If you heat your home with a pellet stove you can’t afford to miss this…
It doesn’t matter if you only heat your basement or your entire home using a pellet stove, you want a steady and reliable heat source. In addition, you want a heat source this is also inexpensive. If all of this sounds familiar, consider heating your home with cherry pits.
Did you know cherry pits offer more heating power than sugar beets, wood pellets, wheat pellets and corn pellets? In addition, it provides less ash than wood and those other pellets just mentioned. So let’s take a closer look at the cherry advantage.
How Hot are Cherry Pits?
BTU or British Thermal Unit is the unit of energy that is required to heat or cool a single pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Thus, the higher the BTU’s, the more heating or cooling capability of the source. So BTU’s will used as the baseline to compare the most popular pellets used in a pellet stove.
Below are the most popular pellets for pellet stoves.
- Sugar Beet Pellets
- Wood Pellets
- Wheat Pellets
- Corn Pellets
- Cherry Pellets
If you notice, all of the pellet sources are 100% renewable. This means each year, they are created from or are a by-product of another product that is grown annually. For example, cherry pits are a by-product of the annual cherry harvest and of course wood pellets are derived from trees that are consistently grown and harvested year after year.
So let’s take a closer look how each of the pellets compare to one another. While the prices are dependent on the annual crop yield and will fluctuate annually. This will provide you with a good starting point. For example, if the corn crop is devastated due to extremely hot weather, the price of corn pellets will increase. Also, of the cherry crop has a bumper year, the cost per ton of cherry pellets should decline.
- Sugar Beet Pellets: 7000 BTU’s
- Wood Pellets: 7750 BTU’s
- Wheat Pellets: 8000 BTU’s
- Corn Pellets: 8500 BTU’s
- Cherry Pellets: 9500 BTU’s
Some from any overall BTU comparison the cherry of the most popular pellet options, the cherry pits win hands down. Another option to look at is the cost of each of the heating sources.
- Sugar Beet Pellets: $120 per ton
- Wood Pellets: $120 per ton
- Wheat Pellets: $125 per ton
- Corn Pellets: $230 per ton
- Cherry Pellets: $110 per ton
So by combining the heating ability and the cost, the cherry is an ideal way to go. So now let’s turn our attention to where cherry pits come from.
Where are the Cherry Pits From?
The cherry pits are a by-product of the tart cherry. This means, the availability and price of this biomass heating source is 100% dependent on the overall harvest yield of the cherries. The total annual tart cherry crop of the United States is approximately 290 million pounds and the State of Michigan grows over 70% of that number. The great State of Michigan grows about 200 million pounds of cherries. Most of the cherries are grown in the “Traverse Bay Farms” region of the Michigan. This region is also referred to as the “Traverse Bay” region or the “Cherry Capital of the World”.
The average cherry tree produces about 7,000 cherries, so this means it produces about 7,000 pits. Since a pit weighs in at a single ounce, each cherry tree produces about 425 pounds of cherry pits annually.
However, since the availability of cherry pits is dependent on the crop yield, once the pits are sold out they are sold out until the next year. This means, you need to secure a reliable source early in the cherry pit season. If they are sold out, you’ll have to wait until next season to get some.
Since the cherry harvest is from Mid-July to Mid-August, the cherry pits usually don’t become available until about Mid-September. Depending on the size of the harvest, they are usually sold out by Mid-November.
The best way to secure some to keep your family warm is to start looking around starting in the summer prior to the winter you need them to heat your home. They are usually packed in 12 lb. or 25 lb. bags. You can purchase a single bag or by the ton, but either way, if you’re wanting some pits, make sure to get them early in the season.
Best of all it’s only a short drive from Grand Rapids and another other locations in the State.