1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

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

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by abrucerd, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    211
    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?

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,204
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    Sorry no magic formula,buy the brand(s) that you liked in the past at the lowest price and call it a day:)
    jtakeman and smoke show like this.
  3. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,174
    Loc:
    Maine, ayuh, by gorry
    Buy whatever yer wife wants ...............
    will711 likes this.
  4. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,204
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    And then maybe you'll get what you want;)
    Mike D likes this.
  5. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    Central MA
    Cheetos?
    DneprDave likes this.
  6. DMZX

    DMZX Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    211
    Loc:
    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.
    will711 likes this.
  7. Mike D

    Mike D Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    279
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    308
    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.

Share This Page