What Goes Into Biomass Wood Pellets?

You might ask “What is Biomass?”. It’s the vegetable residue of agricultural operations such as growing crops, milling timber, farming cattle and clearing ground.

Residential, or premium grade wood pellets contain nothing else but wood. No glues are needed in the production of pellets.

When the pulped wood or sawdust is forced into the wood pellet die under pressure and heat, natural binding material already present, (lignin), allows the pellet to hold its shape. A premium grade pellet contains very little potential ash. 1%.

Standard, or commercial grade pellets contain more impurities, 3% potential ash. This is because paper, bark, and other flammable additives are included.

It’s important to use the correct grade of pellet for your stove, fire or furnace. Too great a build up of ash can cause the fire to go out, or overload the ash can.

Alternative pellet stove fuels are possible (see link at bottom of page) if you would prefer not to be dependent on only wood pellets, or only corn. These fuels have a high ash content and are best burned in a multi fuel pellet stove.

To make pellets, the raw material must first be cleaned to remove impurities. The clean biomass is then ground in a hammer mill or chipped to a uniform size, which must be less than the thickness of the pellet that will be produced.

While the lignin content in wood is generally enough to bind pellets, other forms of biomass require special conditioning to strengthen them. Sometimes binders such as starch, sugars, paraffin oils, or lignin must be added to make the biomass malleable.

Some pellet stoves are also capable of burning corn either by itself or mixed with wood pellets. When buying corn for burning, it is important that it’s not been treated in any way or the already high ash content will be increased and the emissions could be unpleasant.

What Are The Advantages of Pellet Stove Fuel?

Pellets are clean, easy to handle, and don’t have bugs crawling out of them. Anyone who’s burned logs will appreciate this. Usually packaged in 40lb. bags, they are easy to stack and don’t take up much space. A ton of pellets will stack in a 4′ by 4′ space, four feet high. The stove hopper only needs loading daily. Even less often for furnaces.

The standardisation of pellet size and moisture content means that the burn can be efficiently regulated and the air input accurately controlled. Pellets have a usual moisture level of less than ten per cent. (Logs 20 – 60%).

This gives high heat output, clean burning and low emissions. The thermal value of wood pellets is 5Kwh per kilo, (or 8 – 9 thousand btu. per pound). Two kilos of pellet are equivalent to a litre of fuel oil or a cubic metre of natural gas.

Carbon Neutral Biomass Heating

Biomass is the term given to grown material as opposed to fossil fuel. The carbon absorbed in growth is balanced by carbon emitted on burning, which makes the use of wood pellets neutral. Wood pellet plant is often, but not always, powered by burning wood pellets.

This energy supply is sustainable because the raw materials are renewable.
Trees are not felled just to make pellets. The raw material is already a waste product from saw mills and other users of timber. Converting sawdust to pellets reduces the amount of waste going to landfill.

Another point is that pellets are usually locally made. It would not be economic to transport vast amounts of sawdust across the country, and then bring the pellets back, so it’s the local economy that gains from this low carbon footprint industry.

Where Can I Buy Wood Pellets?

It’s well worth checking where you can buy fuel in your area. First stop would be your local pellet stove dealer, feed store and grocery stores. If the local stove dealer can’t source a supply, they won’t last long. Another good reason to contact a local stove dealer is to find out if they stock parts, and for which makes and models so if you eventually buy online, you’ll know which stoves will be supported.

Resource: Pellet Fuels Institute

Don’t wait until it is “Winter” and “Cold” to maintain your heating source.  If you have a stove that is older than 10years, consider having replacement parts on hand even if it is functioning well.  During peak heating season when demand is high from suppliers and manufacturers for replacement stove parts it can be 2-6 weeks or longer depending on the part needed.  Plan ahead and be prepared!  Get ready for winter at the end of winter, don’t wait until fall or later. WoodHeatStoves.com has over 50,000 replacement parts for most gas, pellet and wood stoves.

“TIPS” are just suggestions for your general information, WoodHeatStoves.com will not be held liable and use of this information is at your own risk.

 

 

Year round pellet stove maintenance tips!

While pellet stoves are not mechanically complicated, they need consistent maintenance.

Pellet stoves are a great way to save energy and money, but they must be maintained properly. Unlike a wood stove, pellet stoves are operated electrically and have circuits and moving parts. The most important thing a pellet stove owner can do is read the owner’s manual. “Even if you’ve had your pellet stove for ten years, take it out from time to time and read it again. You’ll see something new each time.”

