Friday, April 8, 2011

Helpful tips on buying and measuring firewood.

Firewood is measured and sold in units called "cords".

A full cord measures 1.2 m x1.2 m x 2.4 m or 4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. and is the official firewood measure. However, 1.2 m (4 ft.) prices are never used for home heating.

Other terms, such as "face cord", stove cord or "furnace cord" are used to describe a stack of wood measuring 1.2 m (4 ft.) high, 2.4 m (8 ft.) long with a piece length shorter than 1.2 m (4 ft.).

The most common firewood piece length is 400 mm (16 in.), or one-third of a full cord, but other lengths are also available. These various terms and cord measures can be confusing when you are purchasing firewood. If the dealer does not price the wood in standard full cord measure, convert the price to this basic unit.

Here are some examples to illustrate the conversion...

Dealer A sells what he calls a "face Cord" for $55. You find that the pile is 4 feet high and 8 feet long, with an average piece length of 16 inches. Divide this length (16 in) into the full cord length of 48 inches and multiply by the price. 48 divided by 16 = 3 x $55 - $165.
Therefore, dealer A sells firewood for $165 per cord.

Dealer B sells what he calls a "stove cord" for $45. It is a pile measuring 4 feet by 8 feet with an average length of 12 inches. The calculation is: 48 divided by 12 = $45 = $180 per cord.

Dealer C sell a 4 foot x 8 foot x 18 inches "face cord" for $60. The results is: 48 divided by 18 = 2.66 x $60 = $159.60 per cord.

If possible, avoid buying firewood in units that cannot be related to the standard cord.

Half-ton trucks and station wagon loads are impossible to measure and can be more expensive without your knowledge.

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