Nightmares -- or daydreams -- on 2021 pellet costs?

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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
999
Colorado
I saw a couple of bags of wood at home depot (maybe about 20 bags ) in plastic and in the garden dept and they looked real rough and looked like they were outside all summer--terrible but might be good so maybe they are beginning to put out their old wood pellets or split logs now--just a suggestion here and remember to look next time your in the store..I did not get the price---sorry---but they were on some kind of a sale...clancey
 
Jan 29, 2021
131
VA, east central
Factoring in 'inflation', expect The cost of pellet fuel to increase substantially next year. However they will still be a good deal compared to other fuels, especially propane and heating oil. Nothing good is coming from this inept administration but I take solace in the fact I didn't vote for the current senile leader.
Only hope is that people wake up, start paying attention and be willing to participate in the process. We need to know local leaders and school boards and show up. Give kudos to leadership when they deserve it, but also speak out against all the Marxist, divisive garbage being taught in our schools, etc. We may not have kids in public schools, but we are paying taxes to support the crap being taught in many places. These kids being brainwashed are the future of this country, such that it is. Rally around people that are being canceled by the "woke" companies. Know who our senators and representatives are and talk to them.
For me there is no solace in not voting for this "president" given all the people that had no problem voting for him despite his lies, racism, hypocrisy, likely sexual assault, America last policies, etc., etc. and the propagandist mainstream media that so many suckle from.

There are massive problems and pollution with this so called "green" tech that most don't talk about, let alone know about. And we've shut down the Keystone pipeline while greenlighting Russia's. The oil will be moved by other means and find a market. We lose though. Not to mention power plants are shutting down and places are experiencing rolling blackouts, reduced capacity, etc.
I figure we've already passed the point of no return, and with each passing month, the consequences are going to be that much more painful.

I do take solace that God is still in control and this comes as no surprise from a Biblical/Prophetic perspective. I know that lots of people don't believe in the God of the Bible, but what can I say. People don't know what they don't know...
 
Jan 29, 2021
131
VA, east central
I saw a couple of bags of wood at home depot (maybe about 20 bags ) in plastic and in the garden dept and they looked real rough and looked like they were outside all summer--terrible but might be good so maybe they are beginning to put out their old wood pellets or split logs now--just a suggestion here and remember to look next time your in the store..I did not get the price---sorry---but they were on some kind of a sale...clancey
Likely trying to get rid of last season's stock. In April, the walmart in Chantilly VA ended up dumping 5+ tons of Penningtons because they stored them unsheltered w/ no covering, no shrink wrap. LOL, such as waste and shame though. Those folks managing that store weren't that bright/knowledgeable.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Likely trying to get rid of last season's stock. In April, the walmart in Chantilly VA ended up dumping 5+ tons of Penningtons because they stored them unsheltered w/ no covering, no shrink wrap. LOL, such as waste and shame though. Those folks managing that store weren't that bright/knowledgeable.
They do make good mulch for the flower beds, expensive though. My local TSC does the same deal 'cause they store them outside.

It's Wallyworld, par for the course, kind of like my local TSC. No one seems to care.
 

tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
396
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
Well, I sent my usual supplier a couple of e-mails, none of which were answered; normal, I think they just do not care for e-mail. Anyway, got back from two weeks at the beach, and in the mail got a postcard from them. Statesman by Hamers at $309/ton, so up from last year but I am unsure by how much without searching last year's purchase. Also O'Malley hardwood at $259, and American Wood Fibers white wine at $329. I've had such good luck with Hamers that I am reluctant to buy anything else, but might get ten bags of the white pine to try out with my two tons of Statesman.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Well, I sent my usual supplier a couple of e-mails, none of which were answered; normal, I think they just do not care for e-mail. Anyway, got back from two weeks at the beach, and in the mail got a postcard from them. Statesman by Hamers at $309/ton, so up from last year but I am unsure by how much without searching last year's purchase. Also O'Malley hardwood at $259, and American Wood Fibers white wine at $329. I've had such good luck with Hamers that I am reluctant to buy anything else, but might get ten bags of the white pine to try out with my two tons of Statesman.
From personal exp, stay far away from O'Malleys.. they leave Diamond hard carbon speedbumps in the burnpot.. u will be scraping with a hammer and chisel at times...something in the recipe i guess.. had a ton and could not wait till they we're gone.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I guess the farther east you go, the higher the prices go as well. Over a hundred bucks a ton more than here.
 
