It’s finally here – time to shut down your pellet stove for the summer. It was a very long, tough winter this year in the Northeast, and your stove probably worked hard. Considering pellet stove costs range at an average of around 2-3 thousand dollars, with some at double that price, this heating appliance is a real investment that will benefit from a few extra steps taken for season shut-down. Instead of just pulling the plug and walking away, responsible pellet burners should have a quick shut-down checklist to follow. Read more
Summer is the season for camping and bonfires – and it’s nearly upon us. But before you start packing up firewood for your camping trip – think again. Most camp sites do not allow firewood to be brought from outside sources. This is because firewood can transport insects such as wasps, ants and beetles that can hurt trees and spread disease. According to Don’t Move Firewood;
Tree-killing insects and diseases can lurk in firewood. These insects and diseases can’t move far on their own, but when people move firewood they can jump hundreds of miles. New infestations destroy our forests, property values, and cost huge sums of money to control.
So what should you do? Calling the campsite ahead of time to check what the rules are is a great first step. If the site allows local firewood to be brought in – just ask what the requirements are. You might just have to buy firewood that is sold close to where you’re camping. Make sure to ask where it’s from when you’re buying it. If the seller is unsure – you shouldn’t risk it.
It’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. 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.
“I want to try a new brand or type of wood pellets, but I’m concerned about taking the leap.”
Buy both! If you have been burning hardwood pellets, you might be curious about upgrading to softwood. (e.g. Cleanfire Hardwood vs. Cleanfire Pacific) Or perhaps you already burn softwood pellets, but you’re wondering if there’s really a difference when upgrading to a higher-level. (e.g. Cleanfire Pacific vs. Cleanfire Douglas Fir)
In order to really understand the difference between two different types or brands of wood pellets, you should burn at least a ton of each consecutively. This will give you enough time and fuel to let you really tell the difference in heat output and ash buildup between the pellet types. Depending on your stove, you may need to adjust your pellet feed rate and blower speed, especially if you are trying a hotter pellet than you normally burn.
Before you start burning, make sure your stove is nice and clean. Keep your settings adjusted to how you normally would. As you work through the first ton, take note of how often you have to clean out your burn pot and how the heat intensity feels. Once the first ton is gone, your pellet stove should be cleaned up before burning the other ton. Repeat the process, adjusting the stove as needed for the difference in heat output from the pellets.
Comparing your burning and heating experience with both types of wood pellets will likely take care of those pellet curiosities. (Not to mention how much cleaner your stove may be with one pellet or another.) Knowledge is power!
“I have a wood stove also, and I’d like to try wood bricks.”
If you have a wood stove and haven’t tried compressed wood bricks, it’s worth it to try them. Low ash, super high heat, and convenient packaging are some of the biggest reasons wood stove owners have supplemented their supply of cordwood, or switched entirely. If you have both types of stoves and you’re ordering your wood pellets, you can just add a ton of wood bricks to your delivery. Since this new kind of wood fuel is different than cordwood, it’s an easy way to try bricks out without committing to buying a whole heating season’s worth.
“Can I order more than one product at a time to have one delivery?”
Yes – most retailers will let you mix and match different types of fuel in your order. If you are going to try something new, there are two things you should look for. First, look for a retailer that doesn’t increase the delivery fee with larger order sizes. This will avoid any increased costs for your test fuel. Second, if the retailer has a minimum order size, make sure that a mixed order will satisfy the minimums. For example, if a retailer requires a 2 ton minimum order, make sure that ordering one ton each of two different pellet types will apply.
If you’re looking to try something new, we are happy to help. If you’re ready to order two (or more) types of fuel, you can just order them directly off our website. If you have any questions, and would like to talk through your options with a Woodpellets.com Pellet Expert, just call 1-800-PELLETS!
Product availability and pricing varies by region.
Do you have a long distance from where your pellets are kept to your stove? Did you get driveway delivery instead of garage delivery, and you have to manually move bags inside? Or, do you just find the regular 40-pound bags to be heavy?
Wood pellet brands are starting to branch out into making 30 pound bags available – which are 25% lighter than the standard weight bags. This might not sound like much of a difference to some people, but the ten pound difference per bag really adds up when stacking or moving bags inside near your stove.
Standard weight wood pellet bags are sold with 50 bags on each one ton pallet, which stand about four feet tall. The 30-pound bags are sold by the ton with 66 bags per pallet, which stands about five feet tall.* (See image for comparison.)
All wood pellets are stacked and wrapped on top of wooden pallets, which are 40 by 48 inches.
