Firewood: when to buy and what type to choose

The need to buy firewood can be for a variety of reasons. From cooking, to making a fire, to lighting a fire in the fireplace. Depending on what you are going to use it for, it is better to buy one type of firewood or another.

You should also take into account how much you are going to need and when is the best time to buy it. In this article we review everything you need to know to choose the right type of firewood for you.

Uses of firewood

As we said, firewood can be used for different purposes. Obviously, it is always used to burn it and take advantage of its calorific value. Specifically, the most common uses of firewood are:

  • Heating homes by means of fireplaces and cookers.
  • Cooking food (barbecues, paellas and other types of cooking).
  • Lighting open fires in the open air.
  • Heating water for human consumption.

When to buy firewood

The time of year in which you buy firewood can greatly influence the optimum use of its heating capacity and its price. That is why, below, we explain the best time to buy firewood.

Best time to buy firewood

One of the most important things when buying firewood is to make sure that it is dry or dry before using it, because if it is lit when it is wet, a lot of heat will be wasted in the evaporation of the water.

Therefore, the best time to buy firewood is in late summer or early autumn. At that time of the year, the woodcutters have already cut it for some time, so it has had time to dry out in the stores during the previous months. On the other hand, buying firewood in winter is less advisable because it is more likely to be wet or have residual moisture.

In addition, you should bear in mind that cold weather can arrive unexpectedly, so buying it before winter arrives is a good way to have firewood at home for these cases.

Another advantage of buying firewood in summer/autumn is that its price is cheaper, as it is a time of the year when it is not in high demand.

On the other hand, green firewood (firewood that has not been cut for long) is less energy efficient and generates more dirt, so it is important to avoid buying freshly cut firewood.

How to store and conserve firewood

It is also important to know how to store firewood. Once purchased, it is best to place it in a dry but ventilated place. It is also advisable that the firewood is not in contact with the ground, to avoid moisture absorption.

In addition, it is recommended that you place the leftover firewood from the previous year on top of the firewood if you have any left over, so that you can use it first. In this way, the newly purchased firewood has more time to finish drying and we prevent the old firewood from rotting or generating mould or other unwanted life forms.

Firewood kept outside
Firewood kept outside

As for how to cover the firewood, a tarpaulin can be used as a canopy, but it is not advisable to wrap the firewood completely, as this prevents it from breathing.

Types of firewood

In addition to when to buy and how to store firewood, it is also important which type of firewood to choose depending on your needs. Each type of wood has certain characteristics and conditions that make it behave in a certain way, so each type of firewood offers better performance and results for certain uses and applications. Generally speaking, firewood is divided into hardwood and softwood firewood.


This type of wood can keep the fire burning for a long time and provide constant heat. They are the most suitable for use in fireplaces. The most common are holm oak, oak, olive, ash, elm, walnut and birch.

They have a high calorific value and their combustion is slow, which makes them very good for heating the home. Of the hardwoods, birch provides the liveliest fire and burns the fastest. Hardwoods generally require more time to dry out. In some cases they may need up to 2 years.


They are ideal for lighting the fireplace or for stoking the fire at a specific time. Softwood generates less heat, but ignites more easily, so it can be useful for quickly heating a room for a short period of time.

In addition, it is usually cheaper. This group includes woods such as pine, cedar, chestnut, spruce and, in general, any wood from fast-growing trees, as well as some from fruit trees.

Drying times for softwoods are shorter than for hardwoods. Most of these woods dry within 6 to 12 months.

Which firewood to choose

The most recommended firewood for a fireplace is olive, oak or holm oak. These woods are hard and dense, which means that the fire lasts longer and the calorific value is greater than that of soft wood, such as pine or fir. On the other hand, if you need to light a fire quickly, such as a barbecue or a campfire, it is better to opt for softwoods such as pine.

How much firewood to buy

It is best to buy enough firewood to keep you supplied throughout the cold season. This obviously depends on the frequency of use, the size of the house and the size of the fireplace. It is normal to buy 6 to 10 cubic metres so that the firewood lasts throughout the year and you have some left over for the following year.

Where to buy firewood?

Nowadays you can buy firewood in many types of establishments. In large hypermarkets there is usually an area dedicated to fireplaces where you can find firewood.

You can also buy firewood at some petrol stations, especially those located in cold areas. There is also the option of buying firewood at home, which allows you to order enough to last you through the winter or even several years.

Firewood kept in specialized stores
Firewood kept in specialized stores

With your firewood ready, you just need to check that your fireplace is in the right condition to start heating the house. To do this, it must be clean, with no residue that could compromise its proper functioning.

Tu Deshollinador will take care of cleaning your chimney. Contact us and ask for a quote.