Call 1-800-735-5387 to Speak to an Expert!
Call 1-800-735-5387 to Speak to an Expert!
Call 1-800-735-5387 to Speak to an Expert!
If you purchased the pellet stove in your home, you probably did a lot of research by reading reviews, comparing prices, learning about available features, and so on. How much do you look into pellets before you make a purchase? It’s a good idea to check out the brand’s heat and ash specifications before you buy. The higher the ash percentage, the more leftover ash you’ll experience – which correlates to how frequent your cleanings will be. Higher quality pellets have lower ash percentages, which means less maintenance for you. As for the heat output, the higher the BTU/lb number, the hotter the burn of course.
Unlike with firewood, it’s important to know that density is not a factor you have to consider when deciding between hardwood and softwood pellets. Regardless of the wood type used in manufacturing, the pelletizing process produces pellets with the same density. However, because softwood contains more resin than hardwood, softwood has a higher heat content per unit of mass - which makes softwood pellets a popular choice among most pellet stove owners.
Naturally, you won’t know what type and/or brand of pellets is best for your home (and your budget) until you run your own tests. Just remember that if you’re buying the cheapest pellets with lower heat output and higher ash specifications – you shouldn’t expect the same results as the higher quality options available. But if you’ve always burned the same brand, and your ash level is higher than usual or the heat isn’t the same – the culprit could be a couple of things. First, try adjusting your stove controls and see if there’s an improvement. Blower settings are often to blame for burn issues.
If you’ve made some adjustments and you’re still experiencing inconsistencies with the same brand you’ve used before – consult with the company you purchased your pellets from. (Woodpellets.com Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Quality Guarantee, which is valid for a full 30 days after your delivery date.) You might also want to consider a professional pellet stove cleaning, so a trained technician can give your stove a thorough clean-out/check-up.
At Woodpellets.com, we strongly believe that a professional cleaning is a great idea at least once per year not only for safety and preparedness, but also for efficiency. Pellet stoves work off of pressurized air, which is drawn from the exhaust. Pet hair, dander, dust and lint are constantly sucked in. If all the passages within your stove haven’t been cleaned out, or your exhaust hasn’t been cleared of debris – air cannot properly circulate.
Whether or not you decide to hire a professional - a responsible pellet stove owner cleans out his or her stove regularly. The cleaning frequency depends on how often the stove is used, as well as the quality of the pellets burned.
It’s definitely helpful to check your owner’s manual for more insight on this, and to learn more about your pellet stove overall. It’s packed with model-specific information regarding proper stove maintenance, best practices and warranty information – but it’s often overlooked.
The popularity of 100% douglas fir wood pellets has been spreading rapidly in recent years. What makes them so special? Well, so say the high heat out and low ash levels are impressive would be an understatement. These softwood pellets are made from 100% douglas fir wood fibers – which is one of the hottest burning wood species in North America. Check out this chart showing the relative heat output (as measured by BTU/lb) from various wood species.
In addition to their superior heating ability, wood pellets comprised of 100% douglas fir create 2-3 times less ash than your average premium grade pellets. Ash levels this low provide a huge advantage in how often you must clean your stove or fiddle with your burn pot.
So why are douglas fir wood pellets typically more expensive and not as widely available as other types of pellets? Unfortunately, douglas fir trees grow in the Pacific Northwest, so they must travel a long way to reach us here in the Northeast. As a result, douglas fir pellets incur much higher transportation costs and make it difficult for retailers to offer them on the eastern half of the country.
Note: Be careful of brands that claim to be a douglas fir “blend” – as some mills will add a small amount of douglas fir material in order to advertise them as douglas fir pellets. There is a huge difference between a 100% Douglas Fir pellet and a blend. Our Cleanfire Douglas Fir Wood Pellets are comprised solely of douglas fir wood fiber, and are a favorite among our customers. Enter your zip code at www.Woodpellets.com to see what’s available to you in your region.
Not sure if Douglas Fir pellets are right for you? Call us at 1-800-735-5387 to speak to an expert!
