Tips for purchasing quality firewood

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Green wood.
Firewood that has recently been cut and split, and is still green.

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — As winter quickly approaches and more Ohioans look to firewood to help heat their homes, Ohio Agriculture Director David T. Daniels is offering some basic tips to help Ohioans when purchasing wood.

“Many Ohioans rely on firewood to heat their homes during the cold winter months,” he said. “That’s why it’s important to know the laws about how firewood must be sold in order to make sure you, the consumer, are getting what you pay for.”

The following firewood rules and regulations are helpful to review before making purchases:

• Non-packaged firewood must be sold by the cord or by fractions of a cord. One cord, when properly stacked, should be 8 feet long by 4 feet high and 4 feet wide (128 cubic feet).

• If sold in bulk, firewood must be purchased by the weight in ton measurements. This must be weighed on a certified scale.

firewood basics
Stacked firewood.

• It is illegal to sell firewood by any other unit of measurement such as a rick, rack, face cord or truckload. If a consumer believes that a seller did not comply with these rules and regulations, the person should immediately contact the seller.

• If non-packaged firewood is purchased, the seller must present the consumer with a delivery ticket or sales invoice that includes contact information and the terms and conditions of the sale.

• If firewood is advertised and sold as “seasoned,” it must have a moisture content of less than 50 percent. “Unseasoned” wood will only produce two-thirds of the heat of “seasoned” wood.

• If the firewood is advertised and sold as a certain type of wood, the load must contain at least 90 percent of that species.

Learn more

If you have questions or concerns with a firewood sale, and the seller will not correct the problem, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Division of Weights and Measures at 614-728-6290, or contact your county auditor’s office.

Related coverage:

• Heating with wood, three mistakes to avoid (Oct. 3, 2014).

• Firewood basics, tips for drying, storage and safety (September, 2014).

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