For example, Granules LG (a popular 100% softwood pellet) is bagged in both standard and 30-pound weight bags. Manufactured from Black Spruce and Grey Pine at a state-of-the-art pellet mill in Quebec, Granules LG boast an average of only.39% ash, 6.5% moisture, and a very hot 8200 BTU/lb heat output. While not all pellet brands are not available in both bag weights, this demonstrates that it is possible to buy pellets in the lighter bags – while still getting a premium quality, hot pellet.
If you are interested in trying the easier to handle 30-pound bags of Granules LG wood pellets, they are available in most Woodpellets.com service areas! These special bags are just $10 more per ton, and only available for purchase by phone. Call 1-800-PELLETS to check availability.
*The smaller Granules LG bags are 30.3lbs each, and sold by the ton. Standard 40lb Granules LG bags are only available in pallets of 1.5 tons. Pricing and availability vary by region. To see if Granules LG is available in your area, simply enter your zip code at Woodpellets.com.
Pick up by the bag or by the ton during extended Spring hours at Demers Garden Center in Manchester, NH! Not sure if picking up or taking delivery makes more sense for you? Check out our Pickup vs. Delivery Cost Comparison.
Demers Garden Center: 656 South Mammoth Road Manchester NH 03109 Extended Spring Hours! 7 Days a Week: 9am to 5pm
New York and New Jersey Walk-in Pickup Locations:
(An interactive Google map of all NY/NJ Woodpellets.com Pickup Locations can be found here)
Save $15 per ton on all softwood, and $5 per ton on all hardwood pellets during the Woodpellets.com Annual Spring Buy! (Wood bricks are also discounted by $5/ton!). Many of our customers wait for this Spring sale to make their yearly purchase – and the time has come again.
So if you have the room to store your wood pellet fuel this summer, you can avoid long waits during peak season, and save money by ordering now. Hurry: the sale is on now through April 30th!
Or call 1-800-735-5387 to speak to an expert!
Order must be placed by 11:59pm on 4/30/15. Customer must accept delivery between order date and 5/22/15. Offers cannot be combined.
As we are nearing the end of another long heating season – you probably have a pile of empty wood pellet bags stacked high. Are you wondering what to do with them? We have heard that question a lot lately. Depending on your location, your town may accept the bags to recycle.
We have a new idea to make some use of all those bags, just in time for springtime and Easter parties: DIY Party Goody Bags! Make personalized candy bags ahead of time for guests, or make blank bags to let kids design their own!
This is an easy craft and a way to make some use of those empty pellet bags. Please be sure this activity is done under adult supervision at all times.
Depending on the ages of your crafters, it’s probably the safest for you to do the bag construction ahead of time. This way you can leave more time for the fun decorating part, and less time worrying about sharp scissors in small hands. Remember…safety first!
If you want to cut out shapes ahead of time, click here for a free printable sheet of shape templates.
1. The kind of empty wood pellet bag you have doesn’t matter. As long as either the top end or the bottom end hasn’t been cut or damaged, any bag will do! You just need one end to be still intact. Cut the bag in half vertically, making two long pieces.
2. Cut horizontally across both pieces to make the same size baggies. It’s up to you how deep you want them to be – so cut where you want. If you have them – use scalloped or zig zag scissors for some extra fun!
3. Flip the bag inside out, and clean off any leftover pellet residue. It’s not harmful – but you don’t want it getting all over the place. Luckily, we had a Cleanfire Douglas Fir bag to work with…so the pellet dust was minimal!
4. Choose the side you want as the back. In our example, the back of our bag is white, which is perfect for a blank canvas. Flip the side you chose to be the back up to face you. Fold the long open side (where you cut vertically) inward as if you were gift wrapping a box. Make sure to pull in the folds in enough to make the baggie narrow enough. No baggy masks or hats!
5. Instead of plain tape, we used decorative washi tape to add in some extra color, and trimmed the top of the bag. This gives the edge a nice finish. Repeat these steps for the other bag, and start over with each empty pellet bag.
Within minutes, you have a sturdy bag ready for personalization! Set out all the (safe) decorating materials with your blank goody bags and get ready for some creativity!
Wood bricks can be used alone or as a supplement to firewood in a wood stove. This video is comprised of a series of clips filmed over 75 minutes. A smoldering piece of mostly burned-through firewood is in the back, with three Cleanfire Wood Bricks stacked in front. There is no kindling or assistance needed, due to the already hot firewood ash bed.
It’s important to remember that whether used alone or with firewood – wood stoves should not be packed tight with wood bricks. Don’t be fooled by their size. Wood bricks pack a super hot punch – which can damage a stove if used incorrectly. We recommend testing brick and/or brick+firewood burning variations to find the best fit for your stove.
