How Much Wood Will You Need This Winter?

No matter how cold it gets this winter, your Quadra-Fire can keep your home stay toasty warm—as long as you have a sufficient ready-to-burn wood pile. While it may seem daunting at first, determining how much wood you will need will come second nature after enjoying radiant, glowing heat from your stove or insert year after year.

To determine how much wood you'll need this winter, follow these considerations and tips for keeping your home warm all season. 

What is a Cord of Wood?

Cords are 128 cubic feet of firewood, usually stacked four feet in height by eight feet in length by four feet in width. When determining how much wood you'll need this winter, remember that these measurements may call for multiple or half cords. If you have further questions about the measurement of wood, we recommend reaching out to your wood supplier.

How to Determine How Much Wood You Will Need This Winter

Every home is different when it comes to stocking up on wood. Climates, efficiencies and heating areas differ from home to home, so specifying the needs of your home is vital to understanding how much firewood you'll need to sustain the winter months. 

Climate, Usage and Heating Space

How much wood you'll need depends on how cold the winter months are where you live, how much you depend on wood for heating your home and how many square feet of space you plan to heat. If you are using zone heating, meaning your goal is only to heat a portion of your home, consider this deduction of your total home square footage for your calculation.

For colder climates, such as the Northeast and Midwestern states, using wood as a primary heat source, we recommend having 2-3 cords per 1,000 square feet of heating space. As for warmer climates, such as Mid-Atlantic and Southern states, 1-2 cords per 1,000 square feet of heating space should suffice. Keep in mind being overprepared is best when it comes to the comfort and safety of your family. We suggest rounding up and keeping track of how much wood you use each year.


Using an EPA-certified stove or insert, such as one from Quadra-Fire's line of wood and pellet products, is the key to an efficient burn. EPA certification complies with emissions and efficiency standards, so you can trust that your fire is burning safely and effectively. These highly efficient heating appliances boast up to 80% efficiency, extracting as much heat from the wood as possible. Unlike traditional wood fireplaces, which lose most of the heat out of the chimney, wood inserts and stoves harness the heat you pay for by keeping it in your home.

However, not all EPA-certified stoves and inserts perform the same way. Quadra-Fire’s four-point burn system maximizes the fuel-to-heat conversion by completely burning and reburning the wood, gasses and smoke up to four times. By extending the lifecycle of heat, Quadra-Fire's four point burn system enhances the fire and increases efficiency for durable, long-lasting performance all season long. Less fuel and hotter fires? Count us in.

A man sits near his wood burning stove in winter to read

Type of Wood

When you rely on a wood-burning stove for heat, finding which wood fuels your fire is the key to efficiency, cost-savings, and maintenance — different types of wood offer varying benefits. Aroma, high heat output and low smoke are important factors when determining which wood suits your needs. Hardwoods such as oak or beech are generally best for heating your home as they burn longer and hotter than softwoods. 

Keep in mind the best wood is dry wood. Well-seasoned, dry wood is the key to efficiency and avoiding other unwanted byproducts of burning wood, such as creosote build-up. To test if your wood is ready to burn, you can invest in a moisture meter or run color, smack or bark tests.

How to Store Wood for the Winter

Storing wood for the winter is just as important as the kind of wood you burn. Ensuring your firewood is dry, seasoned and appropriately stacked is critical to ensuring a clean, efficient burn all season long. By following these guidelines, you'll be prepared for when the temperatures drop.

  1. Keep it off the ground
  2. Provide airflow
  3. Do not stack against your house
  4. Store outside
  5. Keep the wood dry

Next Steps

After determining how much wood you'll need for this season, we recommend ensuring your wood stove or insert is in top condition going into the burn season. By preparing now for the winter months, your future self will be grateful while enjoying the warmth of the fire. If you have questions about anything concerning your Quadra-Fire stove or insert, or want to add a wood stove to your home, please visit one of our certified Quadra-Fire dealers.

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