Service of your Pellergy wood pellet heating system is provided by your factory-trained, certified installer. Pellergy supports our community of installers with 24/7 live-person tech support.
There are a number of maintenance options for your wood pellet heating system ranging from completely hands-off (just like your oil system) to hands-on, for the person who likes to do-it-yourself and save even more expense. Even for the do-it-yourselfer, Pellergy systems provide a week or more of automated, on-demand heating—it is not like a pellet stove which requires daily attention.
Whether you choose bulk or bagged wood pellet delivery, all wood pellet heating systems produce ash and therefore require more frequent clean outs than an oil system. How often your system needs to be cleaned ranges from just over a week to a month or longer depending on your boiler. Cleaning the boiler takes about 20 minutes and does not require any special skills.
Many Pellergy installers offer a service contract for these clean outs, but many homeowners choose to do it themselves. We have also seen customers who call on maintenance staff, a property manager, a local handyman, or chimney sweeps to do the clean outs. This is indicative of the emerging wood pellet heating industry—instead of a one-size-fits-all process (and cost), there are a range of creative options that have the added benefit of creating jobs and supporting local economies.
A (very) quick history of central heating systems
Prior to 1900, homes were room-heated by burning wood in a brick fireplace or Franklin stove. It was around then that coal furnaces and steam radiator technology was combined to bring heat to every room from a single, central source, but that still required constant stoking of the coal fire in the basement. It wasn’t until around 1935 with the development of oil fired heating that people were free of attending to their heating needs several times a day.
Over these past 80 years, oil heat has provided a convenience unimagined in the prior 5,000 years of recorded history. Pellergy has configured their systems to meet this expectation of convenience, but also provides lower-cost, higher-maintenance options.
Option A: Fully-automated, hands-off
Pellergy systems are designed to work with bulk wood pellet delivery. Typically your installer will size your storage bin for a month’s worth of wood pellet fuel. Pellergy’s wood pellet boilers are also designed to go about a month between clean outs which are typically performed as part of the service contract with your provider, although any of the options described above would also accomplish complete hands-off convenience.
Option B: Fully automated, hands-on
Pellergy’s 550lb working hopper is ideal for bagged pellets. The working hopper holds enough pellets for a week of uninterrupted operation even in the coldest part of the winter. We have numerous customers who are perfectly happy to attend to their system once a week, loading pellets and doing their own clean outs. This option typically saves some $2,000+ on initial installation cost, and is completely upgradeable to bulk delivery at any time in the future.
Option C: Hybrid of options A and B
You can combine aspects of both options to your convenience and budget.
Leaving your Pellergy wood pellet heating system unattended
One of the questions we often hear is “what if I want to go away on vacation?” Unlike pellet stoves which are always on, Pellergy systems only run when there is a demand for heat. So feel free to set the thermostat to “low” and take off for a week, a month, or however long you have set up your wood pellet storage to last. Pellergy even provides an option that will call your mobile phone in the event of a power failure, or if the systems stops running for any reason.
Pellet Quality Matters
Quality in wood pellets varies based upon the grade of fuel you choose as well as the manufacturing process the pellet mill uses to refine their wood feed stock. The quality of the wood pellet has a direct effect on the amount of ash produced.
The Pellet Fuels Institute maintains the North American Standard for wood pellet fuel incorporating a grading system of Super Premium, Premium, Standard and Utility for wood pellets. The retail market focuses on Premium and Super Premium pellets, and the primary difference between the two is ash content. Super Premium pellets contain 0.5% while Premium pellets contain twice that amount (1.0%) of ash content.
Your certified installer and service contractor can walk you through all the details.