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Jan 29, 2021
131
VA, east central
Well, I sent my usual supplier a couple of e-mails, none of which were answered; normal, I think they just do not care for e-mail. Anyway, got back from two weeks at the beach, and in the mail got a postcard from them. Statesman by Hamers at $309/ton, so up from last year but I am unsure by how much without searching last year's purchase. Also O'Malley hardwood at $259, and American Wood Fibers white wine at $329. I've had such good luck with Hamers that I am reluctant to buy anything else, but might get ten bags of the white pine to try out with my two tons of Statesman.
Where's your supplier? Wondering what options are available further south in the Fredericksburg area.
O'Malley and other hardwoods have been $250/ton through last year, so up $9 isn't bad if it stays that way.
 
Jan 29, 2021
131
VA, east central
From personal exp, stay far away from O'Malleys.. they leave Diamond hard carbon speedbumps in the burnpot.. u will be scraping with a hammer and chisel at times...something in the recipe i guess.. had a ton and could not wait till they we're gone.
I think O'Malley's have several plants? They have one here in Tappahannock, VA and their product seems okay. I've burned a little last season w/out speedbumps, and a neighbor has been burning them several years w/ no complaints.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I don't much care what brand they are actually. All I use them for is to keep corn clinkers under control and I have 2 burn pots so one is out soaking in water while the other is in. Water soaking removes any 'Speed Bumps'....lol

Hard carbon deposits are readily removed with a good soak and some Scotchbrite.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
I think O'Malley's have several plants? They have one here in Tappahannock, VA and their product seems okay. I've burned a little last season w/out speedbumps, and a neighbor has been burning them several years w/ no complaints.
I assume then that have improved over the years... Was burning in my harman at the time..
 

tiger

Feeling the Heat
Feb 3, 2014
396
Seabrook, MD (DC suburbs)
Where's your supplier? Wondering what options are available further south in the Fredericksburg area.
O'Malley and other hardwoods have been $250/ton through last year, so up $9 isn't bad if it stays that way.
Mine is the "local" Southern States franchise, 16 miles away for me so still in the delivery radius. I suspect there's a SS nearer you but unsure if the same deals apply.
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,187
ohio
Universal likes on all comments. My basic fuel price is still the same (free). I do need a ton of pellets just in case, I have 3 in the barn from last year, need a trip to TSC I guess. Topped up my propane bottles in the spring. I have a bad feeling that propane is gonna go way up.

TSC is offering 25 bucks off a ton. problem is, 25 bucks off what as there are no prices listed.

I'll try to grab a stale ton from the back lot (like I've done in previous years) and barter on the price.
I was just at TSC yesterday and they have Somerset in stock for $199.50/ton. They had 4 truck loads on the ground
 

Ocelot

Member
Dec 27, 2010
18
Hudson Valley, NY
For me in Orange County NY, the nearest place to get good softies like Matra, Lacrete, AWF White Pine is 70 miles away at Slaters Wood Pellets. Delivery from there is to expensive so I plan on making 5 trips between now and October to get 30 bags at a time. My trucks cargo capacity is a little over 1500 lbs but I don't like going more than 30 bags per load. I actually enjoy the drive since it gets me out of the house. I still have a half ton and go through about 4 tons per season.

