Posts Tagged ‘pellets’

Hardwood pellets vs. softwood pellets

admin | March 22nd, 2010 | No Comments »

300px-Wood_pellets-small_huddle_PNr°0108With wood stoves and fireplaces, hardwood is typically the fuel of choice. Hardwood is naturally a denser fuel with a lower moisture content than softwood. Stoking your fire with a hardwood like oak or maple would burn longer and also have hotter coals. Chimney sweeps will usually recommend burning hardwoods to avoid buildup in the flue and lower the risk of a chimney fire with heavy use.

Softwoods, like pine, are known to be easy to light. They burn hotter than hardwoods initially but burn much more quickly. In turn this would mean stoking the fire more frequently and having to store a larger supply. In addition, softwoods have more pitch leading to more sparking and sound as it burns. With the sparking comes additional risk of sparks leaving the fireplace and with more pitch is an increased chance of a chimney fire with use.

When wood is pelletized many of these differences go away. The wood is ground into sawdust and dried to a consistent moisture level of about 6%. Hardwood, softwood and blended pellets are compressed at about 40-pounds per cubic feet into pellets can produce about 8,000 BTUs per pound.

At this point the differences lie between pellet mills and brands. Each will have their own pellet length that affect burning and the stove maintenance and also the amount of ash that is produced. Premium pellets typically leave behind 1-pound of ash for every 10 bags burned. Compare this with regular pellets that could leave up to 3 times as much ash behind for cleanup.

The Michigan Hardwood pellets and Lakes Region Softwood pellets we carry are both classified as premium pellets.

The plus side of a pellet stove

admin | February 8th, 2010 | No Comments »

pelletstoveEasily one of the biggest selling points of heating your home with a wood pellet stove is the convenience. There’s no need to lug cordwood through the house and have to keep opening the door and possibly burning yourself while loading the stove. Instead, you just pour those pellets into the hopper and you are good to go. The stove automatically feeds the burn chamber to a rate that you set by adjusting the stoves thermostat.

Pellet stoves put off fewer emissions and more heat than that of a regular stove by controlling the burn process. It introduces the correct amount of air to the burn chamber allowing for more complete combustion.

Additionally, pellet stoves produce very little ash and typically do not have the creosote buildup that fireplaces and regular wood stoves have. Annual cleanings and/or inspections should still be performed however, the buildup on your liner will likely be less.

Pellets are sold in large plastic bags to help keep the moisture out. Most pellet stove owners in the Northeast buy pellets by the ton which is basically a pallet stacked with these bags. Most sellers will provide a delivery option but in many cases the pallet can be loaded into the back of pickup truck.