October 30, 2022 5:28 am


For your stove, should you buy hardwood pellets vs softwood pellets? This is a common concern for households considering switching to pellet heating, but fallacies about the relative merits of hardwood and softwood pellets tend to mislead potential buyers.

Discover the truth about hardwood and softwood pellets and the common misunderstandings about them with this helpful guide. You’ll learn the fundamentals of the discussion, the reasons behind the various preferences, and how to settle on the best solution for your pellet stove.

Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets: What’s The Difference?

1. Rate of combustion. Pellets made from hardwood have been used as fuel for decades. However, cork is in high demand as well these days. Depending on the wood species, softwood pellets and hardwood pellets burn in different ways. Hardwood pellets take longer to burn than their softwood counterparts. Finally, hardwood particles burn hotter than softwood ones.

2. Garbage. Softwood pellets, in contrast to hardwood pellets, are more efficient burners. Ash generated from hardwood particles is denser than ash generated from softwood particles.

3. Dampness. The greater the particles’ burning potential, the closer they are to 0% humidity. Good combustion results in heat production and minimal ash production and obstruction.

Hardwood Pellets Vs Softwood Pellets: Which Is Better?


It is common practice to market hardwood pellets as high-quality wood pellets. The production of hardwood pellets is more capital-intensive since pellet mills and other supporting machinery are required. Additionally, the cost of raw hardwood material for pellet production is higher than that of softwood. As a result, there is little correlation between the hardwood pellet’s higher price and its superior quality. Producers of hardwood pellets have little choice but to raise prices to ensure continued profitability.


When burned, softwood pellet produces between 10% and 20% BTUs, giving them slightly more heating value than hardwood pellet. This is mostly because compared to hardwood, softwood has more unique sap. As a result, softwood pellet is more efficient as a fuel source.

Amount Of Ash

For those who own a fireplace or pellet stove, there is always the concern of keeping up with the cleaning needs and the effect on the environment. Hardwood pellets have been found to have a higher ash content than softwood pellets by a factor of three, according to available research. If you need to heat your home for an extended period, the fact that premium wood pellets have an ash percentage of less than 1% can make all the difference.

Among Other Distinctions

To differentiate between hardwood pellets and softwood pellets, a study conducted combustion rate, dust emission, and dust emission factor tests in 2009. Evidence suggests that while their combustion values are comparable, their dust emission and dust emission factors are very different. Dust emission and dust emission factors are significantly higher for softwood pellets than for hardwood pellets at low burning rates. But because of its fast burning rate, hardwood pellet produces far more dust than other fuels each hour.

Why Not Use Hardwood Pellets Instead Of Softwood Ones?

Hardwood logs tend to be denser than softwood logs, however, when softwood and hardwood are crushed into a pellet, the difference in density disappears.

Softwood pellets have a greater BTU rating (more heat) than hardwood pellets by roughly 10 to 15 percent. For one thing, softwood has a higher heat value than hardwood because of the resins it contains.

As a rule, the ash content of softwood pellets is lower than that of hardwood pellets. This reduces the amount of ash in the ashtray or pan, reducing the frequency with which the pellet stove needs to be cleaned. If you’re concerned about your impact on the environment, you should know that softwood pellets produce significantly fewer airborne particulate emissions than hardwood alternatives.

About Softwood Pellets: Some Information

  • They produce a more constant and uniform heat while burning cleaner and hotter.
  • Pellets made from either softwood or hardwood have the same density and weight.
  • Eastern Embers’ softwood pellets are 100% white wood and have no bark.
  • As a result of their higher sap content, they routinely beat hardwood pellets.
  • They’re better at retaining heat than wood because they contain more polymers.
  • There is a superior cost-to-heat ratio and they ignite more quickly than hardwood pellets.

Final Thought

The debate between hardwood pellets and softwood pellets is likely to continue for some time. Some people swear by the benefits of hardwood pellets, while others find that softwood pellets are a better option. Ultimately, the decision of which type of pellet to use will come down to personal preference and the specific needs of the individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Softwood Pellets Last?

When it comes to softwood pellet fuel, the length of time they can last depends on the storage and usage conditions. If stored properly in a dry area and used regularly, these pellets can typically last for up to a year. However, if there is excess moisture or an irregular usage pattern, the pellets may start to degrade and become unburnable after just a few months. In addition, some softwood pellet brands may have shorter lifespans due to differences in production processes and material composition.

That being said, it’s important to always check the expiration date on any pellet fuel before purchase and make sure you have proper storage facilities to ensure maximum longevity. Overall, with proper care, softwood pellets can provide a long-lasting and efficient source of fuel for your heating needs.

How Long Do Hardwood Pellets Last?

The lifespan of hardwood pellets depends on several factors, including their storage conditions and the type of appliance they are used in. Generally speaking, properly stored pellets have a shelf life of approximately one to two years. However, if they are exposed to moisture or high temperatures, their quality can deteriorate quickly. In terms of usage, pellet-burning appliances are designed to burn through a certain number of pounds of pellets per hour.

This means that larger appliances will typically go through pellets faster than smaller ones. As a result, the amount of time it takes for a bag of pellets to be fully used can vary greatly depending on the size and efficiency of the appliance. It is important to note that using old or low-quality pellets can negatively impact both the performance and cleanliness of your pellet stove or fireplace. To ensure optimal functionality, it is best to regularly check your supply and replenish it as needed with fresh pellets.

How To Store Softwood Pellets And Hardwood Pellets

Storing pellets for pellet stoves and other devices requires careful attention to both type and condition. Softwood pellets should be kept in a dry location, as moisture can cause them to break down and become less effective. They should also be stored in a securely sealed container to prevent pests or moisture from getting in. Hardwood pellets are slightly more resilient, but should still be stored in a dry location away from the elements.

Both types of pellets can potentially attract rodents, so it is important to keep them in a sealed container with a tight-fitting lid – metal or heavy-duty plastic containers work well for this purpose. It is also a good idea to rotate your stock of pellets regularly, using older supplies first to ensure they are at peak effectiveness when burned. Following these storage guidelines will help ensure that your pellets maintain their quality for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

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