Calculating Your Wood for the Winter

Many homesteaders prefer to utilize wood stoves to help offset the cost of other power sources. It can help them to limit their dependence on the electric company, and if they have solar panels as well, it could eliminate the need entirely. However, if you are going to use wood for heating and even for cooking, you need to make sure you have enough to last the entire winter.

Think about how often you will be using the woodstove or the fireplace. If you will only be using it during the night, you will need to have less wood on hand than if you use it around the clock to keep the place warm. Also, are you using it to heat your entire house, or are you only using it to heat part of the house, or one of the outbuildings, for example.

Understanding how much wood you will go through in a typical day will give you a better idea of how much you need. Generally, you will be buying wood in what is called “cords”. A cord of wood measures 4’ high and 4’ wide, while being 8’ long. You do not typically have to buy a full cord of wood though. You can also buy half a cord or even a third of a cord. Make sure you have a place on your property where you can keep the wood out of the weather so it remains nice and dry.

You will likely have people in your area that sell firewood. If not, you may want to cut down some trees on your own property. When you are buying, it’s always better to have a bit more than you think you need, just so you don’t run the risk of having no wood part-way through the winter. After all, you can always keep the extra wood for the following winter.

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