Pennington Wood Pellets Review
Pennington wood pellets are made by Pennington Seed. Pennington is well-known for grass seed, fertilizer, bird seed, and related products for the home and garden. The company has a long track record of supplying products to big box stores like Walmart and Home Depot. This nationwide network means you can find Pennington wood pellet fuel in many places across the country. Unlike Pennington, it’s common for most wood pellet manufacturers to remain regional. They supply local populations with pellets made from locally sourced forest products.
Staying regional helps smaller manufacturers save on transportation costs. A great deal of the total cost of a bag of wood pellets is the cost of the fuel it takes to deliver them, and to bring the raw materials to the factory that makes them. Pennington is a part of the Central Garden and Pet Company, which serves the entire United States from 10 regional supply hubs. That makes it possible for Pennington to compete on a nationwide basis with dozens of local pellet manufacturers. Let’s see how the quality of Pennington Wood Pellet Fuel measures up against other brands.
Pennington Wood Pellets: The Wood Pellet Facts
Hardwood or Softwood?
Pennington Wood Pellet Fuel makes a point to label their bags as containing “premium oak hardwood.” The term “premium pellet” is used by the Pellet Fuels Institute to mean that a tested sample of the pellet contains less than 1 percent ash by volume. Calling the logs premium simply indicates high quality logs are used in the manufacture of the pellets. That’s not a useful description of the pellets.
Pennington Wood pellets are a premium pellet, made from hardwood trees.
Homeowners who burn firewood for heat know hardwood logs outperform softwood logs. With only a few exceptions, hardwood is denser than softwood, and the denser the firewood, the more heat it will produce. That is not the case with wood pellets. Some of the hottest burning pellets are made from 100 percent softwood. Other high-performing brands are made from various blends of hardwoods and softwoods. It’s not possible to simply look for hardwood or softwood on the label of wood pellets and draw any conclusions about the amount of heat each pound of wood pellets will contain.
The amount of heat wood pellets produces depends on many factors. Some of the factors are how the pellets are handled and stored after they’re produced and sold. However, when different brands are tested under similar circumstances, Pennington wood pellets were found to be in about the middle of the pack of 4 dozen brands for producing usable heat. Check our handy chart to see how Pennington wood pellets stack up to the hottest and coolest pellet brands.
Another important factor when purchasing wood pellets is the amount of ash the pellets produce. While all premium pellets produce less than 1 percent ash when burned properly, consumers should understand that 1 percent of a 40-pound bag is a lot of ash. If you’re burning wood pellets as your primary heat source, choosing a low-ash brand can save you a lot of stove cleaning over a heating season.
Pennington wood pellets are slightly worse than average for ash waste. They have been tested to produce about .625 percent ash per pound. See our handy chart to see how that stacks up against the competition.
Pellet prices vary a lot depending on the retailer and the time of year. Pennington Wood Pellet Fuel is sold by large discount stores like Walmart, and is priced competitively with any discount brand. Most Walmarts and other big box stores advertise a per-bag price, but if you contact the store, they’ll quote you a discounted price if you purchase an entire ton.
The Final Word on Pennington Wood Pellets
Pennington wood pellets are a good choice if you’re looking to save money, and don’t care too much about high performance and low ash. Because big box stores don’t specialize in products like wood pellets, it is worth your while to visit the store before ordering to determine how the pellets have been stored. If the pellets are out in the weather, and the packaging is damaged, you might want to look for another supplier. Otherwise, your Pennington wood pellets should be just fine in your pellet stove or furnace.
Have you used Pennington Wood Pellet Fuel? We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!