Pellet stoves?

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Another timely topic. Turns out my cousin is part owner of a compressed log company. I had never really thought about this stuff, but we had a "catch up" conversation a month ago (it had been several years since we really had hung out or anything)
The Northern Idaho Energy Log company apparently ships throughout the US and Canada. Each 8 pound log contains about 64,000 BTU and is NOT laced with paraffin, and therefore it is MUCH better for the environment (less soot up the chimney, hardly any ash residue in the stove)
I got a sample log to try and it was a little hard to start, but burned for 4 1/2 hours, and there really wasn't any ash left to speak of.
I have never tried pellets, but I have heard that you need to clean your ash a couple times a week. Now ash is good for a garden, but a winter's worth would be hard to find a home for. These logs could let you go several weeks in between cleanings.
I am not an employee or anything, but my cousin is a stand-up guy, so I am just passing this on.
http://www.northidahoenergylogs.com
Best of luck!
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xparatrooper wrote:

I know the bio-bricks are popular around here, and they sound much like your compressed logs. Bio-brick is just one brand name, there are several. You can burn them in a fireplace, and they are legal in a non-certified wood stove. That says something about the cleanliness of them. They're much like giant pellets anyhow.
I have to take issue with some of the comments about pellet stoves. I clean mine out twice during the winter, and empty the ash about once every other week. If you're doing it more often than that, you have either a mis-adjusted stove or crummy pellets. I usually try to burn softwood pellets from the northwest because they're the hottest. This past weekend when it was bitterly cold and there were gale-force winds outside I burned a couple of bags of hardwood pellets from Pennsylvania and they were phenomenal. It actually hurt to get close to the stove. So much for northwest softwood, eh?
In my case I don't have a lot of choices, and pellets have kept us comfy for many years. A lot of newer model stoves will burn different fuels, such as corn, peanut shells, etc. There is no ready supply of those things in this area, and I haven't been able to determine the btu value except for corn, which is far less than pellets.
Good quality pellets will burn at between 8-9000 btus per pound. Corn gives off about 7,000, and lots more ash due to the higher moisture content, so I stick with the pellets.
I don't suppose most people have my predicament, but around here pellets rule.
Keith
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On 02/01/2010 10:09 AM, terry wrote:

I have a Napoleaon pellet stove that works quite well. I only use it in spring and fall because of its easy starting and continious running all night and variable temp control. But I has to be cleaned every month if I use it all the time. I prefer my wood boiler from December to March. With gravity hot water circulation it works with or without power I have to clean it's stove pipe and boiler tubes monthly but I don't mine that. Pellets around here are $230 to $250 a ton. Hauling a ton of pellets and stacking it in the basement is easier than stacking 4 cords of wood. The name of the game is 'Renewable Energy" and Wood and pellets are just that. Propane, coal, gas, oil are dirtier and C02 contributors. Pellets and wood are carbon neutral. If the all cost about the same I prefer renewables even if they are a little work, something none of us get enough of. So stay healthy and work a little.
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wrote:

natural gas is dirtier than wood? I never would have guessed that, you walk around outside here sometimes and the wood smoke will choke you.
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On 02/02/2010 12:21 PM, mdauria wrote:

I'm talking carbon dirty. Yes, gas puts out new C02. Wood is carbon neutral.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

But the wood smoke is a far dirtier. It contains all kinds of pollutants. If everyone in the city used wood, many would be sickened or die. CO2 is at least a far less immediate problem.
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Bob F wrote:

It's not that dirty with the new efficient wood stoves. It's not like the 19th century when everybody burned coal and your clothes on the clothes line outside turn black from the soot. Probably your lungs too.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

Due to severe wood stove pollution in various places in Australia, one of the many laws will fine you for selling wood that isn't dry.
Biggest problems I see here are people with stoves that are too big. You can't keep a little fire in a big stove going without it smoking a lot. Not to mention it builds up creosote much faster with a small smoldering fire. Get a smaller stove and run it hot. And do controlled creosote burns every day or two. If they are done often they don't build up and aren't dangerous. After two or three years, maybe more, even with me burning a lot of scrap pine, the chimney sweep said I didn't need him.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

It's still a lot dirtier than natural gas. There's a reason they have burn bans, which sometimes include even EPA certified stoves.
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On Mon, 1 Feb 2010 07:09:43 -0800 (PST), terry

The cost of the pellets makes it not too practical. A wood burning stove makes a lot more sense and some folks have an almost endless supply of free wood. I added another 10" of insulation to the attic floor over 10 years ago and that has saved me a bundle.
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