One of the questions our customers most frequently ask is, “How many firewood bundles do I need?” We can sense the tension in their voices when they ask this. They’re usually worried about either buying too much or not enough. Perhaps you feel the same way.
For this reason, we always give a hopeful and upbeat answer to break the tension.
“Less,” we say.
“What do you mean less?” our customers reply.
“We mean you’ll need to use less of our firewood bundles for your purposes than you would if you bought traditional seasoned firewood,” we reply. “This is because we only produce kiln-dried firewood with the best-burning hardwood species, like cherry, hickory and oak. The wood burns hotter and more efficiently, so you’ll need less to keep a good fire going.”
This answer always seems to brighten their day. Hopefully, it’s brightened yours and made you more eager to determine how many of these premium “firewood bundles near me” you should get.
Of course, the answer to this question depends on many factors—chief among them being how you plan to use the wood.
In this post, we’ll help you sort out those factors to calculate the wood you need. We’ll also give you general guidelines for how much our customers typically need in the Greater Minneapolis region.
Let’s get started, shall we?
How Many Firewood Bundles Do I Need for Winter?
Homes in the Twin Cities region that use firewood bundles as their only heating source will typically need three to six cords for the harsh Minnesota winters. (A single cord is 128 cubic feet of firewood, which is enough to fit in a 4’ x 4’ x 8’ cube and weighs about 3,000 lb. on average.) For these homes, we don’t recommend buying small firewood bundles for sale but purchasing in bulk instead.
Of course, you’re probably wondering whether your home can get by with three cords or if you’ll need closer to six. And what if you don’t use wood as your primary heating source and only for occasional indoor fires instead?
Don’t worry. We’ll help you pin down a more precise number of cords you should buy for the winter. Here are some guidelines for determining how much firewood you need:
How Much Winter Firewood Do I Need Calculator
Are you transitioning from another primary heat source to firewood bundles? If so, then there are a few simple calculations you can do to figure out the number of cords to purchase. Follow these steps:
- Find out how many gallons of fuel you used to heat your home last winter.
- Multiply the number of gallons by the number of BTUs per gallon for your fuel type. Record the answer as the total BTUs you need to heat your home.
- Find the number of BTUs per cord for the type of wood you’ll use to heat your home.
- Multiply that number by the efficiency of your wood stove or fireplace in decimal form. The resulting number is your wood-burning efficiency.
- Divide the total BTUs you need by the wood-burning efficiency and round the answer up to the nearest whole number. The answer is how many cords you need per winter.
If you don’t want to do all that math, you can also estimate the amount you’ll need based on the square footage of your home. Experts typically recommend 2-3 cords of wood per every 1,000 square feet for homes in frigid climates like ours.
You’ll probably be okay using less wood if you have hot-burning hardwood like hickory or oak and have a highly efficient wood-burning appliance.
Amount Needed for Occasional Wood Burning
You won’t need nearly as much firewood if you don’t rely on it to heat your home. If you only use it for an occasional fire once or twice a week, then a half cord will probably be enough to last you all winter long. A half cord contains 64 cubic feet of firewood.
If you plan to use the firewood only once in a long while and don’t have room for storage, you could purchase smaller quantities. A bundle of firewood or two at a time may be sufficient.
How Many Firewood Bundles Do I Need for Camping?
Determining how much firewood you’ll need for your next camping trip starts with figuring out how much wood you’ll need for a single campfire. Generally, sustaining a campfire for one hour requires about one cubic foot, or 8-12 pieces, of firewood. You can purchase this amount in the bagged bundles most firewood providers sell.
But we’re guessing you’re going to want more than a one-hour fire during your trip. The number of hours of fire you want will determine how many firewood bundles you should get. For example, two three-hour fires will likely require six bundles.
However, you may need more than this if the weather is going to be poor or you plan on cooking over the firewood.
Cold, wet and windy weather conditions will make the fire go out more quickly. Therefore, we recommend adding an additional bundle or two to your total if you expect poor weather on your trip. Plus, you can always store the firewood bundles you don’t use for next time!
Successfully cooking over a campfire requires more heat than what it typically takes to keep you warm. So, we also recommend adding a bundle if you know you’ll be doing some serious cooking over the flames. (We’re talking more than just marshmallows here.)
