Firewood For Winter Fireplaces & Wood Stoves

  Buying wood fuel for a fireplace or a wood stove takes more than money.  The purchaser should know exactly what kind of wood is needed, where to get it and to evaluate its quality.

The simplest way to buy wood is from a dealer – who may be listed in a phone book, online or a local on-line computer bulletin board such as Craigslist or Kijiji in Canada.  Look or search for listings in categories or title such as “firewood”.  Dealers generally sell wood by the “cord”.  In terms of quantity a “full cord” is generally a stack that is 8feet long., 4 feet high and 4 feet deep.  Calculating out these measurements you will arrive at a final calculation of 128 cubic feet of stacked firewood.   Usually these logs are cut in lengths of 2 feet in length.  Yet just ask and for a small fee you can usually have the logs cut again into smaller, easier to handle and more convenient to carry or stick in your stove or fireplace lengths overall.    In addition a good term to know when speaking to wood and cordwood dealers is a “partial cord”  , also called a “face cord” or even a “rick”.  A rick is the same length and height as a regular cord.  Yet it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 feet deep.

When you buy a cord or a rick or wood from a dealer, you can either haul it home yourself - that is if you have a pickup truck and a strong young back to boot – or for an additional charge you can generally have your firewood delivered.

In terms of additional choices you can choose between either unseasoned or seasoned wood.  Generally as a rule, you can count that unseasoned wood will cost you less out of your pocketbook.  But the logs will be 4 feet long, unsplit and green – that it is the timber is freshly cut.  Green wood has a high moisture count overall – about 60 % overall – so it usually must be seasoned by drying it for 6 to 12 months generally.

Green wood is generally taken to the next step and “seasoned” by drying it for 6 to 12 months or until it reaches moisture content of about 20 % before it is good and ready to be burned.

However if you want to rush events and try to burn those green logs – who have not yet fully and completly seasoned, the heat of the fire will turn the water in the wood into steam .  In most cases you can bet that this steam will condense in the flue, leaving deposits that will eventually turn in to creosote which is flammable and downright a fire hazard.  Hence buying seasoned wood , or letting green wood season and dry is the best economy in buying firewood overall.


Anthony Gunkel

Furnasmans is a full service heating , furnace and air-conditioning supply, maintenance and installation service company that has serviced the Winnipeg and nearby Manitoba towns with on-time reliable service calls since 1939.  When its 50 below zero in the Manitoban January winter seasons.  You can count on Furnasman for on-time service  Fort Garry St Vital One Hour On Time Furnace repair