A cozy fire adds ambiance to any room. It also cuts down on utility bills since it heats up a home. Whether you are using firewood to heat your home, draw family around an outdoor fire pit or toast marshmallows over a roaring fire surrounded by chilly campers, you should buy the best and at the best price.
Firewood is typically sold by the cord. Prices for firewood depend on a few things, including the time of year, the region where you live or the region from where you are buying the wood and how you want the cord of firewood delivered.
Research the type of wood you need for its intended purpose, regional sellers and their reputations and the way that the firewood is cut. Wood pieces that are short and fairly even in size are easier to stack and handle.
Cost of a Cord of Firewood
The average price range for a cord of firewood can vary. The average range is just over $100 to under $200. However, during the cold winter months, the cost for a cord of firewood can nearly double to about $220 to $400.
These prices are for cords of hardwood of varying species of trees that are split and seasoned and ready to throw on the fire. If you prefer the cord to be delivered and stacked, expect to pay on the high end of the range for the cost of a cord of firewood.
Additional costs that require more labor can include:
- Dry and seasoned wood
- Clean wood
- Short logs
- Uniformly cut wood
What Is a Cord of Firewood?
The dimensions of a cord of wood are 4 ft. by 4 ft. by 8 ft. A cord of firewood has a volume of 85 cubic feet. However, the number of pieces of wood in a cord can vary significantly.
Wood is easier to split when it is wet. It then takes six months in a dry area to season and be ready for burning. Fresh-cut wood has 50 percent moisture, and any wood with moisture over 25 percent should not be used to heat a home or create a campfire.
Cords that are sold locally are the best wood to buy. Wood that has traveled from one region to another can spread diseases and pests to trees in the area.
Types of Firewood
Whether you are attempting to build a long, slow, brilliant-burning fire that is safe to burn well into the night or a bright and colorful crackling fire that will quickly heat up a living space, there is a wood for your needs.
These types of logs burn hot and are good for heating a home:
- Douglas fir
- Sugar maple
Home fires require hardwoods. Hardwoods tend to not pop and spark. This reduces fire risk and cuts down on dangerous embers spewing from the fireplace. Hardwoods burn slowly and don't give off a lot of smoke. All these pros make hardwoods a bit more expensive. They include:
- Black Birch
These are good for outdoor fire pits or decorative fires:
- Western red cedar
- White pine
- Lodgepole pine
- Red alder
How to Tell if Firewood Is Good
The best time to buy a cord of firewood is in early spring or late winter. It should be seasoned for at least six months and up to two years depending on the type of wood.
Burning green wood creates smoke and can cause creosote buildup in your chimney. Seasoned wood has loose bark, is light in weight and is cracked and faded. They are hard to split and hard to light.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.