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Contents: Types | Links | Building a Fire | Reference: Links, Publications | Seasoning & Moisture content | Efficiency | Stoves | Dealers | Measures - Volume - Density - Weight | Pine vs Fir| Terms
See Firewood Ratings at C Johnson's Public Service Pages.
Firewood Ratings and Info | Chainsaw Journal
Pound for pound, all woods create the about the same amount of BTUs. Does this mean that a cord of seasoned pine puts out the same amount of heat as a cord of seasoned hickory? No! The hickory will produce twice the amount of BTU's of the pine because it weights roughly twice as much as the pine.
Measures - Volume - Density - Weight
STANDARD CORD which is a neatly stacked pile eight feet long by four feet wide by four feet high with a volume of 128 cubic feet. Since wood can't be stacked without air space, only 60-110 cubic feet of the 128 may be solid wood. (Usually it runs between 80-90 cubic feet with more solid wood content in round wood than split.) A FACE CORD is also called a RICK or a PALLET or a SHORT CORD is a stack of logs measuring 8 feet by 4 feet by whatever the length of the logs happens to be (Sometimes defined as 1/2 cord, but may be 1/3 cord if in 16" lengths). A TIER is 1/3 cord
Volume of a pile of split wood:
Standard fireplace length is 16"|
A full sized pickup load is approx. 1/2 cord.
A ford ranger load is approx. 1/4 cord.
The back of a jeep with the seat removed holds about 1/6 cord
A cord of white oak weighs about 2 tons
A cord of pine weighs about 2,500 pounds
Density of common woods range from 28 lb/ft3 for cedar to 64 lb/ft3 for post oak.
Some Common woods Type Green Seasoned Almond 52 lb/ft3 Maple 45-54 33-40 Oak 61-64 42 Fir 38 30-33 Pine 36-52 24-35See: Wood Species - Moisture Content and Weight
Before lighting a fire, make sure the thermostat is turned down so air heated by the central furnace will not go up the chimney. The easiest and best fire for either a stove or fireplace is achieved with a mixture of softwoods for easy igniting with hardwoods for longer burning and good coaling qualities. A cardinal rule of fireplace management is to keep a thick bed for glowing coals that drop through. The coals yield a steady heat and aid in igniting fresh fuel as it is added. Keep the fire burning by adding small amounts of firewood at regular intervals. A small, hot fire is much better than a large, roaring blaze because it burns more completely and produces less creosote.
To achieve a long-lasting fire that will heat the house overnight or while you are away, rake the coals toward the air inlet and use larger pieces of wood placed compactly in the firebox. Placing the pieces close together prevents the heat and flames from penetrating the load and saves the buried pieces for later in the burn cycle. Fully open the air inlets for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the load and the moisture content of the fuel. When the outer pieces have a thick layer of charcoal, reduce the airflow in stages to the desired level.
With some of the new highly efficient combustion stoves, you may have to alter this procedure slightly.
BTU Ratings: Heating with wood - characteristics at U. Nebraska Firewood Ratings and Info at Rutland Products About Firewood at sepulveda.com Firewood at Fogazzo wood fired ovens. Olson About Bruning Wood at EcoFire.comPublications:
Fully dried wood: 8,000 - 9,500 BTU/pound
Air-seasoned (20% moisture content) wood: 5,500 - 8,500 BTU/pound
Green wood (15-55% moisture, see below): 3230 Btu/pound
Green wood gives off much less BTUs than seasoned wood, for it takes a lot of the heat energy to evaporate the moisture out of the green wood.
Energy Efficiency values:
Stoves at U. Idaho
See Home Heating Costs for comparisons with Gas, Oil and Electric.
Wood burning stoves and fireplaces
Smoke is the source of creosote, and older uncertified stoves and fireplaces release 40 to 80 grams of smoke per hour; new EPA-certified stoves produce only 2 to 5 grams of smoke per hour.
See: Wood Burning Stoves at U. Idaho
Moisture content varies by type:
Seasoning wood means storing the wood to dry. When wood is freshly cut, it is holding approximately 60% of its water content and wont be usable for a fire until the moisture inside drops to about 20% or lower. Youll need to let the wood dry for 6 months to 1 year for it to be seasoned. Some species may take longer, and your climate plays a role too.
