How long will a 40 lb. bag of pellets last?

Understanding the heat setting or “burn rate” on your stove or insert is crucial, as it determines how long a bag of pellets will last.

Calculating How Many Pellet Bags You Need

A highly efficient fuel, one pound of wood pellets will produce approximately 8,000 BTUs of heat. So, if you are burning pellets on the “low” setting, say 1.5 lb./hour (or 12,000 BTU), a bag will last about 26 hours. (40 lbs. divided by 1.5 lbs./hour = 26.67 hours.)

If you need a lot of heat, burning five pounds per hour (8,000 BTU x 5 lbs./hour = 40,000 BTU) will make one bag last about eight hours (40 lbs. divided by 5 lbs./hour = 8 hours).

Pellet equipment has various settings, depending on how cold it is outside and the amount of heat you need to stay comfortable. If your stove operates on a thermostat, the burn rate will automatically vary depending on the temperature setting.

Variables That Affect How Many Bags of Pellets You Need

Of course, pellets are like any other fuel, and various factors will influence how much of it you will use. Besides weather and how insulated your house is, pellet fuel has these unique requirements: 

  • Maintenance: how well you clean your stove will affect airflow and efficiency.
  • Stove efficiency: The higher the rating, the more heat you retain
  • Pellet quality: This includes Softwood versus hardwood, moisture content, etc

Softwood VS Hardwood Pellets - Is there a difference?

Yes! And it is the opposite of what you may think. On a wood stove, hardwood is preferable as it is denser (heavier). However, when you pelletize Softwood or hardwood, they weigh the same. (a pound is a pound is a pound, after all). 

Since 40 lbs of Softwood and hardwood weigh the same, pound-per-pound softwood pellets will produce 10% to 20% more BTU. Why? Softwood contains more resins (sap), which burns cleaner and hotter—this Results in more BTUs per bag of pellets but less ashes and cleaning. 

Is Pellet Burning a Good Alternative For Me?

This handy calculator can help determine whether you can save on your heating bill. 

Better yet, swing by your local WE LOVE FIRE® dealer, who can answer all your questions about the best way to heat your house. They carry various electric, gas, wood, and pellet heating appliances and can help you make the right decisions for your unique needs. 

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Winston's Chimney Service LogoVisit Store Page

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hearth & Home Shoppe LogoVisit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

1 Response

  1. Ken
    Thank you for the clear and concise answer.
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