The Problem with Firewood

Firewood RestrictionMuch like other heating fuels, firewood pricing fluctuates based on supply and demand, among other market forces. The price of a cord of wood throughout the Northeast started to climb substantially in late 2015, and shortages rattled the industry. Experts have blamed large-scale construction projects as part of the problem.

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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

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A Look at the 2015 Wood Pellet Export Market

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.

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. 

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The 2016 Pellet Stove Design Challenge Winner

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. 
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How to Properly Shut Down a Pellet Stove for Summer

Moisture in Pellet StoveIt’s about that time to shut down your pellet stove for the summer! Considering pellet stove costs range at an average of around 2-3 thousand dollars, with some at double that price, this heating system 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.

Many owner’s manuals that come with pellet stoves are an excellent resource filled with tips and guidelines for maintaining a healthy stove. We have compiled our own Pellet Stove Season Shut-Down Best Practices, co-written by a Cleancare professional pellet stove technician.

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Residential Biomass Federal Tax Credit Information

2015 2016Did you purchase a biomass-burning heating system for your home that meets the 75% efficiency rating between January 1, 2015 and now? If you did, you’re likely eligible for the $300 Biomass Federal Tax Credit!

Unfortunately, there’s no master list of eligible stoves. 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. 

You’ll need the Individual Income Tax Return Form 1040 and the Residential Energy Credits Form 5695 to include the Biomass Federal Tax Credit on your filing. If you bought your eligible stove this year, or are planning to this year, prepare for your 2016 tax filing by keeping your sales receipt and the manufacturer’s certification. These are just for your records, not to be attached.

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 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 Guide, Here

The Questions Stove Techs are Asked Most

Why am I getting so much ash?

Woodpellets.comCheck out the specifications on the wood pellets you’re purchasing, and look for the ash content listed. The higher the percentage, the more ash you’ll get, and the more frequent your cleanings will be. Higher quality pellets will have lower ash percentages, and therefore less maintenance.

On top of research, another great way to choose a fuel is by talking to your fellow pellet-burners to see what they’re using and why. Of course, you won’t know what you like for your home and your budget until you run your own tests. But if you’re buying the cheapest pellets with lower heat and higher ash specifications – you shouldn’t expect the same results as the higher quality options available.

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How to Use Wood Pellets as Horse Bedding

Woodpellets.com  |  Pelletbedding.comHorse bedding is used in stalls to absorb urine and moisture, and is a necessary part of properly maintaining clean stalls. Ideal bedding material makes cleaning up messes easy, is easy to store, and is the least wasteful.

Straw and wood shavings are commonly used, but using softwood wood pellets as horse bedding is becoming popular among experienced horse and stable owners.

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Spring Break DIY – How to Make an Empty Wood Pellet Bag into a Kite

Spring DIY Projects by Woodpellets.comDid you ever see our post on how to reuse empty wood pellet bags? Well here’s a brand new DIY project, just in time for the kids being home all week for Spring break. It’s also just in time for warmer weather coming our way!

This post will show you the simple steps on how to make a kite out of an empty wood pellet bag.

What You’ll Need:
-1 Empty Wood Pellet Bag
-2 Sticks or Bamboo Skewers
-Scissors
-Twine, String or Cording
-Markers, Stickers, Embellishments

The entire project, not including decorating the kite, should take less than thirty minutes. Be sure that any kid helpers are always supervised by an adult, because this DIY involves plastic bags and scissors.

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