Calculating Value when purchasing pellets (I can't math)

abrucerd Posted By abrucerd, Jun 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

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  1. abrucerd

    abrucerd
    Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    221
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    There's always a lot of talk during the off season about getting a good deal on a "good" pellet. Everyone seems to go by their past experience with specific brands, what others have said about a pellet, and if the price is right they pull the trigger.

    Does anyone use any kind of formula to determine the value of their purchase?

    For instance, last year I put all the prices from one distributor in a spreadsheet, and tried to factor in estimate BTU, %Ash and price into a type of value rating. I'm considering doing the same this year, but can't figure out how best to put all the factors together.

    I'm doing this because I don't really notice a difference of one brand over another, with the exception of 1 or 2 pellets that I had negative experience with and wouldn't buy again. So for me, I'm just trying to get a good deal.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. will711

    will711
    Minister of Fire

    Mar 26, 2011
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    Sorry no magic formula,buy the brand(s) that you liked in the past at the lowest price and call it a day:)
     
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  3. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit
    Minister of Fire

    May 17, 2008
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    Buy whatever yer wife wants ...............
     
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  4. will711

    will711
    Minister of Fire

    Mar 26, 2011
    1,197
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    And then maybe you'll get what you want;)
     
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  5. abrucerd

    abrucerd
    Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    221
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    Loc:
    Central MA
    Cheetos?
     
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  6. DMZX

    DMZX
    Member

    Aug 30, 2010
    211
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    NE. Oregon
    There are generally 3 brands available to me (I don't count WM's $5/bag Pennington's). Brand 1 is mixed conifer @ $190/ton delivered. Brand 2 is 100% Doug Fir @ $225/ton delivered. Brand 3 is 90% Doug Fir @ $235/ton I haul (12 miles).

    I go with brand 2 because of the low ash content and marginal gain in heat output.

    That is about all the thought I put into it.
     
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  7. Mike D

    Mike D
    Feeling the Heat

    Nov 7, 2008
    278
    73
    Loc:
    North Haven, CT
    Shoulder pellets Oct/Nov - early January. I switch to higher heat/lower ash content at some point in January when the shoulder pellets can not keep up with the drop in temp. I burn these till late Feb usually. Price is a factor as well as past performance. Use what has worked for you in the past if the price is still in your budget. Maybe try a couple of bags of other brands during each season to have experience with them in case you can't get your standard pellets for some reason. Aleah's have a backup plan, but "if it ain't broken, don't fix it, use what has worked well in the past
     
  8. SmokeEater

    SmokeEater
    Feeling the Heat

    Feb 10, 2011
    358
    35
    Loc:
    Northeastern NY
    FYI...........taking the temperature of a pellet flame does not necessarily indicate that the particular brand of pellets will provide more or less heat energy than another. Temperature alone cannot provide that information and it would be in error to use it as a reason to purchase a brand of fuel. Btus or heat content can only be measure accurately using a laboratory device known as a calorimeter. Most all wood has a similar Btu content and the MC is then the deciding factor in net heat output. Of course pellet size and cost should be in there too. To me the best pellet is one of uniform size, low MC, low cost, and made of virgin wood. The rest is all about the same.
     
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