Tips On Choosing The Best Type Of Wood And Where To Buy Firewood

Making sure you have enough firewood to get you through the winter months is one of the best ways to ensure your home remains comfortable and warm. If you are a newbie when it comes to burning wood, or you have just moved to a state where heaters are not available, you can turn to firewood to keep you and your family warm on those cold and chilly nights. 

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure you buy the right firewood for home use: 

  • What is the measurement used for purchasing wood?
  • What wood types are suitable for winter weather?
  • What type of wood burns easily and what type of wood generates the most heat?

When it comes to firewood there are many different types and they are definitely not created equally. With several wood types to choose from, there are a few that can match up to your needs. 

The Basics Of Buying Firewood

Firewood Measurement

Before you buy firewood, it is important to know about the way the wood or logs are measured. 

Wood is generally measured in something known as “cords”, which is a standard measurement when it comes to wood. A single cord is typically a woodpile that is 4 feet deep, 4 feet tall, and 8 feet long. 

Yet in some cases, wood is also measured by rick or a truckload. Ricks are typically woodpiles. The dealers that sell infractions will commonly call these piles “stove cords, “furnace cords”, or “face cord”. 

Due to the different measurements and names that are used for buying wood, misunderstandings can occur. You need to know what these measurements amount to and ask how much is a cord of firewood when you talk to a dealer to ensure you are buying the right amount. 

Seasoned And Green Wood

Many of the dealers of firewood will sell green woods. This is wood that has recently been taken from trees that have just fallen. For this reason, it is recommended to purchase your wood in spring and then store the logs to use for the months of winter. Some of the dealers will sell firewood that is seasoned (dry).

However, it is important to keep in mind that seasoned firewood is usually more expensive. 

Different Woods Produce Different Fires

When it comes to choosing and buying the best firewood, it is important to understand that different species of wood will produce different results. Even when the wood is dry and seasoned, each type produces heat differently. 

Some types of wood burn and crackle efficiently, while not producing excessive amounts of heat. There are also wood types that provide a lot more heat in comparison to others. You can find out below what is the best firewood and the type of wood that is suitable for your needs. 


Firewood comes in two main types which include softwoods and hardwoods. The hardwoods are associated with the highest BTU (British Thermal Unit) content, and this means that they have the potential to produce a lot more heat. The same amount in volume of hardwood would, for instance, emit double the heat amount when compared to a softwood of the same volume. 

In addition, the hardwoods typically burn slower in comparison to softwoods. The hardwoods are a better choice to cook food or when you want your fire to produce a heat that is more intense. 

The one drawback of hardwood has to do with that it does not easily fire. This is usually why a softwood is generally used for starting a fire, and the hardwood is added later. 

Here is a list of hardwoods that are known for producing intense heat. These woods also emit less smoke:

  • White Oak
  • Red Oak
  • Pecan
  • Hickory
  • Hard Maple
  • Dogwood
  • Birch 
  • Beech
  • Almond
  • Ash
  • Apple


This wood is typically derived from the Gymnosperm Family Tree. These are the types of trees that are associated with needles and cones. It is said that about 80% of all woods originate from softwood. 

The softwoods are known for igniting very quickly, and this usually makes them the better to start fires with. In addition to these attractive features, softwood also burns cleanly and fast. Research has discovered that this wood type also doesn’t produce high levels of creosote. 

One of the drawbacks associated with softwood is that they emit less heat. Here are a few of the more common types of softwood that are used to make fires:

  • Yellow Pine
  • White Spruce
  • Douglas Fir
  • Cedar

Tips On Where And When To Buy Firewood 

If you are new to the area and you have no idea where to buy firewood, ask your neighbors or family members about reliable and affordable firewood dealers in your area. It is also best to buy firewood in person. Avoid buying online or over the phone so that you can see the quality of the wood and the size and length of the firewood. 

Try and find a dealer that sells wood that has already been split. Trying to manually split the wood on your own is a challenging task, especially if you have little experience when it comes to these types of tasks. If you end up buying wood that needs to be split, rather choose an ax over a maul, or if you have the money, invest in a reliable electric wood-splitter. Also, ensure that your firewood is stacked to ensure you are getting the right volume for the price you are paying. 

Final Thoughts 

Buying firewood for the first time may seem like a confusing task, especially if you are not sure what to look for and you do not have enough information on the different types of wood. 

Keep in mind that firewood is typically measured by a cord, or in other cases, it will be measured by a truckload of rick. Use the information we have provided above to help you make a more informed decision on the type of wood that best matches up to your requirements and needs. Also, find a reliable dealer in your area that is well-stocked with the wood that you prefer.