I'll probably get a ton each of the 3 above mentioned brands. All the Home Depot, Lowes, and Tractor supply stores around me never have anything but the cheapo Green Supreme or the white bags at tractor supply and none of them compare to the softwoods I like. In years past, I've bought 3 tons delivered from Wood Pellets dot com to start the year, usually Clean Fire Pacific blend, but the other three brands I mentioned I like better.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
You need a 1 ton pickup like I have... I can haul 2 ton in the bed in a pinch and if I hook up the goose neck trailer, 7 pallets on the deck. Only need one additional ton this year but I may buy more, I'm worried about the price going up.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
For me in Orange County NY, the nearest place to get good softies like Matra, Lacrete, AWF White Pine is 70 miles away at Slaters Wood Pellets. Delivery from there is to expensive so I plan on making 5 trips between now and October to get 30 bags at a time. My trucks cargo capacity is a little over 1500 lbs but I don't like going more than 30 bags per load. I actually enjoy the drive since it gets me out of the house. I still have a half ton and go through about 4 tons per season.

I'll probably get a ton each of the 3 above mentioned brands. All the Home Depot, Lowes, and Tractor supply stores around me never have anything but the cheapo Green Supreme or the white bags at tractor supply and none of them compare to the softwoods I like. In years past, I've bought 3 tons delivered from Wood Pellets dot com to start the year, usually Clean Fire Pacific blend, but the other three brands I mentioned I like better.
Your right about Big Box stores and the same middle of the road hardwoods they sell.. for yrs it was stove chows at HD . Now its green supremes but to keep prices at around the 259.00 range, its the best your going to get.. i pay more for good softies and me and my stove never regret it.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Gonna be real stupid here and ask what is a softie? I buy pellets by what they have on hand and I've never looked for a particular type, but then pellets for me are nothing more than a clinker deterrent.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Having learned that now, what are the advantages and disadvantages of hardwood versus softwood? Is one better than the other and why and are they marked on the bags as such and if not, how do you find out what you have? For all I know, I may be burning 'softies'
 
Jan 29, 2021
131
VA, east central
Having learned that now, what are the advantages and disadvantages of hardwood versus softwood? Is one better than the other and why and are they marked on the bags as such and if not, how do you find out what you have? For all I know, I may be burning 'softies'
My understanding is that at least some softwood varieties burn hotter than hardwood varieties and maybe burn cleaner as well. The type of wood the pellets are made from should be on the bag. I've not seen any softwood around my area.
Maybe some of the other folks that have experience with both softwood and hardwood types can elaborate.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Burning 24/7 for past years so know somewhat about 'softies'...

Softwoods are made from spruce, douglas firs, pine, white Pine etc...
Throw out what u know about "wood burning" softwoods and Pine logs in your fireplace or wood stove..
Softies go thru a process that any sap or whatever is long past gone so cannot produce creosote.
The extra kiln drying method they go thru eliminates this..
Softwoods on average burn hotter than hardwoods and leave lot less ash in the burnpot.
The average Box store hardwoods burn in the lower 8K BTU..
Good Softwoods burn in the upper 8K BTU while Douglas firs can hit 9K easily...

2 things cause some softwoods to cost a bit more.:.
[1] Since Douglas firs come from the Pacific Northwest, the shipping costs to people like me West of the Mississippi is higher.
especially in the North East.... Lucky people who live in Oregon, Washington state Pay what I would die for ...
the extra drying process also gets tacked on to the cost....

[2] Hardwoods sold in the east outnumber softwood brands like 25 to 1....[supply and demand there helps jump the softie price].Private Dealers also pay bit more for any Good softwoods so price is increased over hardwoods.
Big box stores can sell a ton of hardwoods normally at average of 250.00 ton... they need to keep the stock at a sellable pricepoint there.
For yrs many Home depots sold Stove chows... very ashy but half decent heat..
Lignetic corp has taken over many brands and now sell Green Supremes as the go to pellet. usually only 1 brand there and Lowes, Walmart etc.
same as chows, lot's of ash but decent heat..

