Softwood pellets vs. Hardwood pellets????

RDTelep Posted By RDTelep, Nov 29, 2005 at 2:29 PM

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  1. RDTelep

    RDTelep
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    Nov 27, 2005
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    This is my first year with a pellet stove, and I bought 2 tons earlier in the season, $210 Hardwood Premium. I am estimating that this will take me to the end of January, therefore I have started to look for more pellets (at a reasonable price), with no luck.

    By living in CT., I have come to find out that there is now a shortage. The local dealer is selling softwood premium at $340 a ton, and hardwood at $275 (they are now sold out of both).

    Can anyone tell me why softwood is more desirable?

    I thought Hardwood would be the way to go.

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  2. jfsharron

    jfsharron
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Golden Fire is manufactured in Brownsville, OR, not in British Columbia.
     
  3. RDTelep

    RDTelep
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    Nov 27, 2005
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    I just answered my own question by doing a little research, below is copied from www.pelletking.com. Has anybody tested this???



    Q: What is better Hardwood Pellets or Softwood Pellets?

    A: Most people jump to the conclusion that "we have always burned hardwood in our woodstove so hardwood must be better" - Not true with pellets.

    The first and most important thing to remember is that you are buying pellets by weight NOT volume. A cord of dry hardwood vs. dry softwood weighs about 2-3 times as much. However, a pound of dry hardwood weighs the same as a pound of dry softwood.

    So what counts is the heat output of each. This is where softwood wins. Below is information from a study done by the wood industry.

    White Oak 8810 BTU/pound
    Yellow Pine 9610 BTU/pound

    A softwood pellet will produce 10-20% more BTU's per pound than hardwood depending on the species and create a lighter ash.

    Many retailers call their hardwood pellets "Premium" - and charge accordingly. At the Pellet King we consider "Premium" pellets to be those made from all wood only with no bark. Hardwood pellets do cost more to produce because the raw materials cost more, this is a simple fact. At the PelletKing we sell each, but we will not try to push you into hardwood pellets because they cost more or are perceived to be premium. Simply put, they put out less heat and produce denser ash.
     
  4. Michael6268

    Michael6268
    Minister of Fire 2.
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Loc:
    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    What part of CT do you live in? I week ago I was at a Dealer in CT had pretty much all brands 190.00 to 210.00....
     
  5. RDTelep

    RDTelep
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    Nov 27, 2005
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    I live in Monroe, about 10 miles north of Bridgeport. Where abouts are these pellets located at? I am willing to travel.

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  6. Michael6268

    Michael6268
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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Loc:
    Grafton NH/Upper Valley
    BT Enterprises in Bristol CT. (dont have the number sorry)
     
  7. RDTelep

    RDTelep
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    Nov 27, 2005
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    Michael6268 ,thanks for the info. However, I just called them this morning and they are not taking on any "New Customers" this year because of the pellet shortage in the area.

    Their web site is www.btpellet.com
     
  8. Darryl Rose

    Darryl Rose
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    Nov 21, 2005
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    NH
    I have lab tested virtually every pellet made east of the Mississippi and without question softwood pellets have a higher BTU value. On a dry basis softwood generally averages 8,700-9,000 BTU's per pound whereas hardwood pellets are approximately 500 BTU's per pound less.

    Softwood pellets contain resins that contributes to the heat value but do not cause any stove or venting problems.

    Hardwood is much denser than softwood in cord wood but pellet fuel is made from sawdust. The density of the tree is not a factor. The density of the pellets are determined by the pellet mill and generally will average 42-44 pounds per cubic foot regardless. In any case, you buy 40 pound bags so you get 40 pounds of fuel.

    In terms of ash content, the determining factor is generally the soil where the trees were grown and either softwood or hardwood can be very low in ash content. Neither one has an inherent ash advantage.

    All that being said, hardwood pellets are still very good pellets and I burn both.
     
  9. mommamorin

    mommamorin
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    Jan 22, 2006
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    rdtelp

    Try CJ's Pellets in Manchester, CT. Their website is CJSPELLETS.COM
    All they do is sell pellets. I called last Thursday and had gotten an appt to pick up on the following Saturday, no problem at all. Only thing is they only sell 1/2 ton at a time for $150.
     
  10. pelletheadgregg

    pelletheadgregg
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    Dec 11, 2005
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    Cj can keep his pellets for $300 a ton. Bought my last two tons from Walmart in CT for $188.50 a ton. Gregg
     
  11. mommamorin

    mommamorin
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    Jan 22, 2006
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    What Wal-Mart in CT did you purchase pellets for $188 a ton? Also, what kind are they.
     
  12. pelletheadgregg

    pelletheadgregg
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    Dec 11, 2005
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    I have bought/seen pellets in many Walmarts across the state. East haven, Enfield, Naugatuck, Torrington etc. The two brands they carry are Future fuel and Bio plus. Both burn well in my Harman P-38 and you can't beat the price! Stores only get 4 tons per shipment. so you gotta watch and be quick. Bio plus is hardwood and some lots have quite a bit of fines in them. Future fuel has almost no fines, and is made from larger bits of wood of unknown type. Gregg
     
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