“ This is a review for the CleanFire Hardwood Blend (not the Fir Blend).
I have been using these pellets for the first time this year. I have been burning for almost 3 months. Last year I used a different pellet which gives me a good basis or benchmark for comparison. I have found a significant increase of ash outside my house from these pellets and the ash/soot seems much blacker than the pellets I used last year. Further, and more significant how these pellets form a rigid wafer of ash in the fire box of my pellet stove. I have to open it every day on cold days at least once and scrape out the hard ash wafer and build up. It is easy to detect because the flames no longer shoot straight up in a robust manner. They are diffused and swirl around more because the air flow is disrupted by the ash wafer/buildup in the fire box. Surely this is a reduction in efficiency.
The pellets I used last year did not EVER do this. I seem to be using about the same amount (burn rate) or more this year. These may or may not burn hotter (impossible to definitively determine without testing equipment. Even if they do burn hotter, the mess is not worth it. Opening the door of the stove so often to clean the ash wafer just increased the ash dust and mess in my home and leaves a more obvious eye sore outside where it vents out. One final observation is the ashes with this pellet seem to cling much more to the sides of the fire box and walls of my stove, increasing the maintenance/cleaning.
I bought 5 tons for the winter and will be fine with these but I recommend a different pellet. The one I used last year happens to be a softwood or mix if I recall. I will go back to those. ”