How Many Firewood Bundles Do I Need for a Fireplace?
A standard-sized fireplace can typically burn about four 16-inch firewood logs at a time. These logs will burn for about one hour in open wood-burning fireplaces before you need to replenish the fire with more wood.
However, the same logs will burn much longer and produce more heat in closed-combustion fireplaces. This is because closed-combustion fireplaces are much better for controlling the airflow to fires and preventing heat loss up the chimney. Therefore, you can probably manage a 3–4-hour fire in your closed fireplace with less than a bundle of wood. But it will take 1-2 bundles to achieve a similar length in an open fireplace.
If you like to create a fire in your fireplace now and then but don’t do it regularly, we recommend purchasing a mini stack. This single row of wood measures 2’ wide x 4’ high and contains about 80 pieces – bigger than firewood bundles but much smaller than a half-cord. You can easily store it indoors and grab a few pieces of wood whenever you feel like snuggling up by the hearth.
How Many Firewood Bundles Do I Need for a Fire Pit?
The amount of firewood bundles you need for your fire pit will depend on the size of your fire pit. But an average amount for a standard fire pit is about one cubic foot, or 8-12 pieces, per hour. So, two to three firewood bundles should last you for a relaxing evening in your backyard.
However, you may need more than this if it’s a particularly windy, wet or cold night. So, we recommend getting an additional bundle if the forecast looks less than ideal. You’ll also need about double that if your firepit is significantly bigger than the standard.
How Should I Store Any Extra Firewood I Purchase?
As you can see, how much firewood you need can vary from day to day, depending on the weather and other factors. For this reason, it’s wise to purchase firewood in bulk so you’ll have extra ready in case you need it. But this plan will only work if you stack and store your firewood properly.
To do this, you must have enough indoor or outdoor space to keep the wood. If you store it outdoors, you need to put something over the wood to shield it from the rain. This can be a loosely secured tarp or a covered log store. Either way, you also need to stack the wood so that it’s off the ground and there is space for air to flow between the pieces. This way, the breeze can dry the wood if it gets wet.
For best results, we recommend storing kiln-dried firewood indoors. The wood is 100% safe to store inside because the kiln-drying process purifies it from all bugs, mold and fungi. Store it in a cool, dry place, such as a basement or crawlspace, to keep humidity from compromising the quality of the wood. Stacking the wood off the ground with space for airflow between the pieces when storing it indoors is also a good idea.
By following these storage best practices, you’ll get the most value from all the wood you purchase.
Where to Buy Firewood Bundles?
Many places sell firewood bundles. You can buy them at campgrounds, convenience stores, hardware stores and maybe even your local grocery store. But not many places sell good firewood bundles.
Purchasing low-quality firewood comes with a lot of risk. There could be bugs, mold or mildew hiding in seasoned firewood, which are bad for your home and health. You may also run into the problem of excessive moisture content, which leads to too much creosote and smoke – which is also bad for your health. Purchasing high-quality kiln-dried firewood bundles can ensure none of these problems ruin your relaxing evening by the fire.
At ProCut Firewood, we sell only premium kiln-dried firewood – and, in many cases, we’ll deliver it! When you buy your firewood bundles from us, you can relax knowing you’re not burning mold, mildew, bugs or chemicals. Plus, it’ll burn hotter for longer, meaning you may need to purchase smaller quantities.
Oh, and you’ll get access to firewood experts who are ready to answer all your questions. Contact us whenever you have questions. We’re always happy to help! Or you can check out our useful firewood FAQs page to get immediate answers to a few common questions.
Did You Figure Out How Much You’d Like to Get?
We hope this guide has given you a better idea of how many firewood bundles you should get. Multiple bundles should last you through a camping trip, and multiple cords through the winter months.
While it’s not always easy to determine an exact amount you’ll need, remember that it’s always better to get too much than too little. After all, you can always store it and save it for later.
If you’re still not sure how much to get, we’d be happy to help. Feel free to call at 507-280-7780 or stop into our business in Rochester, MN, to talk to one of our firewood experts.
Editors Note: This blog was originally published in December of 2022 and updated in December of 2023.