Best Made List: Heat Values For Various Woods
As winter marches on and the mercury begins to dip, we turn more frequently to the hearth. One good thing to remember when your building a fire is that your wood selection will effect the amount of heat produced by the fire. As a general rule of thumb the harder the wood the more heat will be produced as it burns. Here are 5 common woods and the number of BTUs (British Thermal Units) produced by the burning of one cord firewood. A cord of firewood is equivalent to a stack 4’ high, by 4’ wide, by 8’ long.
Hickory – 27,700,000 BTUs
White Oak – 25,700,000 BTUs
White Ash – 23,600,000 BTUs
Paper Birch – 20,300,000 BTUs
White Pine – 14,300,000 BTUs
It should be noted that these figures are for seasoned firewood. Seasoning is the process of allowing moisture to evaporate from the wood fiber. This takes place over the course of at least a year by letting the wood sit covered outdoors. Unseasoned (or green) firewood will produce only a fraction of the heat that seasoned wood will, since heat energy is expended by evaporating the excess moisture.