After initial installation:

“The first thing you want to do is check the hopper (where the pellets are held) for spare or foreign parts. Whether the pellet stove is new or used, you want to be sure you’re not running something through the auger (the part that moves the pellets to the feed pot for burning).”  Unless you feel you are skilled enough to do the installation yourself, it’s better to hire a professional. Proper installation and really getting to know your “stove to a T” will lay the groundwork for fewer problems down the line. “If you have trouble right out of the gate, it tends to leave a bad taste in your mouth.”

Preparing your pellet stove for the new heating season:

You want to be sure all parts of the pellet stove, pipes, and chimney ware clean and free of debris or rodents. Any pellets that were in the stove should have been removed at the end of the last heating season. Pellets absorb water and break down, so you need to burn off or scoop out any remaining pellets at the end of the season.

Your chimney may require a cap or screen to keep rodents out. I found this out the hard way myself. Capping your chimney also keeps out rain and moisture. It’s important to remember to uncap your chimney before trying to start up your pellet stove for the season.

Next do a test run without the fire to make sure nothing froze up during the off season. “You want to be sure the basic mechanical parts are all functioning.”

Pellet stove maintenance during the heating season:

“It’s important to pay attention to your stove every day. Just by walking by notice how it sounds and if there is any black smoke where it shouldn’t be for example.”

Weekly cleaning is very important as is using quality pellets. “In the end, it’s more economical to spend the extra five bucks. Don’t shop on price alone.”

There are three types of pellets: hardwood, softwood, and a blend of the two. Hardwood burns faster and hotter, and therefore more cleanly. Softwood burns slower and less hot, but leaves more ash behind. Various blends mix the two qualities.

Clean the stove weekly. There are special cleaning agents for stoves, but they really aren’t necessary. Primarily, you are cleaning out the firebox and any glass.  An ash vacuum is a great tool to get out as much ash as possible once the stove has cooled down.  Otherwise, scoop out any ash, wipe down the inside, and use any glass cleaning product for stove windows. Steel wool is especially good for getting the burned on grime off of the glass.

Preparing your pellet stove for the end of the season:

Again, make sure your stove is well-cleaned. 99 percent of all mechanical problems can be traced to the stove not being clean enough. You can also unscrew any panels or pipes the stove has and vacuum out the inside. Remove all pellets for the hopper.

If you do encounter problems with your pellet stove, do not be afraid to call in a professional. While pellet stoves are not mechanically complicated, it helps to have someone working on your stove that can troubleshoot more easily and have quick access to replacement parts.

Don’t wait until it is “Winter” and “Cold” to maintain your heating source.  If you have a stove that is older than 10years, consider having replacement parts on hand even if it is functioning well.  During peak heating season when demand is high from suppliers and manufacturers for replacement stove parts it can be 2-6 weeks or longer depending on the part needed.  Plan ahead and be prepared!  Get ready for winter at the end of winter, don’t wait until fall or later.  WoodHeatStoves.com offers over 50,000 replacement parts or more for most gas, wood and pellet stoves.

“TIPS” are just suggestions for your general information, WoodHeatStoves.com will not be held liable and use of this information is at your own risk.

 

 

Pellet Stove Maintenance!

Pellet Stove Maintenance After The Winter or Before

Take out all the fuel in the hopper and feed system. Pellets left in can become damp and cause problems later.

Give the stove a “spring cleaning”.

The fans for the air inlet and exhaust should be brushed of accumulated debris.

The air inlet should be checked for obstructions now, and again before re-lighting the stove.

Pellet Stove Troubleshooting

Pellet stove cleaning on a regular basis will prevent problems arising through lack of maintenance.

A slow, orange or sooty flame can mean:
Burn pot air intakes blocked
Ash pan full
Blocked flue
Need for air intake adjustment 

A very fierce flame indicates that less air is needed.

Smoke leakage probably indicates that a door or inspection gasket is leaking or that a vent joint is not sealed.

Reduced heating output can mean that the heat exchanger needs to be cleaned.

Glass sooting up can mean that the air wash system is blocked.

If the stove shuts down unexpectedly, make sure proper start up procedures were followed, and that there is fuel in the hopper. Check that the electricity supply is on.

Most stoves will shut down automatically in case of a mechanical failure. Check the obvious things above, refer to your owner or technician manual for assistance, if this doesn’t solve the issue then call in an expert in your local area.

 

Don’t wait until it is “Winter” and “Cold” to maintain your heating source.  If you have a stove that is older than 10years, consider having replacement parts on hand even if it is functioning well.  During peak heating season when demand is high from suppliers and manufacturers for replacement stove parts it can be 2-6 weeks or longer depending on the part needed.  Plan ahead and be prepared!  Get ready for winter at the end of winter, don’t wait until fall or later.

