It’s no secret that relying on fossil fuels as a fuel source can be frustrating and expensive because of their market volatility. That’s why people are looking into alternative heating methods for their homes, such as wood and pellet stoves. And naturally find themselves on the topic of wood burning for heat. Before making the switch, it’s important to do your research so that you know what to expect when it comes to finding a cord of firewood to burn and the cost of a cord of wood.
If you’re considering making the switch to wood burning or you’re deciding between different heat sources, you’ve come to the right page. We’re going to go over common measurements of wood, where to get it, and what you can expect to pay. With these key points of information you’ll be able to make your decision confidently and be prepared to take the next steps.
If you’re like most people, you probably read “cord of firewood” and had no idea what it meant. No, it’s not a cord you’d plug into your iPhone made of wood!
A cord refers to a large gathering of wood which is stacked to be touching and parallel, contained in an approximate area spanning 4 feet high by 8 feet wide by 4 long (4’ x 8’ x 4’) with a cubic volume of about 128 cubic feet (calculated by multiplying height x width x length), however due to the gaps left between the logs the actual volume is closer to 90 cubic feet.
There are also variations of cords of firewood in addition to the full cord mentioned above. Because full cords usually have cuts of wood too large for most residential fireplaces, a common variation is the face cord which measures 4’ high by 8’ wide by 16” long and has more uses for the average homeowner due to the much more practical size.
You can also divide the full and face cords in half, in quarters, and other divisions in order to get the amount of wood you’d like. Common names of these forms would be a “half (1/2) cord” or a “1/4 face cord”.
Now that you know how much a cord of wood is, we can discuss where to find it!
Where to Purchase Cords of Wood?
The cost of a cord of wood can be significant, so it is very important to find a reliable source of firewood, especially for those new to the market. Unfortunately not everyone who has firewood available is as knowledgeable as you will be, so be sure to keep an eye out for these red flags that may signal it is a bad deal:
The seller describes the quantity of wood available using any term aside from cord, such as “truckload” or “pile”. Inaccurate forms of measurement can end up costing you much more.
The seller doesn’t let you test or see the wood beforehand. You want to look for wood that is neatly stacked, evenly cut, and clean for the best experience.
So how do you avoid being a victim to an inexperienced or dishonest seller? Your friends, family, and the internet are your best bets.
If you have any friends or family that use wood as a heat source, checking with them first. Their advice and already completed research on suppliers can possibly save a lot of time and effort! Ask them about their experience with the sellers. If possible arrange for a meeting in order to check for the signs mentioned above.
However, if you’re alone in your search for a cord of firewood, you’ve got a friend in the internet! You can search online for firewood local to your city or zip code. Since the search will likely heed results of varying reputations, be sure to look only for sellers with reviews and trustworthy feedback. It is best to avoid the peer to peer selling sites like Craigslist and other posting sites because there is no guarantee of legitimacy. Beware!
Perhaps the most important question is how much is a cord of wood going to cost me? The simple answer: it depends.
The type of wood you’re buying, the time of year, whether or not it needs to be delivered and how you’d like it delivered, and the location you’re buying it at are all very important to determining what the cost of a cord of wood near you will be. Because there are so many factors contributing to the expected price of the cord, it should be assumed that an average may not apply directly to you and your best bet would be to compare local prices.
As a general rule, it can be estimated that for a full cord of mixed wood you can expect to pay between $150 and $400, and around $100 to $250 for a half cord of wood, depending on the breakdown of the wood types included. Note that buying in larger quantities at a time usually will give you a better rate per cord.
To wrap everything up:
- What is a cord of wood?
- Where can I find a seller for a cord of firewood?
- How much is a cord of wood going to cost?
So that’s it! You now have all the information you need to decide if burning wood as a heat source is right for you both financially and logically. Hopefully you now feel confident in your understanding and know what to expect when you start the process.