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I'm confused on pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by johnnywarm, Nov 28, 2007.

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  1. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    What are better to burn to get a hot clean burn-----Soft pellets or hard wood pellets???

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  2. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    I burn New England Hardwood Canadians (soft). NE's soft pellets do burn hotter than their hard pellets, but I'm not sure if it is just this brand. Personally, I love them. No ash or clinkers, either!
  3. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    According to everything I've read, soft wood pellets burn hotter.
    Two years now I've been burning the NEWP's
    (green lettering on bag) and am quite happy with them.
  4. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    This is my secound year with a pellet stove. Last year are dealer sold us pellets that where the color of pine.

    This year we heard that hard wood is better but we where hearing this from wood burners. so we got Green team Hardwood pellets fuel. they are very dark and it says Very low ash,fines and sodium, very hot burning.


    So you dont need to clean your stove with no ash????
  5. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

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    Lol don't know about the photohound, I still have to clean my stove, but then again,
    this stove is my main source of heat so it's running 24/7.
  6. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Softwood pellets burn hotter. All premium pellets have under 1% ash content. Heartland pellets, made of Ponderosa pine, have the highest btu content (9200 btu/lb) that I've ever seen.
  7. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I run my stove like you do with oil back up.
  8. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Shane
    Is it better to run the ponderosa pine then the hardwood???? is there any draw backs to the soft wood?
  9. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Are the Heartland pellets all over or just in your part of the country? i'm in connecticut.
  10. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Not that I've seen. Pine pellets seem to have higher btu and the Heartlands (brand I prefer) only have something like .7% ash content. Alot of times hardwood will be lower in ash content, which could be considered a slight drawback for softwood. Ponderosa pine or pine in general has pitch which is what gives them the edge btu wise. Basically find a brand of pellets that burn well in your stove and are readily available in your area. You can view a list of premium brands on the Pellet Fuels Institute website. You can use this when comparing brands available in your area.
  11. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I have looked it up there. i was looking for hardwood at the time. why do wood burners go for the oak(hardwood) then the pine??
  12. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    It's the exact opposite scenario when your talking about cordwood. Hardwood cordwood is hands down the best with the highest BTU content, also has higher density than pine so it burns longer and slower. Pine burns fast and hot and due to it's lack of density does not have the btu content you see in hardwoods. Since pellets are all compressed to about the same density the pitch in the pine gives the pine pellets an edge btu wise.
  13. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Is there still sap in the pine when its pelletized?? Will the soft pellets burn faster so you use more??


    This is VERY interesting
  14. thephotohound

    thephotohound New Member

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    Zeta/JohnnyWarm -

    I definitely still have ash... just not what I would consider to be a lot. I clean my stove once a week, but then again, it's only for part-time use as a space heater for my 500 SF family room.
  15. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    No you won't use more due to the fact that the pellets are metered into the firebox and burn at that rate no matter what. Sap in the wood, I would assume, is there no matter the species. The sawdust is dried to under 6% moisture content
  16. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    This is my first year burning pellets so I am trying out three different brands
    right now to find a favorite. According to some of my friends, the claim is that
    softwoods burn hotter but the hardwoods produce less ash.
    Try out different brands to find your favorite.
    Some of them come in hard/softwood blends too so you get the best of both worlds.
  17. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    How about creosote??is there more?
  18. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    No there is no more or less creosote. There really shouldn't be any creosote in a pellet stove at all. They burn above a 35:1 air/fuel ratio so that means there should be no or so little unburned hydrocarbons that creosote just does not form.
  19. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Like shane was saying it is compared in BTU's per pound.
    1 pound of pellets is the same as .......well...... 1 pound of pellets.......
    One cord of hardwood is about twice the weight of 1 cord of softwoods.
    Therefore the woodguys want more BTU in less space with less loading etc...
    8500 btu per pound (just throwing a number out there)
    8500 BTU X 2000 pounds of pellets=17,000,000BTU
    8500 BTU X 2000 pounds of softwood (about a cord)=17,000,000 BTU
    8500 BTU X 4000 pounds of Hardwood (about a cord) =34,000,000 BTU.
    Does this help?
  20. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    And the darn softwoods just smell so much better too! Yes, I'm guilty of opening the door a bit (not suggested for safety reasons, I'm a trained pellet stove stunt man) upon startup just to get a little pine smell in the house. I agree with what has been already said by Shane and others, the softwood burns a bit hotter. That said, burn what burns well for you and is cost effective, don't spend too much time between the two as long as they are PFI premium certified. By the way, any pellet can say premium, look for the PFI stamp to be sure.
  21. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I have looked it up there. i was looking for hardwood at the time. why do wood burners go for the oak(hardwood) then the pine??[/quote]
    Like shane was saying it is compared in BTU's per pound.
    1 pound of pellets is the same as .......well...... 1 pound of pellets.......
    One cord of hardwood is about twice the weight of 1 cord of softwoods.
    Therefore the woodguys want more BTU in less space with less loading etc...
    8500 btu per pound (just throwing a number out there)
    8500 BTU X 2000 pounds of pellets=17,000,000BTU
    8500 BTU X 2000 pounds of softwood (about a cord)=17,000,000 BTU
    8500 BTU X 4000 pounds of Hardwood (about a cord) =34,000,000 BTU.
    Does this help?[/quote]


    Yes it does. Thank you.
  22. bettypulse

    bettypulse New Member

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    hello all

    i just joined this forum because i am a little confused about pellets as well.
    i know there are pellet stoves that only burn pellets.
    we have a wood stove with a catalitic converter-
    can wood stoves burn pellets?
    i assume that one can but before i do
    wanted to check
  23. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Hi betty


    I think you can only burn(other then wood) Bio bricks??
  24. bettypulse

    bettypulse New Member

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    thanks johnywarm

    so no pellets in a wood burning stove???
  25. davevassar

    davevassar Member

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    I think to burn pellets in a wood stove you'd have to sit there and constantly shovel them in...
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