Raw materials brought to pellet mills can arrive in many different forms. Some of the raw material may be sawdust, wood chips, lumber mill scrap, and even full trees unsuitable for lumber. The raw materials may be green, or freshly cut, may be partial dry or even kiln dried. By processing these raw material all in the same way, the end product has consistent moisture content, heat value, ash content, and burn characteristics.
Typically, the process starts by running the raw material through a hammer mill. These machines take sawdust and wood chips and break them down into a more consistent smaller size. Large dryer drums are then used to take out any extra moisture. After the drying is complete, the material is processed further in a mill to make an even finer material.
Bitter cold temperatures in the Northeast have been relentless of late, and pellet burners are understandably cranking up stoves to keep warm. The colder the weather, the more pellets you’ll be burning. As your supply dwindles, make sure that you are ordering your pellets from somewhere that can get you your pellets quickly. (We’re very happy to report that in most Woodpellets.com service regions, delivery is now within one week!) Stay ahead of your supply level and order before you’re out, or close to being out.
Two of the main contributing factors to what makes the Woodpellets.com experience different are – product quality assurance and the convenient delivery system. In order to explain these processes accurately, we let Joy (Quality Assurance Manager) and Dan (Delivery Logistics Manager) describe their main responsibilities – in their own words.
Quality Assurance Manager: My primary function is to work for our customers. I am the before, during and after the order point of contact – from Customer Service, to the burn experience at home. Basically, the service doesn’t stop with the delivery – because I’m there to make sure user expectations are met and (hopefully) exceeded.
Wood pellet mills across America are running at full capacity, yet some retailers are still struggling with supply levels. Many consumers have felt the strain this year – by being turned away or having to wait for pellets. So if mills are producing the supply as quickly as possible – where are the pellets going?
Not long ago, about 80 percent of pellets made in the United States were used domestically, largely for residential heating. Today, wood pellet heating has grown from a residential home heating alternative into an international energy and environmental super-power. Wood pellet exports from the United States have
doubled since last year – with more than half the exports going to the United Kingdom.
I Keep Getting Clinkers in My Burn Pot. What is Causing This?
There are two likely reasons for clinkers – a poor air mixture which due to a neglected or dity unit, or incorrect air adjustments.
My Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite.
There are a variety of reasons for your pellet stove failing to light. The most common reasons – bad air flow, a dirty unit, bad igniter, blown fuse, bad gasket around igniter – could be easily avoided with regular maintenance and professional inspections.
Myth #1: Hardwood Pellets are Better than Softwood
Preference for hardwood over softwood has its origins in the cordwood stove community. It has long been considered better to burn hardwood in your woodstove because it provides a longer, hotter burn compared with softwood cordwood.
The principle reason that hardwood burns better than softwood in woodstoves has to do with wood density (hardwood is more dense than softwood) and it’s lower moisture levels.
However, with wood pellets the advantages of hardwood are neutralized by the pelletizing process. Both hard and softwood material is dried to the same moisture level, of about 4-5%. Furthermore, regardless of the type of wood used to produce the pellets, the pelletizing process produces wood pellets with the same density. And once the moisture content and density advantages has been removed during the manufacturing processing, softwood comes out ahead in terms of heat and performance.
November is a wonderful time of year. (Surely by now you’ve ordered your wood pellets and/or heating fuel, or it has already been delivered.) The leaves are still changing and falling, the air is crisp, and before the holiday shopping kicks into high gear – Thanksgiving brings everyone together. Since we are feeling so festive, we thought it would be nice to compile some easy new recipes for the big day, leftovers ideas, place-setting guidelines, and a handy cleaning tip. First, let’s start with the bird.
With Hearth-oween fast approaching, we wanted to explore some clever ways to decorate pumpkins. Whether you don’t like elaborate carving, or you just want a new look, Country Living Magazine had some great ideas.
Here are our six favorite pumpkin projects:
1. Thumbtack Word
Choose a dark color, and paint the entire pumpkin! Trace your word lightly where you’d like the thumbtacks to go, and press decorative thumbtacks along your lines. The shorter the word, the easier to see what it says – eek or boo are some great options.
2. Chalk Art
Pick up some chalkboard paint at a hardware store, or online. It’s a popular trend to use this kind of paint in DIY projects, so there are a variety of kinds to choose from – spray or standard, colored or black, etc. Then, simply grab some chalk and create your design! Create a careful masterpiece with white chalk for your dinner party, or let the kids go crazy with brightly colored chalk!
3. Carved Pumpkin Villlage
Carve the top and scoop out the pumpkin insides, like you would do for a traditional jack-o-lantern. Trace the outline of a house on one side of the pumpkin. Then, draw where you want windows to go. Use a brush to paint the house black within your guides, leaving the windows unpainted. Use a carving tool or small knife to carve out the windows. If you’re really skilled, include window panes! This part should be done by adults only. Place candle votives inside and enjoy your new neighborhood!
4. Fancy Découpage
Choose white gourds, or just paint your regular pumpkins. Use Mod-Podge to découpage pressed flowers or leaves along the top. You might want to use faux pumpkins to keep these creations for every year!
5. Faux Lanterns
Instead of Jack-o-Lanterns, make pumpkin lanterns! Carve the top out and remove the inner pumpkin, as you would for a regular carving. Trace outlines of lanterns, leaving openings for where you’ll carve. Paint the lantern design, and carve out the “glass part! Insert a candle votive and light up steps or walkways! Again, leave the carving part for adults only.
6. Constellation Pumpkin
After removing the top and insides, use hand drills to make holes in varying sizes. If you don’t have hand drills, nails or screwdrivers would work too. Use a knife to make slits in some of the holes for a twinkling star effect! We liked the look of a white pumpkin, but a dark blue painted pumpkin would look great too. A pretty design by day, and a twinkling sky by night with a candle votive!
Show us your work! Send us a picture of your creations in front of your pellet stove, wood stove or fireplace for a chance to win a $50 Darden restaurants gift card!
Full contest details and rules here. Hurry, the winner is chosen on October 31st!
There is only one word to describe the current market in wood pellets – unprecedented. Many of the changes that have happened in the pellet industry have been brewing for years, but the effects have really been felt by consumers since last spring. The appeal of wood pellet fuel has never been stronger, but that has driven some changes that every buyer of pellets will see.
New Stove Sales
Pellet stove sales continue to grow by leaps and bounds. The comfort and warmth generated by a pellet stove, combined with the run-up in heating oil prices and propane last winter, has convinced many households in New England to install a pellet stove. Many of the stove shops we work with in have let us know that their installations of new stoves are up as much as 50% so far this year and sales continue to be strong this fall. Anyone buying a new stove can see a wait time of several weeks for installation as the stores work to keep up with sales. These new stoves mean more people looking for pellets this fall.