Wood Pellets Aren’t Always Just for Heating

Kitty Litter

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.

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Wood Bricks Burning in a Wood Stove and Fire Pit

This video tutorial of how to burn wood bricks with fire wood in a wood stove is 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 extra 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.

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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.

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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


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