The traditional experience of warming up next to fire sure comes with a lot of traditional words that you may not know. What’s a cord of wood? What is loose firewood? We’ll explain 7 key firewood terms you should know if you’re thinking of buying some firewood.
1. Cord of Wood
A cord of wood is a standard measurement that firewood is sold in. The firewood is cut and stacked into a pile that is four feet wide, eight feet long and four feet tall for 12” long log
(16” long log bush cord = 64” wide x 6’ long x 4’ tall). This means that it is 128 cubic feet of wood. A cord of wood is also called a bush cord. If the place that you are buying from sells their wood in some other form of measurement, you can always ask them the measurement of the stack in feet and compare it to this standard size for a cord of wood.
2. Facecord of Firewood
A 12” long log facecord is a smaller measurement of firewood that is eight feet long and four feet tall, without accounting for width (16” long log facecord = 16” wide x 6’ long x 4’ tall). The standard piece of firewood is 12 or 16 inches, so there are typically four rows of wood in a standard bush cord. However, a facecord typically only has one row of wood, making it a quarter the size of a bush cord of wood.
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3. Loose Firewood
Loose firewood is where a load of firewood bulk and not stacked.
4. Green Firewood
Green firewood has been cut down and split into logs, but it has not been dried out or seasoned. You won’t be able to use green firewood until it has been seasoned. You can do this yourself, just by leaving the wood in a dry spot on your property, though it can take up to a year to be properly seasoned.
5. Seasoned Firewood
Seasoned firewood is also called dried firewood. This wood has been left out to dry for long enough that it has low moisture content and can now be used for a fire. Most firewood is sold when seasoned. Idea moisture content to burn firewood is 15% to 20%, greater than 20% it will be tough to burn and less than 15% it will be quick to burn and not provide much BTU’s. You can check the moisture content of firewood by splitting a log and using a moisture meter that can be found in your local hardware store or online.
6. Hardwood Firewood
Hardwood is made from trees that grow slowly. These trees create denser wood, which is why they take time to grow. Hardwood is ideal for firewood because it burns slowly and generates a lot of heat, however it takes more time to dry.
7. Softwood Firewood
Softwood trees grow quickly and produce firewood that is ideal to start a fire but doesn’t create much heat and tends to be smoky.