When buying firewood it is important to get good quality firewood at a fair price. The most cost effective way to heat with wood is to cut your own firewood but sometimes that's not always possible.
Whether you don't have the trees available to you or you simply run out of time, purchasing firewood may be your only option.
Once you decide to buy your own firewood you need to consider what type of wood you want to buy.
For example, do you want green firewood or seasoned firewood?
A softwood or less desirable species should cost less than a good quality hardwood. Throughout the years I've purchased a variety of different firewood types including oak, cherry, maple, elm and even poplar.
You should expect to pay more for quality hardwoods like oak and maple, but you should also expect to pay less for "shoulder season" woods like poplar or soft maple which don't have the same heating qualities as a more desirable wood.
Seasoned hardwood is generally sold at a premium price because it is ready for use immediately after delivery. Remember, just because a firewood dealer says their firewood is seasoned that doesn't always mean it's true.
Just about everyone has purchased "seasoned" firewood from a dealer only to find it sizzles, smokes or just doesn't want to burn very well. This is where having a trustworthy supplier that has been recommended by a friend can come in handy.
Compared to a softwood, hardwoods burns longer and hotter, resulting in more BTUs generated to heat your home.
Hardwoods work great for a long lasting overnight burn, but softwoods work well for kindling or quickly lighting a fire in the morning because they start easily and burn hot and fast.
Does this mean you can't heat with wood if you don't have access to hardwoods? Nope, not at all. Depending on where you live you may only have access to softwoods, so just choose the best softwood you can and burn it......like douglas fir or lodgepole pine.
Read here to learn more about hardwood vs softwood.
Some suppliers offer green firewood at a discounted price while others may sell it as seasoned.
Inspect the wood to make sure it's the quality described by the supplier. If you purchase green firewood to save a little bit of money, make sure you have enough time to let the wood season before using it.
Firewood usually takes at least one full year to properly season. This includes splitting the wood, stacking it off the ground and keeping it properly covered. Some species like red oak for example can take a minimum of 2 full years to dry out.
Read here to learn more about green firewood and how to identify it.
How much does firewood cost? That all depends on where you live, the time of year, supply and demand and many other factors. Read here about the price of firewood.
How much wood do you need? How much are you really getting? It's important to make sure the supplier is delivering the correct amount of wood.
If the wood is delivered and just thrown into a pile it will be hard to determine how much wood is actually there.
Some suppliers will stack the wood as part of the delivered price while others may charge extra. Having the wood stacked upon delivery will insure you a getting what you paid for.
Do you need a lot of firewood? Consider buying bulk firewood for a better price! It's similar to bundling when you go to a flea market...the more you buy, the more money you can save.
You never know about the deals that can happen if you don't ask. I've purchased bulk firewood many times and if I bought a certain amount of firewood, the supplier would either reduce the price or throw in an extra load for free.
Buying a truckload of logs for firewood is a great way to quickly process a winter's supply of wood. This can be really helpful if you have an outdoor wood furnace which burns a lot of wood every year.
These logs, often called a pulp cord, are the perfect size for an outdoor wood boiler because you typically don't have to split them.
Firewood is sold in two basic measurements, a cord and a face cord. Depending on where you live a face cord could also be referred to as a rick.
The standard firewood measurement recognized everywhere is the cord. Other measurements vary by location and may not be consistent with each other.
Read here to learn more about a face cord of firewood or a rick of firewood.
Read here to learn more about a cord of firewood.
Firewood can be purchased almost anywhere. A lot of people supplement their income by selling firewood and others sell firewood as a business. Knowing where to look can make the process of buying firewood much easier.
Do you plan on traveling? Consider buying firewood locally to help prevent the spread of firewood diseases. One option is to buy your firewood from a local department store. Read here for our thoughts on buying packaged firewood.
The time of year the firewood is purchased will also make a difference. If you wait until the last minute to look for firewood to buy, you'll find it's harder to locate and the price may go up due to the demand.
A good rule of thumb with firewood is to plan ahead. Think about your firewood in the spring, not the fall. By doing this you will find it's a lot easier to buy firewood at an affordable price.
Read here to learn about firewood suppliers.
If you sell firewood and really want to increase your profits a firewood kiln might be a great choice. Read here to see what they are and whether or not you need one.
If you don't want to spend a lot of money on firewood this year you can always look for free firewood. Read here for our top 5 ways to find free firewood.