord is the official measurement of firewood, therefore, you have no choice but to buy wood this way. The price of the firewood is also calculated by a cord, therefore, its best to purchase wood by full or face cords to get a precise value or price.
You might encounter firewood dealers selling wood by truckloads or station wagon loads but this does not mean that you are getting more value from buying wood this way. Why? Because wood is not stacked side by side; the pieces are just thrown into the truck or wagon. You may end up paying for more and getting less.
Where to store firewood
To order enough firewood, you must have a large space outdoors where you can stack and store your wood. Ordering wood is done by a cord, therefore, you need to know that 1 cord could be enough for one season for as long as you burn your wood minimally at once or twice a week.
If you make fires several times in a week, you must consider buying at least 2 face cords or a full cord so you will have enough firewood to last for the entire season. But if firewood is just your secondary heat or cooking source then a single face cord may be enough to last you for a year.
You might also consider a storage area specifically for storing firewood. You can start purchasing two or three face cords to season these all winter long. Never use green wood or fresh firewood since these may not burn well. These may also burn creosote which can cause harmful ash and tar to release in the air.
When your stack of well-dried, well-seasoned wood is ready, you may now start calculating the amount of wood you actually use per season. You can do this by taking note of the average number of pieces you are using daily and by multiplying this by the number of days that you want to use firewood. Usually, 1 face cord is enough to last a whole season according to the climate and your overall wood burning needs.
There are approximately 700 pieces of wood in a full cord. Understanding how many pieces of wood you consume daily will help determine if a full cord or a face cord is for you. Consider your needs very well because this can be the ultimate factor in determining how much wood you must purchase in a season or in a year.