Having a home heating system that requires firewood to function can be an excellent or a terrible idea. Well, it only really is a terrible idea if you have a difficult time getting your hands on this fuel. Otherwise, it’s mostly a matter of learning the lingo and getting your firewood seasoned and ready for colder winter months.
Dealing with firewood measurements can be a hassle if you’ve never heard about things such as rick of wood, quarter face, or quarter cords. Stick with us if you want to find out: what is a rick of wood, how much you’re going to need, and a few other things about firewood that are essential for a newbie to know.
How Much is a Rick of Wood?
A confusion that we see a lot is that between a cord and a rick of firewood. These are two separate measurements, as a rick of wood is used to describe a firewood pile that measures 4 x 8 feet, while a face cord is used to tell you how wide a rick of firewood is (typically 12, 16, or 24 inches). A Face cord will basically tell you how long the logs in a rick of firewood measure.
At this point, you might be wondering how many ricks of wood you’re going to need, but that really depends on the size of the home you want to heat up or how much firewood you consume on average. For instance, some people buy firewood strictly for firing up a barbecue or to help them make campfires when they’re out in the woods, while other people need firewood to help keep their house warm throughout the entire winter.
For general home heating purposes, a rick of firewood isn’t enough to last through the entire cold seasons, but two of them might. In any case, it’s best to purchase three ricks of firewood for house warming, just for safety. On average, using firewood to heat up an entire home during the winter usually means that a rick of wood will be consumed over a period of six to 10 weeks. Take note that it might be convenient price-wise to purchase a face cord instead of three ricks of firewood.
What Are Other Firewood Measurements?
If this is your first time dealing with the wonderful world of firewood, there are certain terms that might be new to you and might confuse you at first. However, learning about them will grant a clear picture on how much firewood to buy and will help you know exactly what to look for. Since you already know how much a rick of wood is, let’s take a look at some of the other common lingo:
- In the US, a cord of firewood describes a volume of 128 cubic feet or a stack that measures 4’ W x 4’ H x 8’ L. It’s important to note that regulations related to the cord size are different depending on the state and country. This is also known as a full cord.
- A face cord is basically a rick of wood with different types of measurements. A face cord will give you information on how long the pieces of wood in the rick are.
- A Sheldon cord can have different sizes, but it’s usually bigger compared to a full cord.
NOTE: Since different locations across the US and the globe use all sorts of denominations for these measurements, you won’t always be able to tell how much a stack of wood measures based on its name, so always confirm the size of the stack you want to buy with the seller, just to avoid any confusion (and help you get the best deal).
How Do I Store Firewood?
Knowing how to store firewood is essential because the wood needs to be perfectly seasoned to render a lot of heat with as few emissions as possible. Your firewood should never be split, wet, or green when you’re ready to burn it, so if it’s any of those things, you have a little more work to do to get in the right burning shape.
Before stacking your firewood for seasoning, you want to split it into pieces that are suitable for carrying and that have a size that allow them to fit in the stove or fireplace. When that’s out of the way, you have to find a spot that offers a sufficient amount of airflow. The efficiency of the drying process depends on how you stack your wood.
There needs to be a buffer between the wood stack and the ground, whether we’re talking wooden pallets, bricks, or logs. Start stacking your firewood from the ground up, placing stakes at the end to keep the stack in place. If you want to add multiple rows at the same level, make sure you leave room for air to circulate.
As you may already know, green wood generates a lot of smoke, which is why dry wood is essential in this situation. The driest wood should always be on top of the pile, to make it more accessible. The oldest wood should also be on top, because it’s the one that will rot faster if not used in due time.
You should always place a tarp on top of the wood pile, especially if you’re not storing it inside a shed or some other place where it’s already covered and protected from the elements. Even if you tie down the tarp to prevent the wind from blowing it over, you will have to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of airflow circulating underneath it.
Purchasing a firewood rack can go a long way in helping you store your firewood. Some are specially designed for outdoor use, while others are pretty stylish and have intricate designs that would look amazing next to your fireplace. Keep in mind that you don’t want to bring too much wood inside at once, as a maximum of two days-worth of wood should suffice.
Hopefully, we managed to shed some light on the situation of wood measurements, but don’t panic if it takes some time to get adjusted to the terminology. There are certain websites that have integrated firewood cord calculators that you can use (such as this one right here), but keep in mind that asking the seller about the exact measurements is still the best option.