Wood Pellet Storage: The Basics

Woodpellets.comUnfortunately, 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.

The approximate length, width and height of a standard 40 pound bag of pellets placed horizontally on the floor is 27 x 18 x 5 inches. These measurements can adjust a bit with some maneuvering of the pellets within the bag.

Wood Pellets Stored OutsideThe length and width of a skid (a pallet of stacked and wrapped wood pellet bags) is 48 by 40 inches, and is about four feet tall. A 1.5-ton skid of 75 bags has the same length and width, but is about six feet tall. Check out the picture to the left to see what a skid looks like when it’s delivered.

If you’re only able to store your skids outside – you’ll need to start with an inspection. Your fuel is carefully wrapped and protected with a plastic shroud before it’s sent out for delivery. If you find any rips or holes in the plastic shrouding, be sure to repair it with water-proof tape or additional layers of plastic.

Also, before your skids are even placed on your driveway or lawn, make sure to choose a spot away from irrigation heads or water spray paths as well. You can instruct the drivers ahead of time on where you’d like your order delivered, or you can always leave a sign!

Next, add a a securely fastened tarp over your fuel, to protect it from water and from any birds or small animals that may try to puncture the plastic to make a home. Empty milk jugs filled with sand or water tied to the edge of the tarp is a great way to prevent it from flying up. If you have leftover bags from a past season, check out our tutorial on how to make them into an additional layer of protection, here

Woodpellets.comA great trick we tested last summer is so simple, but so helpful for outdoor storage! Place a ball on the top of the skid, under your layers of protection to keep water from pooling. It’s so important to protect your pellets from contact with water, because it turns them back into sawdust.

Make sure you do everything you can to protect your pellets. If you find damage that has reached the actual wood pellets – call 1-800-PELLETS within 30 days of delivery to speak with a Quality Assurance representative.  All Woodpellets.com Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Quality Guarantee, which is valid for 30 days after the delivery date.

How to Make a Pallet Tarp Out of Wood Pellet Bags

Have you read our post about how to repurpose empty wood pellet bags? What about our tutorials on how to make a water blob, or a kite, or DIY treat bags from empty bags? Here’s a new one for you – a pallet tarp! We’ve created a step by step guide on how to use your leftover bags to make an extra layer of protection for your pellets, that fits over a skid of 50 bags nicely.

What You’ll Need: 

  • Iron
  • Ironing Board/Surface
  • Parchment Paper
  • Scissors
  • 25 Empty Pellet Bags (at least)
  • Open Window or Fan

How to Make a Pallet Tarp from Empty Wood Pellet BagsTo begin, open a window or have a fan going, since we will be fusing plastic for this project. Also, please note that this DIY is for adults only. Children shouldn’t be involved with this one. Safety first!

Shake out any excess fines and/or leftover pellets inside your bags to avoid making a mess. Line up a few bags on top of one another, and carefully cut the jagged tops, and the folded bottoms with your scissors. Repeat this for all of the bags.

You can make a super tough tarp by keeping the sides of each bag as-is, and not cutting one side open. This will create a double layer. We made the top of the tarp this way, because a double layer on the top will protect the underlaying layers best from the elements.

Cut a large piece of parchment paper, and fold it in half lengthwise. On the top layer, mark a line an inch or two away from the fold, across the entire paper. (We just used the parchment paper box as a guide.) This line will help guide your iron, making the seams of your tarp the same size.

Similar to basic quilting, line up the edges of two separate bags, and place them in between the folds of your marked parchment paper. Adjust the paper to make the inside fold as close as possible to the bag edges inside. Keep in mind that this is not an exact science, because it isn’t likely that your bag cuts were perfectly straight lines. (That’s okay!)

The edges of the bags should be sandwiched inside the layers of your parchment paper, separating the plastic from the ironing surface and the hot iron. Start to press the iron along the folded edge of the paper and stay inside your drawn line guide.

Make sure to do a test for the settings and make sure it’s hot enough to fuse the layers of plastic together efficiently. As you would for ironing clothes, keep a slow constant motion going with the iron – do not pause with the iron in one spot.

We had our iron set on the Wool setting, which worked perfectly for fusing together two bags of double layers. When we later switched to the sides of the tarp, which were only a single layer, we turned down the setting.

