So you just got a Pellet Stove? Now you are wondering what kind of pellets should I use? The answer actually depends, but by the end of this article you should be able to make a clear decision. Of course, I am biased since I've been selling wood pellets for 10+ years! but that is besides the fact.
Choosing the Right Pellet
The problem is everyones stove burns differently, even same brand stoves can burn differently. There are a few reasons why: The age of the Pellet Stove, the tempature, where the pellet stove is actually located, electrical and mechanical differences, hoppers, etc. This makes it very tough to give anybody a good recommendation.
Don't fall for it...
Yeah, you can check reviews online, you can ask friends, but this won't help you make an educated choice for a wood pellet fuel. Why? Because everyone's Pellet stove is different. I've talked to people where a certain brand of pellets worked great for their stove, they recommended it to a friend and they absolutely hated them. Most of the pellet review websites are basically paid advertisements, whichever company pays them the most will get the best reviews, and better ranking.
How do I Judge the best Heating Pellets for my stove?
Price: The Old saying "You get what you pay for" rings true with wood pellets. If the wood pellets are suspiciously cheap, they probably aren't very good. Why? Wood Pellets are a commodity, and the price is based on supply and demand, everyone wants wood pellets, everyone wants a good deal. The price of wood pellets can fluctuate differently depending on supply and demand. If the pellets are too cheap it probably means they aren't very good. If there is a demand for wood pellets, someone will get them to market for as cheap and as low quality as possible if there is a market.
BTU is an acronym which means British Thermal Unit It's a type of meter that measures energy. One BTU is the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. When discussing heating and air conditioning units, it is most commonly used.
Why are BTU's important?
BTU's are important for wood pellets because it measures the amount of energy (heat) the pellets create. If the pellets burn hotter/slower (create more energy) they have a higher BTU. If the pellets burn less hot/faster (create less energy) they have a lower BTU.
How can I find the BTU?
Almost every bag of wood pellets will have a BTU rating. Most Bags of Pellets (which are worthwhile) will have a label or quality mark which you can see here:
The Pellet fuel institute is a great resource of helping to find the right pellet for your pellet stove, they are working to standardize the industry, for easy, digestible information.
How Quickly do they Burn?
You don't want to be reloading your pellet stove often. The goal of a pellet stove is to be an easy, sustainable alternative to other forms of heating, You might want them to burn hot, and fast it's really up to you.
How much ash do the pellets create in the stove? More ash means you will have in the pellet stove, the more you will have to clean the ash out. If it's too much ash you might have to clean the entire thing. Quality wood pellets produce low ash, this should be written on most heating pellet labels.
Hardwood? Softwood? Blend?
Hardwood creates more BTU's normally. Hardwoods are known for creating a much hotter slow burning flame, which is what you want. Depending on the pellet stove though, you might want a mix, softwood is great for starting fires, and keeping them going. Think of softwood as the kindling to start the fire, and hardwood as the fuel to keep it running. Hardwoods are generally more expensive than softwoods, so if you purchase cheaper pellets, they most likely will contain more softwood. Hardwood pellets cost more but can be tough to start.
Try before you Buy
The best way to figure out the best heating pellets for the 2021 season is trying different brands and types of pellets in your stove, and make note of these points:
Type of pellet
And the Winner is...
So now you know the best heating pellets of 2021! It might take some time to figure out which brand is correct for you, all you really can do is test as many as possible and see which one is the best brand for your pellet heating stove.
Other things to take into consideration
Delivery do they deliver to my house? or do I have to pick them up? How much?
Weight per bag: Are the bags heavy? If i need to pick up tons and tons worth of wood pellets can I?
Storage of bags: Where will you store them? Dry easy accessible place.
How many tons will I need? How many tons will you burn throughout the winter?
Pellet prices usually go up during the winter so don't wait!
The Gilford Hardware and Outdoor Power Equipment blog posts exclusively reflect the views of Gilford Hardware and Outdoor Power Equipment and do not necessarily reflect those of the device manufacturers. Please be aware that product availability, specifications, and suggested uses are subject to change. For the most recent details, always refer to the manufacturer's website and product manual.