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40 lb. Bag of Wood Pellets: $3.99!

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by max2cam, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    I was Menard's and noticed 40 lb bags of wood pellets selling for $3.99 each!

    Because any dry wood per lb has the same BTU content I do believe, then it would appear that each 40 lbs of firewood I collect is worth $3.99 retail.

    That means I have many THOUSANDS of dollars worth of firewood already cut, splt, and stacked with an endless supply of solar-powered automatically growing trees for future fuel purposes that will NEVER run out!

    This firewood energy resource is like having a self-renewing private gold mine or oil well on my own property with the added beauty that if managed right, I can actually improve the forest environment and wildlife habitat by harvesting firewood with none of the environmental harm of having a gold mine or oil well would have. Not bad!

    But a small gold mine would be a nice addition.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2007
  2. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    now if you could only grind all that wood into pellets...............
     
  3. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    Yeah, those MAGICAL wood pellets. So much superior to ordinary dull old firewood. (Sob).
     
  4. Zackman1801

    Zackman1801 AboristSite Guru

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    if you had a chipper couldent you make some? or do they use a different process? plus it would be soo much easier to haul around in bags instead of in piles in a dump truck to deliver.
     
  5. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    Good idea. I'll buy a expensive chipper and burn more gas and handle the wood 2 or 3 more times and put them in plastic bags that I have to buy.

    What advantage was there again?

    IMO wood pellets are a scam.
     
  6. BC_Logger

    BC_Logger AboristSite Guru

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    the wood pellets are used in a wood pellet stove that does not burn regular fire wood , you would use this stove to heat a room where you could not gas a gas line in
     
  7. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    Check out this really cool fuel-cost calculator!

    Ha, ha! Even softwoods delivered to your door are cheaper than wood pellets and everything else!

    If I typed in my actual dollar outlay for gathering a cord of wood and used the calculator I would be embarressed to post it because it would be so tiny! This is BETTER than a gold mine!

    http://www.**********/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/
     
  8. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    Real practical. If you run out of firewood you can burn old boards or branches or sticks or even break up the furniture.

    But what do you do if you run out of magical wood pellets at midnight when its -20 F.?
     
  9. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    I know. It's almost January and I'm still burning old crappy punky wood just to get rid of it.
     
  10. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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  11. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    That image says it all! This wood pellet thing is largely a scam and a made-up new industry that isn't really needed. I imagine pretty soon we'll be seeing bags of wood pellets with "Made on China" stamped on them. My friend was thinking of getting a pellet or corn stove without a clear idea why. I talked her out of it and I'm glad I did. She has a nice wood burner now and loves it.
     
  12. bnew

    bnew ArboristSite Member

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    My dad has one (wood pellet or corn) and it is alot cheaper than paying the utility company. Plus alot of the wood comes from sawdust from multiple sources as garbage to them.I had one for a year but it was too rich for my blood when I can burn for free.But still better than them natural gas fireplaces. Corn was the way to go till they JACKED the prices up because of ethonol:chainsaw:
     
  13. habanero

    habanero AboristSite Guru

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    I don't think I'd go so far as saying pellet stoves are a scam. My uncle, for instance, has a pellet stove. He's 70+ years old and lives in a city house with basically no lawn. If he were to burn firewood, he'd have to buy the wood and he'd have no place to store it. He can buy pellets by the pallet load and stack them neatly in the corner of his garage.

    I don't know what he paid this year for pellets, but if you buy them by the pallet in June you pay significantly less than 3.99/40 lbs. If you use this price as your comparison point for firewood against pellets, then you'd have to use the price of firewood in those little plastic-wrapped bundles at the gas station to compare.

    Another thing to consider is efficiency. His pellet stove uses PVC pipe as the vent. The exhaust is never more than ~80 degrees or so. How many of our precious firewood btus are going up the chimney? Not many of his btu's are going out the vent.

    I personally prefer a woodstove to a pellet stove, but I think there are situations where a pellet stove makes more sense.
     
  14. Rob G.

    Rob G. ArboristSite Lurker

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    Once a new homeowner put in a pellet insert, then begged me to take away the fire wood that the previous owners left behind. So I guess I like when others get pellet burners.
     
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  15. saginaw22

    saginaw22 ArboristSite Member

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    I think that If you have to pay for your wood your better off
    using a pellet stove. I know that One bag will last for 24hrs usually.

