My large, New England farmhouse-style home has served as a lab of sorts for our heating products and practices since we began installing wood pellet central heating systems more than two years ago. Because I have received more than two years’ worth of pneumatic deliveries of pellets of various types into the chromatiq pellet storage bag in my typically damp Maine basement, I recently decided to empty my storage bag to see what two years of deliveries and several seasons of high humidity had left for residue in the bottom of the bag. Dust does not move as quickly down a storage unit as pellets do, so it can accumulate over time. To my delight, the bag emptied fully, including whatever dust may have been in the bottom through my auger system. Everything burned leaving no residue for cleaning.
My boiler is now in “summer mode.” In this mode, the burner starts only when my domestic hot water tank demands heat. The pellet boiler runs once, or twice, a day depending upon water usage in the house. My summer pellet consumption will be very small, indeed.
Following the bag emptying, I filled the storage unit with pellets for my summer and fall use. I received 2.5 tons for $587.50 ($235/ton). That quantity of pellets has the energy of 300 gallons of #2 heating oil for which I would have paid $1,170.00 on the market here in Maine today ($3.899/gallon). This load of pellets will last me deep into the fall when I will top off for the serious heating months. I will use about 10 tons of pellets during the coming calendar year.
With Maine Energy Systems pellet prices guaranteed (for new boiler customers) at not more than $239/ton through June of 2014, customers like me can be assured of savings of 50%, or more, over #2 heating oil in Maine over the next three years. For me that will represent a savings of approximately $7,050 over the next three calendar years, assuming oil does not exceed its current retail price.
Add to this the fact that virtually all of the $2,350/year I spend to heat my house and hot water will remain in the regional economy, and I’m feeling quite good about the heating solution I have chosen and the one I help make available to the Northeastern United States.