Wood Pellet FAQS

Over one million homes in the United States use wood pellets as a heating source. Although pellet popularity is continually rising, there are still many frequent questions and misconceptions about heating with wood pellets. Below, we have compiled a list of the most common inquiries we hear from both new and existing pellet users.

Can I Store Wood Pellets Outside?

Wood Pellets Stored OutsideYes – as long as you take the necessary steps to protect them. You must inspect your pellets’ packaging carefully before preparing them for outside storage. To protect your pellets from water and from any birds or squirrels that may try to puncture the plastic, you’ll definitely need to fasten a tarp over your fuel. If your pellets are outside for a while – you’ll need to keep checking on it to make sure there hasn’t been any damage or extensive wear.

If you are a customer, and you find damage that has reached the actual wood pellets, call 1-800-PELLETS right away to speak with a Quality Assurance representative.  All Woodpellets.com Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Quality Guarantee, valid for 30 days after the delivery date.

See >> How to Keep Wood Pellets Safely Stored Outside 

Can I Use a Wood Pellet Stove as My Home’s Only Source of Heat?

Depending on the location of the stove and the size/efficiency of your home – yes. Some stoves can easily heat up to 2,500 square feet of space. A common practice is to put pellet stoves in parts of the house to create zone heat, but lightly use a central furnace as a back up. It’s especially common to use oil heating as a backup to pellets, for example, when the price of oil rises significantly.

How Much Does a Pellet Stove Cost?

A typical price for buying and professionally installing a pellet stove is around $2,500 to $3,000. Of course, this number will vary depending on where you live and the kind of stove you choose.

Do Pellet Stoves Require Professional Maintenance?

Most owner’s manuals suggest a comprehensive cleaning by a trained technician at least once a year. Some manuals even suggest a checkup after each ton of pellets is burned. Also, the mechanical and electric components that make up your pellet stove can eventually wear out and need repair or replacement – so a cleaning/check-up by a professional could help prevent a surprise part-malfunction.

Read >> Wood Pellet Stove Best Practices 

 How Many Bags of Pellets Should I Buy?

Woodpellets.com Driveway DeliveryThe amount of pellets you can expect to burn through in a heating season depends on the quality of the wood pellets and the efficiency of the stove – among other things. However, one bag of quality pellets will commonly provide a full day of good, steady heat.

The average residential wood pellet customer in the Northeast uses 150-200 bags of wood pellets throughout the entire heating season. There are 50 bags in one ton of pellets, so that’s 3-4 tons.

 Is Heating with Pellets Environmentally Friendly?

The carbon footprint of burning wood pellets can be completely neutral, or close to it. If the forests where the wood pellet raw material has been taken from are sustainably managed, the overall carbon footprint is drastically reduced in comparison with fossil fuel heat. A study by The Alliance for Green Heat and VU University Amsterdam revealed that heating with wood pellets can emit about one tenth the carbon as heating with oil.

Are There Additives in Wood Pellets?

No! Wood pellets are 100% natural. There are absolutely no binders or chemicals added to the wood fiber used to create pellets. Wood naturally contains a substance, lignin, that binds wood pellets in their tightly compacted, mostly uniform shape.

>> See: How Wood Pellets Are Made

Are Softwood Pellets Better than Hardwood Pellets?

Most firewood users prefer to burn hardwood in their wood stove or fireplace, because it provides a longer burn compared to softwood due to wood density differences. However, regardless of the type of wood used to produce wood pellets, the pelletizing process produces pellets with the same density. Softwood pellets are actually most sought after, due to a higher percentage of resin content in softwood, more heat is produced per pound.

For any questions we haven’t answered here – please give us a call at 1-800-PELLETS!

 

How to Prepare Your Pellet Stove for Fall

When it was time to shut down your stove for the summer, did you take the time to do so properly? Probably the most important part of shutting down for the summer is removing all leftover residue and pellets. If you have moisture inside your stove, the leftover pellets will absorb it. This can cause rust to form, which could lead to costly damage.

If you didn’t shut down properly, or if your stove hasn’t had a thorough cleaning in some time – you should consider scheduling one before the heating season begins. A bonus of having a technician work on your stove clean-up is that he or she is able to check on all the stove parts that might need replacement or adjustment.

Aside from the standard ash removal and general maintenance, your wood pellet stove needs additional care not only for safety and preparedness, but also for efficiency. Pellet stoves work off of pressurized air, which is drawn from the exhaust – so pet hair, dander, dust and lint are constantly sucked in. If all the passages within your stove haven’t been cleaned out, or your exhaust hasn’t been cleared of debris – air cannot properly circulate.

Read >> The 5 Tools You Need to Clean Your Pellet Stove Properly

It’s definitely helpful to check your owner’s manual for more insight on this, and to learn more about your pellet stove overall. It’s packed with model-specific information regarding proper stove maintenance, best practices and warranty information – but it’s often overlooked.