Trees harvested in the fall, winter or spring will contain more water than those cut in the summer.
It takes at least six months of drying (providing wood is cut to length and stored to permit good air circulation) to bring the moisture content down to 30 percent, and a full year to get it to the desired 20 percent moisture. Source U. N. Hampshire
Ovendried wood will have about 12% moisture.
The Heating Value (HV) (Btu/lb.) can be calculated as:
Wood cut to length dries more rapidly. The moisture is most effectively removed through the cut cells at the ends of each piece. Wood greater than eight inches in diameter and four feet in length dries very slowly.
If you live in the northern climes, a good time to split the wood is when the it is frozen in winter. It gives a cleaner cut and takes less force to do the same work.
In general, working with pine wood may cause dermatitis, allergic bronchial asthma or rhinitis in some individuals. See Lodgepole Pine at US Forest Svc.
Prices for smoking hardwoods will vary with your location. Prices are as of early 1998 include delivery and splitting. Where there is lots of hardwood, like in parts of the south, hickory can cost you as little as $75 a cord. In Carlsbad NM, you can buy a cord of pecan for $110. In the hill country of Texas, you can get a cord of oak for $80. In Southern California, where hardwoods are scarce, a cord of oak or mesquite costs $400, a cord of almond about $280. In Virginia, a mixed cord of hickory and oak runs $135. In central Illinois, a cord of mostly oak with some hickory and maple mixed in runs $90-100. In western Connecticut, a cord of oak with a little hickory and maple thrown in will cost you about $90. In Southern Oregon, a cord of oak runs $120, pear wood about $150.
All wood burns, but not all woods burn the same. Some burn hotter, slower, and cleaner than others. Some smoke a lot, and some have a lot of sap or resin that clogs your chimney quickly. The best types of firewood for a wood stove or fireplace burn hot and relatively steadily, producing more heat and, typically, burning more completely. These woods tend to be hardwoods, such as hickory or ash, rather than softwoods, such as pine and cedar.
See The Best Firewood for Your Wood Stove or Fireplace | TheSpruce for more.
Pine and/or Fir:
Don't burn pine: Best Logs for a Wood Burning Stove | Choosing Firewood
Fir is best: The Best Firewood for Your Wood Stove or Fireplace
Conifers, pine, fir, Cedar, ... are all bad: Best and Worst Firewood for Wood Stove or Fireplace - PICKHVAC
Firewood: What Type Should You Use? | Bob Vila
Douglas fir is commonly mixed with Lodgepole and Ponderosa or Yellow Pine and the combination makes a great firewood choice.
Where to buy 2009 prices: Bushwhackers Firewood - (530) 412-3663 Kings Beach/Truckee Cord: Almond $340, $25 delivery 1/2 cord: Almond $195, $25 delivery Cord: Hard - Soft mix $300 $25 delivery 2008 prices: Muschetto's Firewood - (916) 725-9663 7108 Antelope Rd 1/2 Cord: Almond $209, Prem Oak $220, White Oak $219, Walnut $149 Bushwhackers Firewood - (530) 546-8307 Kings Beach/Truckee Cord: Almond $360, walnut $315, $35 delivery 1/2 cord: Almond $205, walnut $185, $35 delivery North Shore Firewood - Truckee (530) 546-5876 Cord: Almond or Oak $400 + $40 delivery 1/2 Cord: Almond or Oak $280 $40 delivery 2004-5 prices: Muschetto's Firewood - (916) 725-9663 7108 Antelope Rd Almond $240, Prem Oak $290, White Oak $280, Bushwhackers Firewood - (530) 546-8307 Kings Beach/Truckee Almond $300, fir-pine $175, Mixed $250 $20 delivery North Shore Firewood - Truckee (530) 546-5876 Cord: Almond $325, pine-fir $265, mixed $300 $30 delivery
Wood Heating values for other varieties. E.g. there are 9 varieties of red oak with different heat values.
Home Heating Costs
Chimney Fires at: EndTimesReport and Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)
U. of Missouri
< Firewood Types - What Type Should You Use? - Bob Vila
Firewood Types - What Is the Best Firewood?
The Best Firewood for Your Wood Stove or Fireplace | TheSpruce
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