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Information on Firewood

Did you know there are less Green House gas emissions burning a tree in a modern wood burner than there is letting it rot in the forest?

 

How much firewood will my home need and how much will it cost?


The typical, if there is such a thing, Wellington household in a typical Wellington winter will use 7.2m3(two cord) of firewood or 50 bags of pellets. A good rule of thumb to work to is that homes typically use as much wood from the start of winter to the end of July as they use from the start of August to the end of winter.  If you have used three quarters of your wood by the end of July it is a good idea to get a top up before you need it (it’s cheaper to buy outside wood a month before you need it than to buy inside wood on the day you burn your last log!)

We know from the independent House hold Energy End-use Project (known as the HEEP report - Click here to view) that homes fitted with modern woodburners were the only homes in the country to meet the World Health Organisation minimum recommended internal temperatures and this volume of fuel would fit the findings.


Firewood is sold by a loose measure (click here for more information) and will stack down to a smaller volume. 3.6m3 will easily stack down the long wall of a single garage so keep this in mind when thinking how much space you have available.

Sap seasoned and rain dry softwoods (such as pine) need to be kept out of the rain. Ideally they will be somewhere with good ventilation with some boards or runners to keep the stack off the ground and allow air under the pile. Hard woods (such as gum or manuka) will not easily be affected by a little rain and can cope being outside.

Wood that is still sap wet (green) should be left outside, rain will help it season. Once the timber is sap dry it can be moved under a roof to become air dry and then put away properly. Wood you buy from Ablaze will always be sap dry unless clearly specified at the time of ordering and on the delivery docket. If you have concerns about whether your wood is seasoned or not, regardless of whether you purchased it from Ablaze or not, give our office a call and we can talk you through some simple tests to check how well seasoned it is.

Firewood ranges in price for different species, different times of the year and different storage options. Half seasoned pine in summer will be a lot cheaper than shed dry pine in winter, manuka costs more than macrocarpa and so forth. Most homes will get the easiest and most economical heating from getting a mixture of woods in summer. For example if you have a wood burner and it runs all day we will recommend a softer mix to a home that runs their fire three hours a night.

Current Firewood and Wood Pellet prices are in the Products section of the website. The Consumer magazine generally runs a heating costs feature at the start of each winter and their data agrees with research from EECA and BRANZ that firewood (used in a good enclosed fire) is the cheapest heating, generally followed by pellets and then heat pumps. It is always a good idea to do some research yourself rather than believing the advertisements you see for firms pushing their own products.
 

Firewood is generally the lowest grade of timber harvested. The vast majority of the wood Ablaze supply is either mature shelterbelt that needs to be replaced or forestry waste. This wood is completely sustainable and carbon neutral.