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Wood Pellet 101

Seedling wood pellet

Wood pellets are a clean burning, efficient, and powerful way to heat your Finger Lakes-area home (so says the U.S. Department of Energy, and we agree) – but how much do you really know about wood pellet fuel and wood pellet appliances?

Here’s a primer to get you started – if you have more questions, our wood pellet experts are always a phone call away.

  1. What is wood pellet fuel? Wood pellet fuel is a renewable, clean-burning, and economical home heating alternative produced in the U.S. and Canada and currently used in more than one million homes throughout North America. The wood pellets themselves are small (1/4” X 3/4″), tube-shaped bits of dried and densely compressed biomass made mostly from recycled wood waste. Pellets can be used in freestanding stoves, fireplace inserts, furnaces, and boilers.
  2. What is a wood pellet stove? A wood pellet stove is a heating appliance that burns wood pellets to create heat. Similar in appearance to a wood-burning stove, a pellet stove slowly feeds fuel from a storage hopper into a combustion pot to create a sustainable flame.
  3. What is a wood pellet boiler? A wood pellet boiler is the heart of a central heating or water heating system. Powered by wood pellets, these boilers can be fed manually or automatically; in more advanced wood pellet boiler systems, the boiler adjusts the pellet feed rate and air flow automatically to improve efficiency, give you clean burns, and reduce air pollution. Wood pellets can also be used to power furnaces in a forced air system.
  4. Why choose a wood pellet appliance? Wood pellet appliances are:
    • Environmentally friendly – Wood pellets are a sustainable and renewable mix of sawdust, wood shavings, or unused tree tops rather than timber. Pellet fuels divert millions of tons of biomass waste from landfills and produce fewer greenhouse gas and particulate emissions than fossil fuels when burned.
    • Economical – A 40-pound bag of wood pellets that costs about $4.00 can last more than a day, enabling substantial savings – as much as 60 percent – compared to a fuel-heated home. While converting to a wood pellet system requires and investment up front (some of which can be subsidized by NY State incentive programs), the payback period for that investment is often as short as a year or two. Ehrhart’s bulk wood pellet delivery makes fueling your home with wood pellets an even better value.
    • Convenient – Wood pellet heating systems work with your existing thermostat and other components already installed to heat your home, whether you use a hot water (boiler) or forced hot air (furnace) system. Delivery of the fuel itself couldn’t be easier, with automatic and bulk delivery options available.
  5. Are wood pellet appliances difficult to maintain? Modern wood pellet appliances are automated, self-cleaning, self-feeding and self-igniting appliances; the only cleaning required is emptying the ash pan twice a year.

Contact us today to learn more about wood pellet appliances or to get a FREE, no obligation estimate on a wood pellet appliance installation!