Save Money with Pellet Fuel
Pellet fuel consists of small pellets of compressed organic matter. There are five general materials used to make pellets; industrial waste, food waste, agricultural residues, energy crops, and lumber. Wood pellets are the most common of these five. Wood pellets are made from sawdust that is compacted with industrial waste that comes from the milling of lumber or other wood manufacturing sources. The pellets are extremely dense with a very low moisture content, which allows them to burn efficiently.
Pellet fuel is categorized and described by its heating value, size, and moisture content. They are used for heating, cooking and power generation. Their size and density allows them to be stored in compact containers, safely transported, as well as kept in a dry place for a long time. Additionally, there small size means they can be delivered to the heating source through a feeding auger or conveyor. This allows for continual heating or power generation with someone having to monitor the pellets and ensure new ones are added when needed.
Pellet fuel stoves, boilers, and furnaces are not new. They were first introduced onto the market in the 1980s, and have grown in popularity as the costs of fossil fuels have increased. According to one survey, wood pellet fuel production has increased more than double from 2006 to 2010.
One ton of wood pellets can produce a similar amount of energy as 2.8 barrels of fuel oil. The average home owners will use three tons per heating season to heat their home. This will cost roughly $825, which is considerably lower than fossil fuel prices.
Wood burning stoves are the most common application in homes. However, the number of people converting their entire homes to wood burning is growing. The amount of heat produced is impacted by a variety of factors including the type of wood used in the production of the pellets. Soft woods produce roughly 10-20% more BTU’s per pound than hardwoods, however, this depends further on the exact species being compared.
Soft woods also create a lighter ash than hardwoods do. The lower the amount of ash, the cleaner the pellets will burn, which improves the efficiency of the furnace. In order to be approved for use in smaller appliances, the ash content of the pellets has to be lower than 0.7%. Pellet wood comes from a wide ranges of sources, so it is important to know what you are buying.
Summer is the best time to buy pellets and wood-burning appliances. As the weather gets cold and the demand goes up, so does the price. You can also look into wood pellet delivery services to make the process even more convenient while still saving money on your home heating costs. If you are heating your entire home, you can get bulk wood pellets to cut down on cost even more.