If you own a pellet stove that keeps spaces in your home or outbuildings warm, you’re probably often in the market for wood pellets or other pellet fuel. Some central heating furnaces and other heating appliances can also be fueled by pellets now as well. Instead of lugging bags back and forth from the store to your home, consider investing in bulk wood pellets — if you put a pellet bin somewhere centralized, you can take as much as you need easily. Many companies that sell bulk wood pellets will often deliver the super sacks of pellets right to you, eliminating the need for transport and loading/unloading muscle. If you don’t have a pellet bin or other storage system, some companies may even have a craftsman come right to you and install one for you, for an added cost. Wood pellets are a great eco-friendly way to heat your home and with bulk wood pellets, that just got even easier!
What Is Pellet Fuel?
If you’ve never heard of pellet fuel, you probably will soon, as it’s becoming more popular in North America. It’s a type of biofuel created from compressed organic matter, such as industrial waste and co-products, food waste, leftover agriculture matter, energy crops, and lumber. The most common type of pellet fuel you’ll see though is pellet wood. This is created from compressed sawdust and other waste that comes from lumber mills, leftovers from making wood products, furniture, logging, and construction projects.
It’s incredibly eco-friendly, since it’s made from the by-products of organic matter that would otherwise just have been discarded. Instead, it’s recycled and used for a new purpose! And since they’re very dense and have a low moisture content, they’re extremely efficient in producing heat when burned. A pellet stove might be one of the warmest heat sources in your home!
What Else Is So Positive About Pellets?
For one thing, pellets are an incredibly cost-effective heating source. Per heating season, the average homeowner will use about three tons of pellet fuel, which costs around $825. One ton usually costs around $250, which means their fuel cost per million BTU is $19.05. Oil and propane would have to be around $2.05/gal and $1.36/gallon to match that price — which is outrageous. Additionally, one ton of pellets has the same energy equivalent of almost three barrels of fuel oil.
Direct thermal conversion of pellets has an efficiency level of around 80%. Their fossil energy ratio (that is net energy output/fossil energy used) is 12:1. Furthermore, for every one ton of pellets used instead of oil, carbon dioxide emissions go down by about one and a half tons. The total emissions cut down this year will be almost four and a half million tons of carbon dioxide.
What Should I Know About Pellets and Pellet Stoves?
The demand is certainly increasing. Exports from the United States almost doubled in 2012. Over 98% went to Europe and 99% came from ports in the southeastern and lower Mid-Atlantic regions. And by 2025, North America is supposed to have about a five million metric ton demand for wood pellets.
If you’re looking to buy a stove and pellets, you should do it in the summer when heating costs are probably the last thing on anyone’s mind. Stove dealerships are also looking to clear out their inventory from the last winter and make room for new items. Pellets tend to run about $4 per 40-pound bag during the summer. Having a lower ash content in your pellet ensures a cleaner burn and a more efficient boiler output. You should be looking at an ash content of 0.7% or less and an ash melting temperature over 1200 degrees Celsius. Softwood pellets also tend to produce more BTUs as well.
Consider getting bulk wood pellets once you’ve invested in a pellet stove. It’ll make your heating season much easier and may even be able to save you some money by buying bulk. Stocking up on pellets over the summer is also not a bad idea if you’re looking to save on costs. Stay warm this winter with pellets!