Questions answered

Here are answers to a number of questions people are frequently asking on Google. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Wood Pellet Association of Canada, gord@pellet.org.

Are wood pellets toxic?

Wood pellets are just that – wood. When stored properly and burned in a modern pellet stove, they are not at all toxic. In transit in large container ships or massive storage silos wood pellets can emit large amounts of carbon monoxide, which is invisible without a detector, and deadly, but that’s an issue for the professionals who make and ship bulk pellets, not homeowners.

Where to buy wood pellets near me?

All the major hardware retailers and some local heating suppliers carry wood pellets – you should be able to find retailers selling wood pellets no matter where you live in Canada – just Google “wood pellets” and off you go. If you want to see which companies currently produce wood pellets in the country, then check out this pellet map from Canadian Biomass magazine.

Are wood pellets carbon neutral?

No. While the wood source itself is part of the carbon cycle, and hence carbon neutral, some energy is expended in the manufacturing and transport of pellets. Wood pellets are considered a low-carbon fuel. In fact, there currently aren’t any commodity fuel or energy sources that are truly carbon neutral.

What are torrefied wood pellets?

Torrefied wood pellets are a more dense type of pellet that burns like coal. The process of torrefaction removes all moisture and involves keeping wood pellets under high heat with no oxygen, thus turning them black and deeming them torrefied. They are denser, and easier and cheaper to store than “white” pellets. They are currently a small part of the pellet industry and meant for power generation more than home heating.

Are wood pellets tax deductible?

Depending on where you live in Canada, you can receive incentives. British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland & Labrador, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon all offer financial incentives for using wood pellets.

Are wood pellets sustainable?

Yes. Wood pellets are a sustainable and renewable resource that contribute greatly to decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across Canada, the United States and some parts of Europe.

What are premium wood pellets?

Premium wood pellets are higher quality wood pellets that contain less moisture to deliver more heat and have a lower ash content percentage, which leaves less ash to clean up. Premium pellets should contain no additives or chemically treated wood.

Why are wood pellets so expensive?

Wood pellets themselves are actually not expensive, coming in much cheaper than such alternatives as oil, propane or electric heat (depending on where you live). However, there is an upfront cost of a wood pellet stove or furnace, and good ones are not cheap. The idea is that you’ll incur a short payback period and save money in the long-term by converting to wood pellet systems, all while reducing your carbon footprint.

What wood pellets for brisket?

Clearly, North Americans don’t only want to use wood pellets to heat their homes… Brisket is important too. Why not enhance its flavour with wood pellets? It depends on your palate, but you could pick from hickory, apple, cherry, oak, mesquite, or pecan flavours. All you need is a pellet BBQ from one of many Canadian distributors.

Are wood pellets flushable?

This question is likely connected to using wood pellets for cat litter… Yet another efficient use for this renewable resource! So are wood pellets flushable? There doesn’t seem to be a short answer. Some cat owners say they have no problems, while other say brands claiming to be “flushable” are certainly not. It makes sense that you might risk clogging your system by throwing in a material that expands with moisture, not to mention collecting sawdust in your pipes.

How to store wood pellets?

That depends on the system you use. With fully automated pellet furnaces, bulk shipments are stored in dedicated silos, and you need not give it more thought than an oil tank. With pellet stoves, customers typically buy 40-lb bags or bulk bags, both of which can be stored in a garage or garden shed. The key is to keep them dry, nothing more.

How are wood pellets delivered?

Again, this depends on the heating system used. With automated pellet furnaces, wood pellets are typically delivered to your house like heating oil would be. For wood pellet stoves, most consumers buy them in 40-lb bags at a local retailer, like bottled water or cat litter. Even for these stoves bulk bag deliveries are available in many regions.

Where are wood pellets made?

Wood pellets are made in modern manufacturing plants across Canada using computer-controlled technology and according to carefully managed quality standards. As a result, it is a fuel with local economic benefits. Pellet mills are located in almost every province – see a map of locations and mill capacities.


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