This report spans over 100 pages, and details the 2050 vision of economy-wide net greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 80 percent or more below 2005 levels. The White House explains:
“The MCS demonstrates how the United States can meet the growing demands on its energy system and lands while achieving a low-emissions pathway, maintaining a thriving economy, and ensuring a just transition for Americans whose livelihoods are connected to fossil fuel production and use,”
The report describes opportunities to reduce biofuel production costs, improve production efficiency, develop drop-in fuels, co-optimize engines with low-carbon fuel to maximize performance and greenhouse gas reductions, and ensure biomass is produced and used in ways that are carbon beneficial.
“An illustrative 2050 land use scenario consistent with [mid-century strategy] goals, which could entail 50 million acres of forest expansion and 40 million acres of biomass production from 2015 areas, would need to be managed carefully,” states the report. “However, these changes can be made ecologically and economically feasible by focusing on opportunities to deliver multiple products and services on the same acre, including agroforestry, precision agriculture, and bioenergy crop-pasture rotational strategies”
The report explains other factors regarding biomass production/uses, as well as possible scenarios for the nation’s energy future. You can read the entire publication for yourself, here.
Are you eligible for the $300 Biomass Federal Tax Credit? It’s a $300 dollar-for-dollar tax credit for purchasing a qualifying biomass-burning stove between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016. To make sure yours meets the 75% efficiency rating requirement, just check with your retailer.
You’re able to claim this credit as long as the stove was installed in your principal residence. This is the home you live in most of the time. It must be in the United States, and it can include a house, houseboat, mobile home, cooperative apartment, condominium, and a manufactured home. New construction and rentals do not apply.
If you bought your eligible pellet stove in 2016, or are planning to by the end of this year, prepare for your 2016 tax filing by keeping your sales receipt and the manufacturer’s certification.
If your stove meets all the requirements, and you purchased it in 2015, did you include it on your tax return? If you missed out on the Biomass Federal Tax Credit, use Form 1040X – Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You have up to three years after the filing or due date, or two years after paying your taxes to amend. Full information on how to amend your return can be found here.
For More Information, See HPBA’s Tax Credit Fact Sheet, Here
Have you considered burning more than one type or brand of wood pellets during one heating season?
A trend growing in popularity among experienced pellet stove owners is to burn pellets with a higher heat output during the coldest months of the heating season, and burn pellets with a lesser heat output (and a typically lower price tag) in the early season and late season months.
Have you heard of using wood pellets as kitty litter? It’s inexpensive and 100% natural - no silica particles, no toxins, fragrances or dust. All you need to get started is a clean cat box, baking soda, and a bag of 100% softwood wood pellets.
Ahead of time, moisten a few handfuls of wood pellets with water until they turn into sawdust. The video below shows a timelapse of wood pellets absorbing water to create fluffy horse bedding. You’ll basically be doing the same thing, but on a smaller scale.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always a bunch of extra space available to keep your wood pellets stored safely, and out of the way. Of course, it’d be best for your wood pellets to be stored inside, but there isn’t always room for that! Unwrapping the shroud and re-stacking all the bags is a great solution to only having small spaces available. Take a look at how some of our customers stack their pellets indoors, here. Read how we stacked 50 pellet bags in a very tight space, here. Your pellets can also be stored outside successfully, if you take a couple of extra steps.
If you’re having wood pellets delivered to your home for the first time, or are storing them in a new location, it’s a good idea to measure out the space first in order to know what you can fit. First, let’s start with dimensions, so you’ll be able to plan your spaces effectively.
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 into an international energy and environmental super-power, driven by the European Union’s goal for 20% of all generated power to be sourced from renewables.
The 2016 Pellet Stove Design Challenge (which is organized by the
Alliance for Green Heat) was a three day international stove technology competition with a focus on spotlighting innovative and high performing pellet stoves and prototypes. The event also held extensive stove demonstrations/testing, presentations and round-table discussions with industry experts, researchers, scientists, policy-makers and students, among others. The main purpose of this competition is to promote innovation in wood and pellet heating, as well as help to reduce fossil fuel heating with the use of cleaner and more efficient stoves.