When buying firewood, it’s hard to find out if you are getting a good deal unless you leave your seat and head off to the lumber yard.
Just like buying any kind of commodity, you need to purchase firewood on your own simply because it’s hard to see if you are getting a cord of wood or less.
Here is a guide to help you find out what a cord is as well as other firewood measurement counterparts.
Half a cord is simply half of what a cord is. A “cord” is a measurement to refer to a quantity of wood. It is a pile of wood with 128 cubic feet or 4 by 8 by 4 feet. A half-cord is half this amount or 64 cubic feet.
A half cord is basically the amount it takes to fill an 8-foot pickup truck bed. This amount is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension considering that wood is stacked in a neat pile. Cords and half-cords are the most basic ways to measure firewood and are often used by firewood suppliers.
If you have a large backyard where you are free to cut trees for firewood or you have a recently felled tree then you might want to know how many trees will it take to make half a cord.
To do this, you must first measure the diameter of the tree trunk with a measuring tape. This should be done at breast height (DBH), which is about 4.5 feet off the ground.
A tree with a DBH of 16 inches will have half-cord of wood. If the tree is about 10 inches DBH, you need at least two to three trees to make half-cord.
Now when it comes to weight or the weight of half a cord, this is quite a complicated thing to deal with. There cannot be one standard weight for a cord or half-cord of wood because there are different types of wood and therefore different moisture content as well.
Generally wood has a high moisture content, therefore, it will weigh more than if wood dried out. Next, different tree species have different material densities.
For example, a half-cord of dry white oak could weigh around 2,200 lbs. while a half-cord of spruce could weigh only about 1,400 lbs.
Making firewood more efficient
One of the most important things to think of when using firewood for a furnace or for a wood burning stove is how to make firewood more efficient. The amount of heat a half-cord can give in the fireplace or wood stove depends on the density of the stove. Dense and heavy wood can burn longer and this produces more heat.
You must look for woods that are heavy, medium or lightweight before you buy so you can add more value for your money. For instance, if light and heavy wood are for sale for the same price then a half cord of heavy wood is the best value.
On the other hand, dried wood will always give off more heat when this is burned compared to the wood with high moisture. Experts say that 10 to 12 percent of the wood’s potential heat is lost when wood is burned before it is dried.
Taking firewood to your home
Most likely wood will typically be wet when you purchase it and most likely these will also be high in moisture. Compared to dry wood, wet wood can weigh twice as much.
You need to consider this when you are transporting firewood from the yard to your home. This is why it’s important to know the maximum amount of weight that your vehicle can handle.
Choose the type of wood wisely. Once you have your firewood home, you must stack it well preferably outdoors. You may place a tarp over it especially if it rains a lot from where you are located.
Half a cord is half of what the standard measurement of firewood is. It is 64 cubic feet and is one of the most commonly used units of measure for firewood. Understanding what a cord and half a cord is will help you buy firewood more efficiently and with the best value for your money.