Best Wood For Heating

wood-btu-heat-per-cord

Have you ever wondered what is the best wood to use for heating and burning in a wood stove? Ever wondered how much heat that a particular wood species will provide when burned?

 
Did you know that one cord of firewood provides the heat equivalent to that produced by burning 200 to 250 gallons of heating oil, depending on the type of hardwood you are using?

A cord of Oak will burn about 29 Million BTU’s, and is one of the better (more efficient) types of wood to heat with. Oak is very hard and dense, and will burn for a long time compared with many others.

the-best-firewood-is-oak

On the flip-side, a cord of Pine will only provide 60% of the heat as Oak, while Cedar will provide less than half the heat as Oak.

If we compared the wood burning capacity by weight, instead of by cord, most wood would produce about the same amount of heat. The difference is that dense hard woods are heavier, pack more heat, and therefore a cord (or any quantity) of hard wood will produce more heat than the same quantity of a softer wood.

For heating, in general it is best to consume dense hard woods. Hardwoods, or woods from broadleaved trees, tend to be denser than softwoods or woods from conifers.

In case you wondered, a standard cord of wood is 128 cubic feet – 8 feet x 4 feet x 4 feet.

   

Really though, the best firewood is going to be whatever is locally available to you, so long as it’s dry and fits in your stove. If you have a choice though, choose a hardwood for fewer trips to the log pile.

 
List of wood species, heating BTU’s per cord, from most to least,

Note: This list of wood species is not all inclusive, but is what I could find data on – so as to sort most to least BTU’s per cord.

Oak
Beech
Apple
Mulberry
Maple
Walnut
Juniper
Birch
Douglas-fir
Cherry
Ash
Elm
Sycamore
Hemlock
Aspen
Chestnut
Willow
Alder
Pine
Cottonwood
Spruce
Cedar

 
Large Heat Powered Wood Stove Fan

Wood Stove Temperature Meter | Best Temp Zone To Minimize Creosote

 
In case you were wondering about those waxy energy ‘Duraflame’ type fire-logs…

Typical Oak firewood has about 8,500 BTU’s per pound.
A typical wax-fiber firelog has about 14,000 BTU’s per pound.

While energy logs might be a nice quick fix for a fire, it’s an expensive fire…

   

 
NOTE: Be wary of using soft and oily woods like Pine in a stove or fireplace due the buildup of creosote (a residue that is highly flammable) in the flu over time, especially if not fully dried. Pine makes for a great firestarter because it burns very hot and fast, but not good for long-term use.

 
Let’s hear from you – what wood do you heat with? What’s your experience?

Share this article!
SHARE This! by Email
SHARE This! Facebook
SHARE This! Twitter
Related Posts That You Might Like:



73 Comments

  1. novosibirsk 11/02/2013
    • Jordan 11/02/2013
    • Glacialhills 12/06/2013
    • Anonymous 04/10/2016
  2. novosibirsk 11/02/2013
  3. Anon 11/02/2013
  4. sixpense 11/02/2013
  5. Glacialhills 11/03/2013
    • NEIA Chris 07/27/2014
      • Ont logger 11/27/2016
    • Sgt Bill 09/22/2014
    • dan-o 09/23/2014
      • poorman 09/23/2014
    • canada-eh 04/25/2016
      • Don B. 11/15/2016
    • Don B. 11/15/2016
    • Bunt up house 11/26/2016
    • Maria 02/04/2017
  6. Glacialhills 11/03/2013
    • Ken Jorgustin 11/03/2013
      • Glacialhills 11/05/2013
        • Peter in VT 02/21/2014
    • faith 09/23/2014
  7. Expat 11/03/2013
    • Julie 12/31/2013
  8. Tammy 11/03/2013
    • Ont logger 11/27/2016
  9. Mike 11/04/2013
    • Glacialhills 11/05/2013
      • Tammy 11/05/2013
        • Brian 03/23/2016
          • NRP 03/23/2016
          • April 12/03/2016
  10. Junipers 11/04/2013
  11. DaveJ 11/05/2013
  12. murray 11/06/2013
  13. Waldo 01/02/2014
  14. anthony 03/13/2014
    • Anonymous 04/10/2016
      • Kiloechosierra 01/01/2018
  15. Dan 03/25/2014
  16. Brian 06/14/2014
    • Willow 09/23/2014
  17. marilyn 09/01/2014
    • Brian 03/23/2016
  18. keebler 09/10/2014
  19. Creosote Remover 09/17/2014
    • WhoSwipedMyCookies? 09/17/2014
    • Brian 03/23/2016
  20. Dead duck 09/22/2014
  21. sixpense 09/22/2014
  22. 44044 09/22/2014
  23. James Burnette 09/22/2014
  24. chrisiRN1 11/03/2014
    • Anonymous 04/10/2016
  25. Bill mister 11/17/2014
    • Anonymous 04/10/2016
  26. DAVE 11/18/2014
  27. DAVE 11/18/2014
  28. Paul Nuckols 01/13/2015
    • Dave 02/22/2015
  29. Tony 02/11/2015
    • Ken Jorgustin 02/11/2015
  30. Don 02/21/2015
    • Dave 02/22/2015
  31. Bill 03/04/2015
  32. Oregon's best 04/02/2015
    • Marilyn 11/13/2017
  33. Gina 11/23/2015
  34. lucky 02/09/2016
  35. BossFireplaces 05/26/2016
  36. Anonymous 04/19/2017
  37. Bobby Clements 10/20/2018

Leave a Reply