“TIPS” are just suggestions for your general information, WoodHeatStoves.com will not be held liable and use of this information is at your own risk.

Compressed sawdust and wood are efficient, renewable heat sources.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pet owners know compressed paper pellets make good cat litter, and alfalfa pellets are good rabbit food. Either could also be considered biomass, and used for home heating.

Advantages

Pellet stoves burn small pellets of dry organic material, typically compressed sawdust or wood shavings. They are inspired by the old-fashioned wood stove, but improve on the idea in several ways.

•  Pellet stoves are more eco-conscious. Instead of using new wood, most pellets are made from leftover sawdust, wheat hulls, and other waste and industrial byproducts.

  • They are more efficient and clean, creating less pollution than traditional wood-burning stoves (though they are not quite as clean-burning as gas and electric heaters, so indoor air quality may be an issue for those with serious respiratory problems). They can be used on high-pollution advisory days, when wood burning is generally banned
  • Modern pellet stoves are easier to maintain than wood-burning stoves. They have storage cavities that slowly feed the pellets to the stoves, and hold up to two days of burning capacity.

Costs

Pellet stoves are becoming popular that demand for pellets outstripped supply in recent years. The pellet industry is quickly catching up to demand, particularly in the western United States, where beetles are destroying pine forests. Several companies are turning the dead trees into fuel pellets.

Basic standalone pellet stoves cost about $2000-$4000, plus installation by a qualified professional.

The stoves provide a range of heating options, from small single-room heaters to larger units that can heat up to 2,000 square feet of space that is fairly open and well designed for simple heat transfer.

Styles

  • Pellet stove fireplace inserts are designed to look like the original fireplace but they spread heat into the home instead of up the chimney. A traditional fireplace draws in more cold air through the open flue than it releases hot air from the burning wood. Pellet stove inserts are an attractive option that easily fits the current décor. Avalon sells an efficient wood pellet fireplace insert rated to produce 45,000 BTU per hour.
  • Some free-standing stoves are designed to look like old-fashioned wood-burning stoves, but may have electronic ignition and a wall-mounted thermostat.
  • Modern stoves with modern features and accessories also are available.

If natural gas or other heat sources are expensive in your area, pellet stoves may be an economical alternative. They also are an efficient way to use scrap waste for home heating, with minimal pollution and less hassle than a wood stove.

“TIPS” are just suggestions for your general information, WoodHeatStoves.com will not be held liable and use of this information is at your own risk.

New Interactive Enviro Wood, Gas & Pellet Stove Parts List

Do you have an Enviro Wood, Gas or Pellet Stove that needs a little TLC? We have a new Interactive Enviro Parts List on our website with hot links on every part number to take you right to the part you’re looking for.

Enviro Parts ListMake sure you’ve properly identified your stove model, then go to your model in the table of contents. Just click on the model and it will take you to a list of parts for just your model. In some cases you may see several choices including factory original and aftermarket alternatives. Make sure you read the full product page that may have additional information to help you choose the part you need.

We also have many Informational videos and Enviro stove manuals to help.

Spring is a great time to fix that Enviro wood, gas or pellet stove so it’s ready to go next Fall. Make stove maintenance part of your Spring cleaning routine!

 

 

Tips for Spring Cleaning your pellet stove

There are a few things you should think about doing prior to the next burn season.

Late spring is an ideal time to schedule your annual deep cleaning. The company that provides you with this service will most likely send you a reminder with some sort of “Spring Discount”. Try and set up your appointment so the work is performed when you are done using the stove for the season, that way the stove should be in perfect condition at the beginning of the next burn season. If you wait until August or September to call and schedule your cleaning you may have to wait 6 weeks to have the work actually done.

The typical deep cleaning takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours, includes cleaning the glass and disassembling the air-wash at the beginning and touching up the stove paint upon completion. All areas where fly-ash can accumulate must be accessed, visually inspected, and cleaned- from the burnpot to the venting terminus. The convection system likewise must be cleaned from the fan forward.

If this is the first time you are having your stove professionally cleaned you should do a bit of research. Don’t assume that the retail store that sold you the stove has a qualified and experienced employee to service your stove. Do you really want to have some employee making close to minimum wage with perhaps one or two seasons experience (if that) working on your stove? Also, don’t assume your local chimney sweep has the necessary experience either. If you have friends or family members who own pelletstoves ask them who they use and recommend. Make a few calls and ask what the company actually does to the stove, are they an owner operated business, how long have they worked on pelletstoves, and do they work exclusively on pelletstoves? Of course they should be licensed, bonded and insured. You should be able to also check them out online through their licensing board.