Cleanfire Wood Bricks are designed to release as much heat as possible when they burn. When anything burns, the energy is released as heat and light. Bricks release much more energy as heat instead of light, which maximizes the heat output generated. Therefore, the larger and brighter visible flames from firewood is basically wasted energy when it comes to heating. After some time burning, the bricks expand, the flame lessens, and high amounts of heat is released.
If you are used to seeing the larger flames firewood typically generates – it can be surprising to feel how much heat comes off burning bricks with a smaller flame. Cleanfire Wood Bricks burn at up to 8000 BTUs/lb – much more efficient than air dried cord wood which typically burns at 6500 BTU/lb.
Take a look at the flame/light comparison below.
Why switch from firewood to Cleanfire Wood Bricks?
Convenience: Firewood requires too much work. Typically, wood is dumped on your lawn or driveway. Then the moving, stacking (and sometimes splitting) follows. Even more time and effort is added if you have to season your logs before use. Cleanfire Wood Bricks, on the other hand, come packaged in shrink-wrapped bundles with handles (15 bricks per bundle), on a one-ton pallet. You may store them right on the pallet, or move these stackable bundles inside your garage or basement.
Cleanliness: Wood bricks are environmentally clean, and also clean for your home. Unlike firewood, which can have up to high amounts of bark, mold, and unwanted insects – Cleanfire Wood Bricks are completely bark-free, mold-free, and bug-free. Wood chips, sawdust and natural lignin are the only components in the kiln-fired bricks, which means there is no chance for insects to make homes in them.
Consistency: Even with the more expensive kiln-dried or pre-seasoned firewood, burn time and heat output can vary due to size and wood type/age inconsistencies. Compressed wood bricks are dried and pressed in a mold, making a uniform shape which makes for consistent burn times. Firewood has many variables (seasoned vs. non-seasoned, wood type, size, kiln-dried vs non-kiln-dried, etc.) so the BTU level can be hard to predict. Furthermore, in order to burn properly, wood should be between 15 and 20 percent moisture – which can take a full year of proper storage to achieve. Bricks are dried to less than 10% moisture before packaging. They are ready to burn as soon as you receive them.
Cleanfire Wood Bricks are sold exclusively by Woodpellets.com! Call 1-800-735-5387 to speak to an expert.
Record snowfall has certainly been tough on those in the Northeast. Slippery conditions, heavy snow piling up, power outages and bitterly cold temperatures are just some of the struggles this winter has presented us with. The amount of snow accumulated in some regions has been crippling.
Although the temperatures are beginning to ease up, forecasters are predicting no significant dent in the huge snowbank accumulation soon. Bill Simpson of the National Weather Service Taunton, MA office explains, “It’s not going to be as significant as people think. It’ll melt, but not a good chunk. We’ve got a long way to go.” He believed there will only be a ten percent snow decrease in the next few days of warmer temperatures.
How does all this snow affect pellet stove owners?
Heavy snow buildup can definitely affect your stove venting. This is a very common factor with burn issues right now. Unlike wood stoves, pellet stove venting can be either horizontal, vertical or both.
One of the ways a pellet stove burn exhaust can be set up is horizontally, straight through the exterior wall. (See Fig. A) The exterior vent allows proper air flow within the stove, and the exhaust to escape. If it’s blocked by dense snow – your stove’s ability to ignite and/or stay burning efficiently could be hindered. If your wood pellets aren’t burning through fully – this blockage could be the reason. (See Fig. B)
A similar kind of venting is through the wall with a vertical rise (Fig. C). Vertical piping raises the exhaust further up the exterior wall. This kind of setup holds less risk of snow blockage. However, strong snow drifts (or very high snow accumulation) can still create blockage.
Pellet stoves can also have exhaust vents exiting through the roof – with some variations (Fig. D). If your roof has heavy snow piled up that hasn’t slid off or been pushed off, the vent could be blocked. Make sure to check for blockage – no matter how your stove is vented.
Another way snow affects your wood pellets is by through delivery delays.
The Woodpellets.com delivery trucks are wide, and they need enough space to safely travel down your road and park. Once parked, the forklift is lowered from the truck to unload the pallet(s) to be brought up your driveway. Of course, there is nothing you can do personally about large snowbanks taking up valuable space on the road. However, you can make sure your driveway is plowed enough for our 9 foot wide forklift. Making sure there is clear space for the forklift to maneuver on will help the driver make a successful delivery – and help you avoid delivery delays.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Call 1-800-PELLETS to speak to an expert!