It’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.
Did 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
Check 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.
Horse 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.
Did 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
-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.
You probably know all the wonderful aspects of burning wood pellets for heat. However, did you know that you can grill, smoke and bake your food with a special wood pellet appliance? Wood pellet grills were first introduced over 20 years ago by Traeger Pellet Grills, and several companies have generated their own versions since.
When it comes to BBQing, people are usually pretty particular about their methods. In the last few years, wood pellet grills have been gaining a very loyal following due to quick heat-up time, evenly dispersed heat, and a distinctive smoky flavor addition. You do need an electricity source to plug it in – but no need for lighters, gas or any fluids.
Spring is generally a pretty good time to purchase your pellet fuel, as many suppliers offer ‘early buy’ sales and promotions. But with the convergence of a few significant influences that we’ve explained below, this spring may offer wood pellet consumers the best buying opportunity in many years.
Coming into this season, we saw a big inventory build across the entire industry, as both suppliers and retailers anticipated another year of very strong demand for wood pellets. For the last couple of winters, the supply of pellets has just barely kept up with the demand from consumers. Who could forget the pellet shortages in the winter of 2014? Manufacturers ramped up production, and prepared for another harsh winter by building up a giant inventory position.
Pinnacle Renewable Energy created this very informative video to explain the whole process of how wood pellets are made – from beginning to end. Check it out!
Wood pellets begin their journey as tree seedlings. By absorbing nutrients from the soil, and carbon dioxide from the air, along with sunlight and rain, the seedling is eventually nurtured into a full grown tree. Then, it’s harvested for lumber and replaced with a fresh seedling. This renews the process all over again, in a controlled sustainable way.
Do you hate cleaning your pellet stove? I do. It’s one of those necessary chores of pellet stove ownership that you come to dread. But over the last four years that I have been cleaning my stove, I have managed to reduce the time spent to just 20-30 minutes per month. I have found that the most critical step in cleaning your stove is having the right tools for the job.
1. Although it may seem obvious – a flashlight that you can wear on your head, or clamp to the side of the stove, is a must. Without the proper light, it is impossible to see all nooks and crannies where the ash is hiding. While the headlight allows you to use your hands for other tasks, it throws decent light wherever you turn your head to look.
2. Another must-have tool is a good stiff brush. I use an old nylon 2′ paint brush to sweep the ash from my heat exchanger, and off the walls of the stove itself. Don’t try to use a cheap flimsy brush. You need a sturdy one that can withstand the stress of regular cleaning.