Hearth Helps: Here’s a question we get quite often – What makes some wood pellets better than others for our pellet stove?
Answer: It all depends on where that sawdust came from – the heavy heat producing trunk part of the tree! Maybe it came from the scraps left behind like the bark, the leaves and dirt they scooped up, the smaller branches and spindly sticks left behind from the other guys. If you’ve ever built a campfire, you know that first you start a fire with the small stuff – kindling – and slowly graduate up until you are burning those heavy heat producing logs they call fuel. THAT’s where the heat comes from! It is better to buy pellets from that part of the tree with good reason.
Problem: Where on the pellet fuel bag does it tell me this stuff? It doesn’t. Mostly because the majority of the pellet fuel out there is pretty inconsistent and could not honestly guarantee what is on their label is true 100% of the time – with the exception of a few pellet mfgs. Best way is to get the MSDS for that batch of pellets and see for yourself. However, most of the Big Box stores cannot furnish you with that. Most of the time their pellet fuel is not the good stuff either, with good reason. Although it is a little cheaper by the ton, in the long run you use more bags and get less heat, not to mention the problems that fuel can cause your stove.
Recommendations: Your goal is to get the highest BTUs per pound out of the pellets you purchase. A good yardstick is the Hamer Hot Ones: 8600 BTUs per pound, less than 1/2% ash and less than 1/2% of fines. Consistently! That means they give out incredible heat for the money – you will burn less bags and get more heat out of them.Enjoy Your Day!