Though it feels like Spring is on it's way in certain parts of the country, many homeowners are still concerned with heating costs of their home, and knowing which firewood gives you the most heat according to the BTU chart, will help keep heating costs down. Those that rely on wood stoves are most familiar with the BTU chart. BTU stands for an old-fashioned term called "British thermal units" which is a measurement of heat energy still used today. Though there are other considerations to take into account when burning wood, such as how smoky it is, how easy it is to split and how easy it is to burn, a prime focus should always remain on BTUs.
When it's time to buy wood, you'll often hear BTUs marked "per cord" which essentially means how many BTUs are in the particular volume of wood. A cord of firewood is a stack measured at 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet.
Hardwoods have better heat values than softer woods since they are denser and burn longer. For example, hard maple is one of the top contenders for BTUs and best overall rating. White oak, black locust and shagbark hickory are also top contenders. You'll want to always avoid using high resin woods, such as fir and pine, since the build up of resin in your chimney can be dangerous. Ash is considered another prime choice, as it will burn evenly and strong even when it is freshly cut.
If you're using firewood that sparks, you might want to consider a denser option. Though hardwoods will be more expensive than softer woods, they far outweigh the others in value. Using woods like white pine and spruce will burn quickly and will not heat your home efficiently.
If you ever question the type of wood you're purchasing at a local hardware store, make sure you ask someone that works there. You can also ask for help if you're looking for a hardwood or kindling that will best suit your heating needs.