Crappy Hardwoods can sell even cheaper as many companies will use anything they can get the're hands on to make pellets.
quite a few sell bargain priced pellets that are made from old skids..[ few pieces of broken nails are not un-common to find in a bag.]
That great deal $$$$ can really mess up your stove or it will require cleaning a lot more often than normal.
My harman burns anything but i have gotten bit by cheap hardwoods back in my newbie days and regretted it after having sticky residue all in side my stove and exhaust after only a couple weeks...
I clean my outside exhaust once per year and even then it is only a light colored powdery residue..
it's one reason I pay more for good Softwoods.
btw:
All pellets create heat to some point so " I just throw in whatever I can find on sale'' is a common thing for many so to each his own..
If u find a Hardwood deal selling 200.00 or under for a ton and it works for your stove, good for you.!
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,462
Eastern Ontario
I have seen no difference between soft and hardwood
Find one that works for you in your price range
I have burnt pellets for the last 20 years
The best I have burnt is hardwood and the worst was a softwood
So now all I buy is Cubix 9000 BTU per pound 0.4 % ash
They stay the same year after year Best bang for my buck
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
I have seen no difference between soft and hardwood
Find one that works for you in your price range
I have burnt pellets for the last 20 years
The best I have burnt is hardwood and the worst was a softwood
So now all I buy is Cubix 9000 BTU per pound 0.4 % ash
They stay the same year after year Best bang for my buck
30+ for me. I actually wore out my original Englander stove.

I remember when I started out, pellets were 100 bucks a ton and there wasn't much choice either because no one was using them. Times have changed a lot since then. I remember I vented it with a metal plate in a window and a couple short lengths of pellet vent (Duravent) and if the wind blew the wrong way, the house smelled like wood smoke.. There was no PFI premium pellets, PFI didn't even exist back then and I was a member of the IBC (defunct) forum back then. Firepot Pete was on there as well.

I tried corn back then but the Englander didn't do well on corn. Most people had Amaizing Blaze corn stoves and one gal burned the shells from Walnuts.

I told myself that I'd buy a true multifuel unit that was corn capable and I did. Still have it. USSC 6039 HF and I run 2 burn pots. One is soaking while the other is in the unit. Same feed motor that came with it, same draft fan too. I've replaced the room air blower once and the 'fake' brick panel once and the view glass had to be replaced which was my own fault from closing the door too hard and cracking it. I put grease fittings in all the reduction gearboxes and they all get greased every spring. Firepot Pete runs a clinker pot he designed and had his son build and his and mine are both manual light, little handful of pellets soaked in liquid firestarter, a match and it's good to go.

Back then we could get cherry pits and I tried them with mixed results. They burned way too fast with too much ash. I take it completely apart every spring, grease the gearboxes, oil the fan motor bearings, clean it out real good inside and spray Stabil fogging oil in the firebox so it don't rust too bad (corn makes nitric acid vapor) so you have to coat the bare steel inside or it rusts bad over the summer. I take the venting apart and pressure wash it inside, put it back together and call it good. I don't ever seal the pipe joints either, other than a coat of never seize so I can get them apart easily. Never had a smoke leak issue. My venting is via a 3-4" cleanout Tee outside with 18 feet of vertical 4" vent and a rain cap up top and the stove has an outside combustion air intake, screened for bugs of course.

Stove has saved me thousands in propane costs over the years. I do heat my farm shop with propane (PEX in floor heat) when I run out of used motor oil (that comes from the farm tractors and the cars). I have a Kleen Burn waste oil furnace. It usually lasts until about February and then I'm on propane. The Kleen Burn combusts everything from gear oil to brake fluid to hydraulic oil, nice unit. Not cheap but worth every penny. I like working in a toasty shop when old man winter is howling outside. I keep my motor home in the shop as well so I have the motor home kitchen and frig available for snacks or hot coffee, or a place to take a snooze if I want to. I 'pretend' camp in the winter.

This unit should outlast me (hopefully). Being 71, not a helluva lot of time left anyway.
 
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