    Also I have seen pallets durring the summer time for around $169-189

    so say 40-50 bags on a pallet and it last all month for for $169.00 bucks

    and you only have to load it once a day.........and not to mention its
    much cleaner burning. No dust...and that crap to clean up....

    But I have a source of free wood so I have a wood burning stove
     
  16. YCSTEVE

    YCSTEVE ArboristSite Member

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    Wood Pellet

    I had a Big E Pellet Stove. It was nice but it would not generate enough heat for my house. It said the Pellet Stove was rated at 50,000 btu and it would heat 2000 Sq Feet. The problem was that my house is old and has a lot of open space. On a 40 degree sunny day I couldn't bring the temperature in my house up a degree without the aid of the gas furnace.

    The idea of buying it was to help with my gas bill. It would have been ok to stand by to warm up with but it wasn't going to heat my house up to 75 degrees on a winter day. I took it back to the store and traded it for a Hot Blast 1400.

    I like to run my saw and cut wood. But after a couple months of winter I get tired of hauling wood to town and throwing it in my basement then loading my Hot Blast 4 times a day and hauling out ash. It would have been nice to just dump a bag of pellets in and be done with it.

    I've looked at the pellet furnace that pipes into the duct work but I'm not going to spend $2000 to $3000 on a stove and still have to buy pellets and be at the mercy of the market.
     
  17. Mike Van

    Mike Van Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There's a market for most everything, if there wasn't - Nobody'd be making it - Buying those pellets in the summer's a good move, if you did it - Like peolpe that got fuel oil contracts then for 2.50/gal, it's 3.40 now. I'm a woodburner, always will be - Like the guy said above, you can burn anything from good wood, pallets, cardboard boxes & even leaves if you had too. If fuel oil was .25/gal, I'd still be burning wood. It makes me happy anytime I can beat OPEC out of a dollar. :chainsaw:
     
  18. dkron

    dkron ArboristSite Lurker

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    My next door neighbor bought a pellet stove the same time I bought a wood insert. He was really ribbing me about buying a wood stove last year because he thinks I work too much getting wood. Prior to this year I gathered my own wood. This year I paid 300$ for 3 chords and went and cut another. This year, he buys each pallet for 280$ (20%increase from last year). He says if he uses cheap pellets he doesn't get a clean burn and ashes fill his pot daily. A pallet and a chord are about the same weight. He buys 3.5 pallets a winter because it is much more efficient. I pay 150 - 350 per year for wood. He pays 1000. We both went to alternative heat sources because natural gas skyrocketed here. Just the other day he was complaining how much pellets cost now. I wasn't complaining how much wood costs.

    Pros/cons:
    He doesn't wake up cold winter nights to stoke his stove. I do. He doesn't raise eyebrows in an urban neighborhood with his smoke. I do. He doesn't get a nice setting in the woods for some exorcise. I do. Bags are easier/cleaner to deal with. He doesn't get heat as cheap as I do.
     
  19. dkron

    dkron ArboristSite Lurker

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    I don't provide smoke to my neighborhood 99% of time. Only on startup. I have an air quality guy that works for the state living down the block. I have recently been burning some russian olive wood that is smokey, ashy and has super stinky smoke. It's quite dense though. I have to admit 3 years ago when I started burning wood I was a bit supid for the first month or so.
     
  20. Dok

    Dok AboristSite Guru

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    I thought I would add what I found about pellets in my market. I moved in Sept of this year and bought a wood stove for the new house. I also heated our previous house with a wood stove. I asked a lot of questions about pellet stoves and got some interesting answers from the dealers.

    The supply of pellets here is bad. You have to order you pellets early. The dealers I talked to sold all the pellets they could get in the summer. They wanted to buy more but couldn't find any supplies. By Fall pellets are hard to find. A few stores like Safeway, the hardware store and a few others sell bags individually for $5-$6 a bag in the winter and when they are gone they are gone. One dealer told me when the housing market was going strong the pellet supply was great, but last year and this year they have been limited in how many pellets they could get.

    Our house is just under 4000' elevation (means cold winters), has high ceilings and 2000SF of area to heat. I talked to three dealers and they all recommended wood stoves for this application. I have since met a neighbor down the street who heats with pellets and he agrees, he has to supplement the pellet stove heat with central heat (propane) to keep the house at 70 deg.

    I like heating with wood. I like the whole process, finding, cutting, splitting, stacking. It isn't for everyone though. Heating with propane can easily cost $500 or more a month here. Even paying for wood is cheaper than that. Pellets are probably somewhere in the middle, assuming you buy you pellets early.
    Dok
     

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