We wish the weather was something within our control. I’m sure many New Englanders feel the same way while endlessly shoveling, spinning tires and just trying to get from A to B. Although we often make deliveries in snow, rain and fog; recent heavy snow accumulation has made some delivery regions hazardous for periods of time. Therefore, somecustomers will experience delays in order deliveries. In times like these, weather-related delays are unavoidable in some areas. However, we are doing everything in our power to get orders delivered as quickly and safely as possible.
When your place your order, whether by phone or online, you are given an estimated time frame in which your fuel will arrive. However, during this record-breaking snowfall for New England, there are instances when it’s just not possible to meet these delivery windows. Slippery conditions and poorly paved roads make it not only exceedingly difficult to make deliveries – but also raises serious safety concerns.
These hazards aren’t just during travel to the delivery location – there are also issues upon arrival in some areas. Our large, wide delivery trucks need enough space to safely travel down your road and park. Cars need to be able to travel around our truck and not be blocked by it. Once parked, the forklift is lowered from the truck to unload the pallet(s) to be brought up the driveway. Large snowbanks taking up space in the road can either make both of these tasks not possible, or just dangerous for other drivers on the road. Our delivery team will communicate with any affected customers to find the safest, quickest delivery time under these circumstances.
After snowfall records set 37 years ago have been broken in New England…there is still more to come. We hope everyone is staying safe and informed.
It’s late into the winter – yet the Northeast is still being relentlessly hit with heavy snow and freezing temperatures. You might be starting to wonder if your pellet supply will last you through the rest of the heating season.
You’re not alone in this quandary.
This is a tricky time of year – where a wood pellet user must decide to gamble with a low supply and risk potential supply shortages, or choose to just play it safe and top off his or her supply now.
Of course no one knows for sure what will happen with the weather for the remainder of the winter. There is historical data, professional forecasters, and even a groundhog that can give a prediction – but there is no real way to know with absolute certainty. Earlier this year, we wrote about the Farmer’s Almanac weather prediction, which hasn’t been fully accurate. The Northeast prediction was a much colder than normal winter, which has been true, and “below normal snowfall”, which has not been true. Unfortunately, last winter much colder than many had anticipated…leading to a late winter shortage in many areas. With the harsh winter we have already experienced, there is certainly a possibility for more regional shortages again this year.
So, are you at risk of running out of pellets? Well, there are many factors that will determine your risk. Your pellet stove model, the prominence of secondary heating sources, the type of wood pellets burned, and the area of your home you heat with pellets are just some of the many variables that affect your fuel consumption.
Your home’s heating fuel cost is typically one of your largest annual expenditures. The Flex Savings Plan is a simple way to stretch your annual fuel cost out over many months – and avoid the financial stress of a large lump sum payment. The Flex Savings Plan was created to help our customers budget this large annual expense – and it’s completely free.
The plan works by automatically making a monthly deposit using an electronic check or credit card into your credit account in any amount you are comfortable with. Each deposit is added to your Woodpellets.com account as credit to use on your next purchase. And when you are ready to order, your accumulated credit amount will be deducted from the order balance.
Enroll by March 6th 2015 – and get FREE “flexible” Delivery on your next order!
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!)
“At some places, it was just a recorded message: ‘We have no firewood for the season.’ ” a Natick resident explained to the Boston Globe about her trouble finding firewood. Unfortunately for wood stove owners, she’s far from alone in her struggle. The Northeast is experiencing another tight supply of firewood this year, and what’s available costs up to 25% more than it did last year.
While it’s an inconvenience for those using firewood as an ambiance enhancer – it’s much more serious for many New Englanders in need of wood heat for their homes. Census data reports wood used as a main heating source has increased most notably in the Northeast. According to the report, “All nine states in the New England and the Middle Atlantic Census divisions saw at least a 50% jump from 2005 to 2012 in the number of households that rely on wood as the main heating source.” Although the demand for firewood has overloaded the supply of late – there is an alterative.
If you’re in the Manchester area, you can pick up your own wood pellets by the ton or by the bag! Not sure if picking up or taking delivery makes more sense for you? Check out our Pickup vs. Delivery Cost Comparison.
How to place an order for pick-up:
Call 1-800-PELLETS (800-735-5387) and let your pellet expert know you’d like to pick up your order at Demers. We will take your order over the phone – and your Visa, Mastercard or Discover card will be charged for the full amount. If you would rather pay in cash, you can pay there when you pick up your order.
Once the order is placed, your fuel information is sent to Demers, with a full receipt emailed directly to you. Your pellets and/or bricks can be picked up Tuesday through Friday from 9AM – 4PM. When you arrive, just give the helpful Demers employees your name, and move your vehicle to where you’re directed. Your fuel will be loaded up – and you’ll be on your way!
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.
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?
Clinkers, which look like clumps of ash, can cause airflow issues from blockage. Clinkers are formed by burned or partially burned pellets that melt together into a clump.
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.