Carefully remove the parchment paper and check out your work! The seam will be on the inside of the tarp. If you flip it over, you’ll see your secure hidden seam. Repeat this process until you have a square of fused bags! We used three layers of three bags, so 9 total bags for the top of the tarp.

To make a flat tarp, instead of the trickier cube like we made, just continue adding rows of fused bags together until you get to your desired size! 

For the sturdiest, most reliable pallet shaped tarp, repeat this whole process the same way four more times. This way, the entire cube tarp will be double layered like the top of ours. This will take at least 45 bags for a one ton skid (50 bags).

For our sides, we cut each bag on one side to open them up into wider pieces. After turning down the setting on the iron, we fused the edges in the same way, but had to adjust our layout a little due to the different shape of each piece. The sides only needed four bags. Again, there’s no exact science. To plan our cube sides, we pre-arranged each bag on the floor to see what the best configuration would be.

Once your four sides and top are complete, you can begin to assemble the cube shape. Start with the same process of aligning two bags, but align the edges of your top layer and one of the side layers. The parts you’d like to face outward upon completion should be facing one another for the fusing.

Repeat this process of fusing the top layer with the sides, until all four sides are securely connected to your top layer. Position your almost cube on a table, or chairs lined up, so the edges are hanging down next to one another.

Align the side edges of your side panels together, fold the edges inward, and tape a few pieces to temporarily keep the sides in place. Repeat this with the other three corners, and carefully flip your rough cube inside out, so all your seams are pointing outward.

Line up your taped edges, and place them inside your parchment paper, like you’ve done many times by now. Fuse together each side, and flip your creation over again. You should now have a cube like tarp!

We made a flap out of one of our sides by making two oversized pieces that overlapped in the middle, and connected to the top layer and each corner. This trick will make it easier to get to your bags through the season!

Your pellets are delivered wrapped up in a protective shroud, and we strongly suggest keeping this on if you’re storing outside. The more layers on your pallets – the better. Depending on your personal choices and techniques for this project, your pellet bag pallet tarp could be really sturdy, but it still shouldn’t be your only layer of protection.

Do you have any ideas you’d like to share? Comment or visit our Facebook page to show us how you reuse your empty wood pellet bags! Give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS if you’d like to speak to an expert!

 

How to Safely Hand-Stack Wood Pellet Bags in a Limited Space

Safely Store Wood Pellet Bags in Small Spaces

(click to enlarge)

Dimensions of Wood Pellet Bags and Pallets

A skid, a pallet of stacked wood pellet bags, is 48 by 40 inches. A 1-ton skid of fifty 40-pound bags is about four feet tall, and a 1.5-ton skid of 75 bags is about six feet tall.

You might have enough space available to keep the pellet bags on the pallet just as they were delivered. If you only have a smaller space available, or the 48×40 inch dimensions are inconvenient to you – re-stacking the wood pellet bags by hand is your best bet to maximize limited space.

The approximate length, width and height of a standard 40 pound bag of pellets placed horizontally on the floor is 27 x 18 x 5 inches. These measurements can adjust a bit with some maneuvering of the pellets within the bag.

Read more

How to Keep Your Wood Pellets Safe Outside (with an Easy New Trick!)

Wood Pellets Stored InsideIn a perfect world, you would have big open space indoors to store your wood pellets. Of course, that extra space isn’t always available – especially if you have several pallets of fuel to store.

If you don’t have room to store your wood pellets in the garage or basement, the next best thing is a shed or shelter in a raised, dry place.

If you have to store your wood pellets outside, you’ll need to fully
inspect the outer plastic that has been wrapped around your fuel, when it arrives. Check for any rips or holes where moisture can seep in. Make sure to repair any damage with water proof tape or additional layers of plastic. Read more

Free Wood Pellet Storage for the Summer (It’s Back!)

Order by 7/17 for Free Summer Storage!

In May, Woodpellets.com offered a free summer storage promotion that was wildly popular among our customers. The buy now – take delivery later option was perfect for those who wanted to take care of ordering their fuel early, but didn’t want to give up precious space over the summer for storage.

