Darlene is the Customer Service & Sales Manager at WoodPellets.com. She’s also an experienced pellet stove owner, and she and her team of Pellet Experts answer all sorts of questions from customers on all things pellet.
Got a burning question for Darlene? Leave it here, and she’ll get you an answer in no time!
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This is my first year with the pellet stove, and my first order from WoodPellets.com. I just got my delivery last week (it was great, by the way – your driver was so nice). Can I keep my pellets outside for now? I don’t have room in my garage to store all three pallets.
-Single-Car Garage, Monson, MA
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Ah yes, we get this question a lot… Rest assured that it is safe to store your pellet fuel outside! As a matter of fact, the fuel you are now looking at in your yard was once stored outside at the pellet mill where it was created. The packaging you see on your fuel is weather resistant, but to be prudent, here is some advice to help keep your pellet fuel in ‘heat ready’ condition year round:
- For those who can: Place skids in a high and dry area, away from irrigation
- Check shroud for possible tears, cover with tarp regardless
- Shovel around entire skid in winter
- Check for tenants – you know, the cute furry kind like Alvin, Simon & Theodore!
But, there’s more – read on:
During the summer months make sure your fuel is delivered to an area in your yard or driveway that is free from any water pooling or flooding. Direct water contact from below may cause water damage and render the pellets to its original form: sawdust (which is not pellet stove friendly). Also, be mindful of any irrigation heads or water spray paths as well – common sense right there. In addition, should there be any trees overhead or nearby, we suggest placing a tarp over the skids. This not only protects the packaging from constant exposure to the elements, but also keeps the leaves, dirt, and bird blessings from littering the shroud that protects your bags of fuel. Check on your fuel once in a while, just to make sure the chipmunks haven’t developed a condo association !
Now your fuel has been outside for a couple of months and you are ready to fire up your stove! Carefully remove the protective wrap and slice the shroud on the top edge of the skid in order to slip the top bags out. Leave the shroud on as long as you can. Use the shroud to protect the bags and cover with the tarp. Place a weighted object on top of the skid to keep the tarp in place.
Shovel a path to your fuel and shovel around the entire skid. This effort will keep the snow off your fuel and help prevent any water and/or ice damage. Continue to use the shroud and tarp to protect your fuel from snow and ice.
You’ve been warm and toasty all winter, and now it’s time for spring cleaning! If you have loose bags left, find a spot in the garage or keep them outside, just protect them from the elements – as described in the seasons above. Empty your stove’s hopper and keep an eye out for Spring Buy Pellet Fuel Specials!