Citizens Advice Bureau

logo-cab-printDaylight savings is over for another year, there’s a nip in the air first thing in the morning, and winter sports are gearing up – that must mean it’s time to order in the firewood.
If you haven’t done it already, the Citizens Advice Bureau in Helensville offers a few things to be aware of when purchasing wood to keep you cosy this winter.
You’ll buy firewood in one of two ways: by volume, such as cubic metre, or; by description; such as trailer load, or bagful.
Sometimes a measure of firewood is called a cord, which is 3.6 cubic metres, but be aware a cord is not a legal unit.
You should burn only dry wood, so ask how dry it is. Softwoods like pine and macrocarpa will dry in around six to 12 months, but burn rapidly, which means you’ll use more of it throughout the season. Hardwoods like gum and manuka burn slower so will last longer. They can take up to 18 months to fully dry once felled.
If you do end up with green, wet wood it won’t burn properly, and will clog up the flue. If you purchased it and told the supplier you were going to use it straight away, they would potentially be in breach of the Consumers Guarantees Act because wet firewood would not be “fit for purpose.”
Be sure to get a receipt from your firewood supplier listing the type of wood, quantity delivered and price. Because wood is sold as a ‘thrown measure’ rather than ‘stacked’, it’ll look about one third smaller when it’s stacked away. Suppliers who sell by the cubic metre must use a certified measure, so look for their certificate on their truck or ask for it.
In a town like Helensville the best bet is word of mouth, so ask around or check out the local community pages on Facebook to see which suppliers others are recommending.
If you have a problem with your firewood, it’s always best to talk to the seller first. But if you can’t sort it out by talking to them, the local Citizens Advice Bureau at 27 Commercial Road, can help. The office is open 10am - 3pm Monday - Friday.

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