Most people jump to the conclusion that “we have always burned hardwood in our woodstove so hardwood must be better” – Not true with pellets.
The first and most important thing to remember is that you are buying pellets by weight NOT volume. A cord of dry hardwood vs. dry softwood weighs about 2-3 times as much. However, a pound of dry hardwood weighs the same as a pound of dry softwood.
So what counts is the heat output of each. This is where softwood wins. Below is information from a study done by the wood industry.
|White Oak||8810 BTU/pound|
|Yellow Pine||9610 BTU/pound|
A softwood pellet will produce 10-20% more BTU’s per pound than hardwood depending on the species and create a lighter ash.
Many retailers call their hardwood pellets “Premium” – and charge accordingly. At the Pellet King we consider “Premium” pellets to be those made from all wood only with no bark. Hardwood pellets do cost more to produce because the raw materials cost more, this is a simple fact. At the PelletKing we sell each, but we will not try to push you into hardwood pellets because they cost more or are perceived to be premium. Simply put, they put out less heat and produce denser ash.