1 Ton Of Coal Equals How Much Wood (Answered)

Whether you’re burning a stove or a fireplace, you will need fuel. Coal and wood are really reliable options for the task. But it can get tricky to understand their measurements before buying them. 

So, 1 ton coal equals how much wood?

1 ton of coal is roughly around 1 to 3 cords of wood. The range is present because different woods have different cord values. Generally, you’ll need more wood to reach the heating output of 1 ton of coal. 

If you want to know more, keep reading along. Our article covers all the nitty-gritty details for your ease. 

Let’s not wait anymore and jump right in!

1 Ton Of Coal Equals How Much Wood Exactly?

1 ton of coal equals how much wood

Before we address that, we need to understand the units of wood and coal. This is because one is measured in the imperial system and the other in metric.

Firewood or wood is measured in cords. Essentially, it is the volume occupied by wood when it is cut and stacked. On the other hand, coal is simply measured in tons. The units are different simply for the ease of dealers and suppliers.

On average 1 ton of coal is equal to 1 to 3 cords of wood. Why such a range? That is because the cords will vary based on the type of wood. 

To help you understand that better, we have a simple table for you below: 

Cord Equivalent to 1 ton CoalTypes of Wood
11. Hickory
2. Birch
3. Elm
4. Hard maple
1.51. Seasoned Oak
2. Western Hemlock
3. Shortleaf Pine
4. Sycamore
21. Cedar
2. Red Maple
3.White Pine
4. Spruce

Well, that covers a lot about all types of wood. This should help you see the wood equivalent for a ton of coal.

Which To Pick- Coal Or Wood?

While both are amazing options for heating, what you’ll pick will depend on a few things. These will depend on the season and the amount of space you have. 

Let’s indulge in these more so you’ll have a better idea. 

1. Consider The Season

When it comes to season, moisture is the key factor here. Continue reading to see how.

Summer To Fall

In fall and spring, with relatively dry air and sunlight, wood is better. Wood needs to be dried before it can be burned. The optimal moisture content for wood is 20% before it’s burned. 

The natural weather conditions will make sure the wood is dry and ready to use. This makes for a great option for bonfires, campfires, and more. 

Winter And Rain 

Fireplaces and stoves are greatly bought and used in these seasons. So the fuel needs to be picked accordingly. 

Do you want to invest in a good stove but unsure which one to get? Take a look at our options below and see which one you like.

Now that you’ve seen the options, let’s know more about the fuels. 

For the cold and damp times of the year, it’s wise you pick coal. As opposed to wood, coal has no moisture content and burns longer. So, it will keep your house warm through the cold nights. 

Additionally, coal will still burn even if it’s slightly damp. This can’t be said for wood. While both need to be stored in dry places, coal is more reliable if you need a fire quickly. 

2. Heat Generation & Burning Rate

When you burn fuel, the heat it generates is obviously important. The amount of heat generated is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). 

1 ton of coal produces 24 million BTUs. One cord of dry and seasoned hardwood produces 20 million BTUs. This means 1 ton of coal’s heat is equal to 1.2 cords of hardwoods. 

Here is a table below that shows the BTUs for common hardwoods. This should help you understand this easily. 

Name of hardwoodBTU rating/ million BTUs
Hickory28
Birch20.3
Elm20
Maple22.7
Oak24
Hemlock15.9
Pine17.1
Sycamore20.7
Cedar12.2
Spruce15.5

With that covered, let’s move on to burning rates. Well, coal burns longer than wood. 

So, if you have a wooden stove, it’ll require refueling at least 4 times a day. The wood will burn uninterrupted for 3 to 5 hours.

For most hardwoods, the burn time is approximately 5 hours. In the case of softwoods, it is 3 to 4 hours.   

For coal, you need to refuel twice a day. Think of roughly 10 hours of burn time and the embers will also keep the house warm. 

3. Storage Space

As mentioned before, wood takes up a lot of space. You’ll need space with the dimensions of 4 ✕ 4✕ 8” for 1 cord of wood. 

Keep in mind that a house will burn an average of 4 cords of wood a year. So, that is a lot of space taken up by storage. However, if your house has a firewood shed, that’s fine. 

Coal on the other hand takes up less space than wood. To store one ton of coal, you’ll need a space of 3✕3✕4”. 

Now you know the factors to consider while picking the right fuel. That’ll help you before choosing between 1 ton of coal or its equivalent cord of wood. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How big is a ton of coal?

Answer: 1 ton of coal will take up 1.13 cubic meters. This is also roughly 40 cubic feet in terms of space. 

Question: How much energy do you get by burning 1 kg of coal? 

Answer: Burning one kilogram of coal will give you a little over 29 million joules of energy. In terms of power, you’re bound to get 7 to 8 kWh by burning 1 kg of coal. 

Question: Which coal is ideal to burn at home during winter? 

Answer: For the most heat content, pick anthracite. This also burns the cleanest as opposed to other varieties, like bituminous coal.  

Wrapping Up

And there you have it. That’s all for the burning question of 1 ton of coal equals how much wood. 

Good luck and we hope that our advice helps keep your stoves burning smoothly. If our article helped you out, please leave us a comment down below.

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