Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cleanfire



This season, I ordered CleanFire Certified Premium pellets (softwood blend) (www.cleanfirepellets.com) and the following is my experience with them over the heating season.

The pellets are close to 4 tons on three pallets as there are 60 bags per pallet. I like to review how the bags on the pallets arrive as I have had them arrive with many broken bags and this is a real pain. Fortunately, these pellets arrived with only about 10 – 12 bags with holes large enough to spill pellets. I usually have a tape gun and scissors handy with me when I move the pellets into the basement, so that I am able to patch the holes so I don’t wind up spilling loose pellets all over the driveway.

These pellets burn VERY hot in my Quadra-Fire stove. They also leave few clinkers in the fire pot, however, they are VERY dusty with much sawdust. The pellets are generally small with many tiny pieces. Coloration is generally yellow with a few dark or darker pellets. Unfortunately, when you load up the hopper there is a cloud of dust when you pour them in as the bottom of the bag always has a handful or more of sawdust. The amount of ash – I would say is average to above average as the area around the fire pot fills rather quickly with ash.

I will, unless assured otherwise that I got a bad batch, NOT be purchasing these pellets again. The high heat is attractive but this is more than offset by the high dust and sawdust content. I would give these pellets a 2 and a half out of five stars.

Review by Bob

2 comments:

  1. I have been using these pellets for the first time this year. I have been burning for almost 3 months. Last year I used a different pellet which gives me a good basis or benchmark for comparison. I have found a significant increase of ash outside my house from these pellets and the ash/soot seems much blacker than the pellets I used last year. Further, and more significant how these pellets form a rigid wafer of ash in the fire box of my pellet stove. I have to open it every day on cold days at least once and scrape out the hard ash wafer and build up. It is easy to detect because the flames no longer shoot straight up in a robust manner. They are diffused and swirl around more because the air flow is disrupted by the ash wafer/buildup in the fire box. Surely this is a reduction in efficiency.
    The pellets I used last year did not EVER do this. I seem to be using about the same amount (burn rate) or more this year. These may or may not burn hotter (impossible to definitively determine without testing equipment. Even if they do burn hotter, the mess is not worth it. Opening the door of the stove so often to clean the ash wafer just increased the ash dust and mess in my home and leaves a more obvious eye sore outside where it vents out. One final observation is the ashes with this pellet seem to cling much more to the sides of the fire box and walls of my stove, increasing the maintenance/cleaning.
    I bought 5 tons for the winter and will be fine with these but I recommend a different pellet. The one I used last year happens to be a softwood or mix if I recall. I will go back to those.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Started 2016 season with Cleanfire Pacific and they burned great. January 2017 bought 1.5 ton pallet to finish my season. They were absolutely night and day difference! Color was much lighter, a lot more fines and sawdust, and btu output way lower. First batch I was vac every 2nd or even into 3rd day. 2nd batch had to be every day --- huge amount of ash! So had some left from first batch, tried them and was back to vac 3 days, lower feed rates, etc. Super cleaned the stove. Tried 2nd batch, was horrible... then tried old batch again, was back to being normal and clean burn! Complained and they let me change out the last 45 bags I had left and exchanged for Cleanfire DOUGLAS FIR!!! I burned this previous years and it was the best I ever EVER burned but was EXPENSIVE! Well, guess what? The Douglas Fir pellets I got in the exchange.... not much better than the bad batch of Pacific Blend that I just complained about and brought back!!! I have same results as from home depot, wal-mart, or Tractor Supply cheapest of the cheap pellets. Very disappointed!!!

    ReplyDelete