We received so many requests in June to bring this offer back – we decided to do it! For a limited time only, you can order your wood pellets or wood bricks now, and not have to worry about taking delivery until between August 15th and September 15th!

Why is this offer so popular?

  • Buying now means you’ll be all set for the upcoming heating season. You’re way ahead of the rush that will come later in the season.
  • The current pricing locks-in for you. If prices rise later – it won’t affect you at all.
  • You can enjoy the rest of your summer knowing your pellets are ordered, but you don’t have to even see them yet!

Don’t wait too long – you have to order your wood pellets online or by phone before Friday, July 17th to get free storage!

 

Order Pellets Online

 

Call 1-800-PELLETS (800-735-5387) to speak to an expert!

Best Practices for Storing Wood Pellets Inside or Outside

Storing Wood Pellets Outside

Pellets Stored OutsideIt’s not always possible to store your wood pellets inside. If you don’t have room to store your pellets in the garage or basement, the next best thing is a shed or shelter in a raised, dry place. If you can only store pellets outside – you can do that too. You just have a few extra steps to take, starting with inspecting your fuel when it arrives.

Your fuel is carefully wrapped and protected with a plastic shroud before it’s sent out for delivery. Upon inspection, repair any rips or holes in the plastic shrouding with water-proof tape or additional layers of plastic.

Next, add a a securely fastened tarp over your fuel, to protect it from water and from any birds or small animals that may try to puncture the plastic to make a home. Empty milk jugs filled with sand or water tied to the edge of the tarp is a great way to prevent it from flying up!

There are 50 bags on each one ton pallet, which stands about four feet tall.  If you bought 1.5-ton pallets, there are 75 bags stacked about six feet tall. The wooden pallets the fuel is stacked and wrapped on top of are 40 by 48 inches. Make sure your tarp is large enough to cover your pallets entirely.

>> Make your own tarp out of empty wood pellet bags! Follow the directions on our 
DIY pellet bag water blob article, and just make it into a square or rectangle instead of a pouch.

Read more

What Happens to Wet Wood Pellets

Wood pellets are made of super condensed fine wood particles, held together only by natural sap within the original wood fiber. If you’re curious about the wood pellet creation process, check out our post about
how wood pellets are made. Premium wood pellets burn so hot and so easily because of their very low moisture content. Unfortunately, these little heat powerhouses are unable to withstand direct contact with water. The time lapse video below will show exactly what happens when pellets become wet.

As you can see, the water expands the pellets and breaks them down into their original state of sawdust. If pellets have expanded after moisture contact, they are not usable in your pellet stove. (On the bright side – expanded wood pellets make for great natural horse bedding and kitty litter!)

Read more

Top 5 Wood Pellet Myths Explained

Myth #1: Hardwood Pellets are Better than Softwood

Wood Pellets

Preference for hardwood over softwood has its origins in the firewood burning community. It has long been considered better to burn hardwood in your wood stove or fireplace because it provides a longer burn compared to softwood. The main reason that hardwood burns better than softwood in wood stoves/fireplaces has to do with wood density (hardwood is more dense than softwood).

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.  Once the moisture and density variance has been removed during the manufacturing process, softwood comes out ahead in terms of heat and performance.

But why does softwood produce hotter pellets with less ash? Biomass Magazine explains: “softwood has a higher percentage of resin content than hardwood, which will produce more heat per pound.”

The choice between hardwood and softwood pellets is entirely up to the consumer. There are some very high quality hardwood pellets available in the market that perform very well, but for the most part, softwood pellets will typically provide you with more heat for your money.

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How to Store 3 Tons of Wood Pellets in a Small Garage

stackedpelletsHaving recently purchased a new pellet stove, I quickly found myself facing an issue that just about all pellet stove owners face – where the heck do you store all those bags of pellets?

Some store them outdoors – which if fine if you provide them
a little extra protection. The plastic outer shrouding can definitely withstand a season outdoors. But who wants to trek through snow and ice to get a bag of pellets? I would rather be able to grab them in my socks.

Basements are also popular storage areas. But mine is so full of junk… I mean special keepsakes that my wife could never part with…that I literally have no room for three tons of pellets.
So I decided to make my garage work.
Read more

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