How Many Cords Of Wood Do You Need For Winter Exactly?

Heating your house with an electric heater becomes expensive in the cold winter months. If you are planning to use your fireplace to save some electricity costs, you will need plenty of firewood to keep warm. You need to store them for winter use according to your usage. So, you might be wondering, how many cords of wood do you need for winter? 

The amount of firewood you need to get through the winter depends on many factors. Typically, a 1000 square feet house requires burning 3 cords of firewood. You also have to consider the temperature, frequency of use, house measurement, wood type, and other factors. 

In this article, I will be talking about how much firewood you may need for the winter. I will also discuss which factors are important to consider before buying firewood. 

Measurement Of Firewood 

How do people measure firewood? In the U.S, the standard unit for measuring firewood is known as the cord. A stack of firewood that is 4 feet deep, 4 feet high, and 8 feet wide is known as a “cord of firewood.” A full cord of firewood has a volume of 128 cubic feet.

The logs of firewood have to be stacked straight across and not crossed over each other. The wood logs should be arranged in such a way that they fit together and have very little space in between. Otherwise, you will get fewer woods. Approximately, the weight of a full cord is about 5,000 pounds. 

How Many Cords Of Wood Needed For Winter?

Now that you have learned about firewood measurement, you may wonder how many cords of wood you may need to keep your fireplace burning for the winter months. As I have mentioned, several factors influence the amount of firewood you may use. 

As a general rule of thumb, a 1,000 square feet house or space requires 3 cords of firewood. So, if you have a 2,000 square feet house, you will need 6 cords of firewood.

Now, suppose you have a 1,500 square feet house. Then you will need less wood than a 2,000 square feet house, right? But it is always better to have more wood than less. Keep a round figure and get 6 cords of wood. You can keep the extra wood for later use. 

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What Facts You Should Consider Before Buying Firewood

Fireplaces are a great way to keep your house warm during the winter season. However, you may not want to use the fireplace as a main source of heat. In that case, you won’t have to get too much firewood. There are also other factors that affect the amount of wood you need to buy. 

Here are some of the factors you need to consider when buying firewood: 

The Climate Of The Area

What is the temperature in your area? Is it too cold or not so much? The climate and temperature of your living area dictate how much firewood you have to burn for heat. Typically, winter in the U.S. starts in September and lasts till May. The temperature varies from state to state. 

In an extremely cold climate, fireplaces can provide great comfort. Hence, you have to use a lot of firewood to keep the temperature warm. If the duration of winter is long in your state, then you will also need more firewood. 

In some states, winter does not reach freezing temperatures. So, you won’t have to use the fireplace much.

Size Of House

It has already been discussed that the size of your house or living space is necessary to consider buying cords of firewood. The larger the house you have, the more firewood is needed to sustain the winter. 

For example, if you have a 2,500 square feet house, it will take time to heat; hence, you need to burn more firewood. On the other hand, a 700 square feet house will require a lot less firewood to heat up. 

Again, a large house cannot depend on only one fireplace. You may have to install more fireplaces in different parts of the house, which means more use of firewood.

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Heating Source

Mostly in the countryside, fireplaces might be the primary source of heat during winter or cold temperatures. But in urban areas, people use electric heating systems to keep their homes warm. Others use both electric heaters and fireplaces. 

Then again, there are different types of fireplaces. Fireplaces can run on propane or natural gas as well. So, there is not much need for firewood. 

Frequency Of Usage

How long or how often you use the fireplace also influences the amount of firewood. If you live in the house most of the time, you have to keep the fireplace burning. But if you are busy at work during the daytime, you can just light the fireplace at night. 

Also, you may not have a fireplace but have a wood-burning fire pit in the backyard. Outdoor fire pits are not frequently used as fireplaces at home. Thus, you can buy fewer cords of firewood. 

Wood Storage 

The cords of firewood you are planning to buy for the winter need ample storage space. The shelter must protect the firewood from snow, rain, and other problems. So, before you buy cords of firewood, make sure you have enough space to store them. It can be a storage shed or your garage. 

If you have little space, buy firewood in small amounts. For instance, you may need 4 cords of firewood for the winter, but you only have space for 2 cords. Then buy 2 cords of wood now and get the other half later. 

Cost Of Firewood

Another factor to consider is your budget for buying wood. The cost of a full cord is $200 to $250. So, 3 cords of firewood will cost you approximately $600 to $750. If you think the cost is out of your budget, you should get a smaller amount of wood. 

Then, try to find other ways to keep your house warm. 

Type Of Wood 

Lastly, you must choose the right kind of wood for your fireplace. You have two choices- hardwood or softwood. Although hardwoods are typically costlier than softwoods, they burn more slowly and produce less smoke. 

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You may also go for softwood if you burn wood mostly outdoors. They produce a lot of smoke. Using softwood indoors is risky. Besides, they burn fast. So, you have to use more softwoods compared to hardwoods. 

Some common examples of hardwood as firewood are oak, cherry, beech, birch, and maple. And as for softwood, it mostly comes from cedar, pine, fir, and spruce.

Tips On Using Firewood

You may buy cords of firewood to carry in the winter. Make sure you do not overuse them. Otherwise, you may buy more wood again by spending extra dollars. Thus, look for ways to make less use of firewood. 

Here are some tips on using a lesser amount of firewood during winter:

  • Always try to buy seasoned wood. Woods not seasoned properly take a long time to start burning and produce a lot of smoke. 
  • If you get wood between seasoned and greenwood, dry it in the sun before use. 
  • Get your home insulated. Yes, it will cost you some money. But it will be beneficial in the long run. Cold wind cannot enter through the insulation. Thus, there is no need to frequently use the fireplace. It will save both firewood and money. 
  • Buy a high-efficiency wood stove. It produces high heat and requires less firewood. 
  • Do not buy chips and broken pieces of firewood. Always get the full logs. Chips and chunks of firewood will burn fast. Hence, you have to get more firewood. 

Hopefully, you have got a good idea about how many cords of wood do you need for winter. It depends mainly on the size of your house. Then you also have to consider how long you are going to use your fireplace. So, consider all the points mentioned above when buying firewood for this winter.  Thanks for stopping by!