How It Works

Wood pellets are made either from the by-products of other wood manufacturing processes, or from whole, round wood. The wood is dried, pulverized, and then forced under high pressure through the holes in a die (much like how spaghetti is made). Pellets can be made from either hardwood or softwood; premium or super premium pellets are very dry and have very little ash content. Softwood pellets often contain more heat per pound than hardwood pellets because of the resin in the wood. Burning pellets does not create chimney deposits as burning cordwood can; in fact, there is no smoke visible from the chimney when pellets are burning.

Pellets intended for bulk delivery are stored in large silos, where delivery trucks load them for distribution to homes and businesses.

Pellets are taken from these silos and delivered to on-site (home or business) storage bins or silos. These indoor or outdoor storage units can be of varying sizes. Some are large enough that many owners may only require a couple of deliveries a year. For instance, some bins measure 6-feet square and can hold 4 tons of pellets. A home that burns 1,000 gallons of #2 heating oil would burn approximately 7.5 tons of premium pellets. This equates to just two deliveries a year.

Automated Pellet boilers are intended to replace an existing oil boiler. They provide the same level of convenience and automation as your oil boiler, except that they burn wood pellets instead of oil.

Pellets are transferred automatically by an auger or vacuum feeding system, from the pellet storage bin to the burner on the boiler. The feed system is controlled by the burner. When the burner needs pellets, it turns the feed system on; when the burner's small storage tank is full, the feed system turns off.

A pellet-fired boiler works just as any other boiler. It provides hot water to your baseboard radiation, radiators or radiant floor heating system, and provides domestic hot water for your kitchen and bathrooms. Unlike oil boilers, however, pellet-fired boilers do require ash removal. Some models offer automatic ash removal and others require the owner to remove the ash approximately once a month during the heating season. The ash bin is light, so disposal is a simple matter. In fact, the ash is actually quite beneficial for your garden or lawn,

The bottom line? An energy-efficient pellet boiler burns a carbon neutral, renewable fuel which is stable in cost, and benefits the local economy and environment.

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