Other than the actual cleaning itself you want to make sure that if your service person forgets to unplug your stove after the annual cleaning you unplug it yourself.

Also, late spring and early summer is the best time to look for you next seasons fuel supply. You usually can save a few buck this time of year. Just remember to store you pellets in a dry covered location and keep them out of direct sunlight as the bags can “sweat”.

Here is a closer look at a pellet stove, notice the uneven coloration of the glass.

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With the door now open you can see how the glass is clean in specific areas- thats where the gasket has been allowing air to leak in. (gasket is to small for this stove, the owner installed it himself.)

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Here’s a look at the inside of the stove.

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On each side of this stove are access holes, the cover was loosened, rotated and tightened to get into this ash trap. The vacuum pressure switch and hose are visible and in front of the exhaust fan motor and housing.

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The decorative rear firewall plate has been removed for cleaning and paint. The stove door has also been removed for cleaning and gasket replacement.

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The left side wall has been removed in this picture. Both the left and right walls need to be removed to do the cleaning properly as ash collected in this area cannot be adequately removed through the access holes alone.

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Light now shines through the access holes.

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Exhaust fan removed from housing.

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Exhaust fan housing.

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That’s a lot of ash and creosote built up behind the exhaust fan blades that were removed from the fan for cleaning.

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The exhaust fan is ready to be put together.

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OK lets fast forward a bit. The convection fan was blown out along with the convection tubes. The motor was oiled. The pellet vent was swept out and inspected. The back firewall was painted charcoal and the decorative firewall plate was painted brown. The cleaned burn pot was also painted charcoal. the stove body was touched-up, and here’s what the stove looked like when it was done.

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WHS Introduction Newsletter

Click to view this email in a browser

 September 2014
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Introduction newsletter from WoodHeatStoves.com!
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Keeping you warm since 1981!
If you have purchased a pellet, gas or wood stove replacement part, manual, chimney pipe or
entire stove from WoodHeatStoves.com
we will be sending occasional newsletters that
may contain: promotions, coupons, new product announcements, and helpful information from time to time, and subsequent newsletters from our other website Lasersandlights.com.

We hope you’ll enjoy these informative newsletters, but if you’d rather not receive them, you can unsubscribe at the end of the email.

logo-hearthstone-stovesbANNER2within 50 mile of your zip code, we might be your preferred dealer!
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It is never TOO early to be prepared for fall and winter!
Don’t get caught in the “Polar Vortex” this year!
Be prepared, service your stove or have it serviced by a local technician
in mid to late summer.  Annual maintenance per the owner’s
manua
l or technician manual may save you being in the cold.
Sweeping your chimney will help wood burning stoves be more efficient.
arborpellet
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earth stove 100

Do you have a stove that was
built or purchased before the year 1990? 
If you have a stove that is pre EPA “Environmental Protection Agency”
or older than 1990, that is twenty four PLUS years old, than you should
really consider upgrading.  A new or used
EPA rated gas, wood or pellet stove is more efficient home heating and
less polluting to our atmosphere.  BURN half as much fuel and
it would pay for itself!
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Whitfield Advantage II-T Classic Freestanding & Insert interactive pellet stove parts list

Click here to find parts for your Whitfield Advantage II-T Classic Freestanding & Insert pellet stove interactive parts list. Find whatever part you are looking for and click on the part number to be guided to that part, if available. In many cases we have after market alternatives that are higher quality and lower cost and all will come up as you click that part number. This parts list is more accurate than the lists in manuals since the company has changed hands many times since the stove was built.

You can positively identify it by looking up the serial number on the master parts list and by comparing to the manuals available on our web site.

Whitfield Advantage II interactive pellet stove parts list with clickable links to all parts

Click here to find parts for your Whitfield Advantage II pellet stove on this new interactive parts list.

This model is also called the WP2 series and you can positively identify it by looking up the serial number on the master parts list and by comparing to the manuals available on our web site.

Whitfield Advantage II-T & III interactive pellet stove parts list with clickable links to all parts

Use this new Interactive Whitfield Pellet stove parts list to find all of the parts for your Advantage II-T or III freestanding or insert pellet stoves.
Find our master parts list for all Whitfield, Earth Stove, Traditions and Brass Flame models by clicking here.

Click here to find your Advantage II-T & III parts list