Archive for November, 2011

Model Neighborhood Project helps NH residents cut heating costs by up to 50%!

The Northern Forest Center in Berlin, New Hampshire is launching a new program to support the local economy, reduce residents’ heating costs by up to 50%, and reduce environmental impacts associated with home heating.  The Model Neighborhood Project is sponsored by Berlin BetterBuildings, the City of Berlin, and Maine Energy Systems and funded by corporate and individual donors to cover up to 75% of the cost and installation of a wood pellet boiler system for local homeowners.

According to the Concord Monitor, the Model Neighborhood Project is hoping to help convert up to 40 homeowners in Berlin over the next two years. This means that 40 homes and/or municipal buildings are going to switch from fossil fuels to wood pellet heat… and we think that’s fabulous!

Think about it: for every home that switches from imported oil, that’s money saved each year (probably 40-50% of heating costs – our average customer saves nearly $700 a year by heating with wood pellets instead of oil)!; and 100% of the money each homeowner does spend on heat will stay in the local economy. And on top of the financial savings, that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 tons of greenhouse gases saved per household, per year!

If you’re lucky enough to live in Berlin, NH, contact Mike Wilson at mwilson@northernforest.org for participation details. And if you don’t happen to live in Berlin, check out some of the great state & local programs sponsored in your area.

Turkey, turkey, turkey!

The Gobble Feast table at WoodPellets.com

There’s nothing better than a fridge full of leftovers after Thanksgiving! We throw a Gobble Feast bash here at the office every year to celebrate the season, and I am thankful that wood pellets aren’t the only thing we’re experts at… we have some truly talented chefs on our team! So I asked around to see what the folks here do with their turkey leftovers, and here are some of our finest recipes.

We’d love to see your favorite recipes here, and happy Thanksgiving from the team at WoodPellets.com!

Corey’s Homemade Turkey Soup

Making turkey soup can seem intimidating at first, but all that effort is well worth it by far!

This recipe is to taste and pretty forgiving, so don’t worry about exact measurements as you can cater to what you prefer. It makes a lot, so you can store the soup in your freezer and enjoy it throughout the winter season, by warming up with it and sitting next to your cozy pellet stove.

Corey's Homemade Turkey Soup

First things first, which is to make your homemade stock: Chop 2-3 large onions.  Remove all the meat from the remains of the turkey and set aside to refrigerate.  Place the carcass in a large stock pot and add water.  Add the onions as well as salt/garlic salt and pepper to taste.  Bring the water to a boil.  After that, reduce the temperature to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for several hours . . . the longer the better!

Once cooled, remove the carcass from the pot.  You will then need to strain the remains with a colander or cheese cloth.

Afterwards, you will need to chill your stock.  You can do so by leaving it outside, in a garage, or in the refrigerator overnight.  After chilled, you will need to remove the fat that has surfaced to the top.

Making your soup: At this time, you can then heat your stock back up.  Add the meat that you have set aside.  Then cut up your favorite vegetables.  The staple favorites are usually carrots & celery.  Feel free to get creative and use as much as you desire.  Once the vegetables start to soften, add several cups of orzo for your starch.  The orzo really thickens the soup, and is what my mother always used when she taught me how to create this wonderful homemade recipe.

Serve with salt a pepper to taste, but chances are you already made your turkey soup to perfection!

Audrey’s Turkey Chili

Every year, my mom makes a huge pot of chili with leftover turkey. She usually makes it up as she goes, so it’s a little different every time and this recipe is my closest guess. This chili is filled with healthy superfoods, and it is just stick-to-your ribs delicious at this time of year!

Audrey's Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2 C mixed, chopped veggies – onion, green pepper, and celery
  • 1 T minced garlic (or more to taste)
  • 2 T chili powder, 1 T cumin, 1 T oregano, salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 28-oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 16-oz cans light red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 4 C shredded leftover turkey (white & dark meats)

Saute the veggies & garlic in olive oil over medium-high heat until they are soft. Add spices & tomatoes, and simmer until the tomatoes start to break up. Add the beans and turkey and heat through. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, or chopped fresh chives – whatever you like!

Dear Darlene – Advice to keep your stove happy!

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!

* * * * *

It’s definitely getting cold, and I’m ready to turn my stove back on. Is there anything I need to do to get my stove ready?

-Cold Feet, Hartford, CT

* * * * *

Dear Cold,

Sure, are you ready for some…..cleaning?

I know, I know, you were thinking FOOTBALL! But what’s not to love – football games and a roaring pellet stove! One thing to keep in mind is that a clean stove is a happy stove, and a happy stove means a happy stove owner.

To answer your question: Yes, there is a short checklist of maintenance & cleaning tips you should go through before you start heating. If you have not already had your stove serviced – and I mean professionally cleaned – since last heating season, I would recommend that you do. Contact a local stove shop first to see if they can provide Annual Stove Service, and if they don’t, then contact a local Pellet Stove Service Technician.

What most people don’t realize is that they should have their stove professionally cleaned after 1-2 tons burned. The reality is most people have their stove serviced annually, which works for the majority of folks. However, pellet stove owners who burn 5-8 tons (or more!) a year should seriously consider having their stove serviced mid-season. This practice will keep your stove running efficiently, and it’ll keep you in better tune with your stove!

Just to give you an idea of what a Professional Cleaning involves, here’s a checklist from a Scott of Pellet Stove Cleaning.  This is a rather comprehensive list, as you can see (and of course, each checklist will vary by stove make and model):

  • Remove pellets; vacuum debris; inspect hopper, auger plate, pressure and/or latch switches; perform minor repairs as needed and refill pellets
  • Inspect auger and auger assembly; test for unobstructed rotation within the auger tube; clean & lubricate auger motor as needed
  • Combustion and Convection Blowers: access, clean, lubricate as needed
  • Visually inspect all wiring and terminals
  • Clean the entire fire chamber including: burn pot, ignition assembly, fire walls, draft chambers, exhaust ports and heat exchangers, etc…
  • Inspect all seals, heat switches, and vacuum sensors
  • Clean out exhaust pipes to the outside air
  • Complete cleaning of electronics from the rear panel of the appliance, and test electrical sensors and igniter for continuity and working order
  • Complete cleaning of the adjacent floor area and stove hearth, and glass on stove
  • Start up the stove to make sure all is working correctly

So, I hope I’ve answered your question and should you need help locating a Pellet Stove Technician in your area, we can help!  Just call 1-800-PELLETS or email us here at info@woodPellets.com.

Happy Heating!!!

Darlene

The Taylor Family gives WoodPellets.com a perfect score on delivery!

“Perfect! Delivery, no damaged bags, ready for winter 2012!”

-The Taylors, customers since ’09

 

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