There are many different types of wood which are used in the production of wood pellets for stoves and fireplaces along with numerous other things which can affect how they burn. Wood pellets are certainly energy-efficient as well as clean-burning, which is why so many people have stoves which work off of them. Since not all wood pellets are the same, it is important to take a close look at which types there are and what that means in terms of how they work in a stove. Everything from the moisture content to the ash content of the wood pellets can affect how one of these stoves function along with just how efficient they are.
- The typical standard-grade wood pellets which can be found in most residential pellet stoves usually have an ash content which falls around 1-3 percent total. Premium grade pellets have an ash content which is closer to 1 percent and below. The higher the ash content of the pellets, the larger the residue is going to be after they have burned. This means that you have to do more maintenance on the stove in the form of cleaning after every use.
- Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing certain wood pellets for your stove is the moisture content. Wood pellets that have low moisture content tend to burn very hot. You will find that the average moisture content for most wood pellets is between 5 and 10 percent total, according to the U.S Department of Energy’s statistics. The average moisture content of the average wood pellet is actually far better than a majority of fire wood which has an average of 20 percent moisture. This means that fire wood does not burn nearly as hot as wood pellets tend to.
- There are also many different species of wood when it comes to these pellets, including both softwood and hardwood varieties. Hardwood and softwood pellets can both offer a very high heat content for every pound, as long as the overall moisture content is fairly low. Moisture content is without a doubt one of the most important things when it comes to choosing the right type of wood pellets for your stove at home. You will want to know that the pellets you get will be able to burn hot enough in the stove.
- Additives are yet another factor which is crucial to consider when shopping for the right wood pellets. One of the other reasons why wood pellets are very popular for use in stoves in people’s homes is that they contain a very minimal amount of additives with a few natural exceptions such as lignin which is found in most wood. You will find that other additives such as petroleum or non-petroleum-based adhesives are included in different forms of wood in order to bind them.
Trace minerals are important as well, because they have been known to cause clinkering which is the accumulation of ash which can in turn easily clog up parts of the stove that need to be completely clear in order to function properly. For this reason alone it is important to consistently check the bottom of the bag for dust because it can help keep clinkering to an absolute minimum. Keep in mind that truly high-quality bags of pellets should no less than just half a cup of dust for every 40 pound bag. As long as you remember all of these things when going about purchasing your wood pellets, you should end up with the right ones to put in your stove so you can stay warm all winter long.