Whether you’re taking care of your pellet stove cleaning yourself, or hiring a professional – here’s what the checklist should include for a thorough cleaning:

  • Check Unit for Visible Defects, Ash, Discoloring
  • Vacuum Inside of Unit
  • Remove Baffles – Clean and Reinstall
  • Clean and Inspect Heat Exchanger
  • Remove Access Doors/Panels – Vacuum and Reinstall
  • Clean and Inspect
    • Heat Exchanger
    • Burn Pot
    • Ignitor
    • Ash Pan
    • Convection Fan
    • Glass
    • Combustion Fan
    • Pressure Switch/Hose
    • Tee and Venting
  • Inspect
    • Gaskets
    • Electrical Wiring
    • Auger Motor(s)*
    • Venting Seals
  • Inspect Hopper for Pellet Quality and Excess Fines
  • Vacuum Back of Stove
  • Check and Lubricate Shaker Grate Cam*

 *May not be applicable on some stove models.

We understand that many pellet stove owners take care of cleaning themselves. However, sometimes things are best left to professionals trained specifically for a service. To see if Cleancare Professional Pellet and Wood Stove Cleanings are available in your area, please call 1-800-PELLETS, or type your zip code in at www.Woodpellets.com.

 

How to Prepare Your Pellet Stove for the Summer

Woodpellets.com Pellet Stove Best PracticesWhen the little stretches of warm days transition into consistent summer weather – you’re ready to let your pellet stove go on vacation. But, there are extra steps you should consider taking to protect your precious heating investment.

Turn off your stove and unplug it from the surge protector, or unplug the entire thing. Why do you need a surge protector? Most modern pellet stoves have a circuit board that can be damaged without protection from even small electrical surges caused by power outages. Be sure to check your manual for information on electrical recommendations.) Once you’re fully disconnected, make sure it’s completely cooled off before moving forward.

Read more

How Heavy Snow Can Affect Your Wood Pellet Stove

Pellet Stove Vent BlockageThe venting on your wood pellet stove can be installed horizontally, vertically or both. The exterior vent allows for proper air flow within the stove, and for the escape of exhaust. If it’s blocked by dense snow – your stove’s ability to ignite and/or stay burning efficiently could be hindered.

A common exhaust setup is horizontal – straight through the exterior wall (See Fig. A). If your wood pellets aren’t burning through fully – this blockage could be the reason…because the exiting air is an important part of your stove’s operation.  (See Figure B).

A similar kind of venting is through the wall with a vertical rise (See Figure C). Vertical piping raises the exhaust further up the exterior wall. This kind of setup creates less risk of snow blockage. However, there’s a possibility of some blockage by strong snow drifts, or a very large snow accumulation.

Pellet stoves can also have exhaust vents exiting through the roof – with some variations  (See Figure D). If your roof has heavy snow piled up that hasn’t slid off or been pushed off, the vent could be blocked.

Proper air flow is key for efficient pellet stove operation. Make sure to check for blockage – no matter how your stove is vented.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your pellet burning experience. 

Woodpellets.com Quality Certified fuels are backed by a Quality Guarantee, which is valid for a full 30 days after your delivery date.

 

Call 1-800-PELLETS to Speak to an Expert!

 

 

An Informed Wood Pellet Burner is a Successful Wood Pellet Burner

Wood Pellet Colors
If you purchased the pellet stove in your home, you probably did a lot of research by reading reviews, comparing prices, learning about available features, and so on. How much do you look into pellets before you make a purchase? It’s a good idea to check out the brand’s heat and ash specifications before you buy. The higher the ash percentage, the more leftover ash you’ll experience – which correlates to how frequent your cleanings will be. Higher quality pellets have lower ash percentages, which means less maintenance for you. As for the heat output, the higher the BTU/lb number, the hotter the burn of course.

Read more

Why Your Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite, Stay Lit, Feed Pellets, Etc.

Why Your Pellet Stove Won’t Ignite, Stay Lit, Feed Pellets, Etc.There are many different brands and styles of wood pellet stoves – so the best way to start learning about your particular stove is to read the entire manual. If you’re a new pellet stove owner, or have switched to a different model – it could take some trial and error to learn the right process for your home.

You might be surprised to learn that many common issues pellet burners face with their stoves can be solved with making some adjustments. Again – start to troubleshoot and learn by reading your manual! It has the best stove-specific advice on operation, maintenance, recommendations and best practices.

Take a look at our quick cheat sheet below to review the pellet stove problems we hear about the most.

Read more

Get Your Stove Ready for Fall

Woodpellets.comAside from the usual ash removal and general maintenance, your wood pellet stove needs additional care in order to operate at optimal safety and efficiency. So when it was time to shut down your stove for the summer, did you take the time to do so properly? Instead of just pulling the plug and walking away, responsible pellet stove owners should have used a quick shut-down checklist:

  • Turn off your stove and unplug it from the wall entirely
  • Use an ammonia-free, heat-safe cleaning solvent to clean the glass
  • Clean out the inside of the stove and hopper as best you can
  • Remove all leftover pellets (burned and unburned)

Probably the most important part of shutting down for the summer is removing all leftover residue and pellets. If you have moisture inside your stove, the leftover pellets will absorb it. This can cause rust to form, which could lead to costly damage.

Read more

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. 
Read more

12

Recent Tweets

});