Pellet and wood-burning stoves heat up your home without burning a hole in your pocket or the ozone layer.
As we near cooler fall weather, it will soon be time to start turning up the heat. But since everybody's going green these days, it's also a good idea to look at alternatives in home heating. If you're looking to "go green," i.e. eco-friendly, and maybe save some green or just add a nice touch to the ambiance of your home, take a peek at pellet and wood stoves.
By burning wood or wood pellets, you're not contributing to the consumption of scarce resources like natural gas, coal and oil. And the newest models of pellet and wood-burning stoves are not just fuel efficient. These modern versions of the hearth are sleek and fun to look at. They take up less space while giving off the same amount of warmth as a well-designed fireplace does. With their functionality, beauty and radiance, they are often the focal point of a room.
Due to the compact design of the fuel, pellet burning releases less harmful gasses into the air than other heating systems. Residue gasses can be funneled out of your home through a tube, but pellet stoves produce such a small amount of pollution that they don't even need EPA certification. Best of all, they don't contribute to deforestation since they're fed with pellets made out of sawdust or other remains of wood products.
Wood-burning stoves have become quite stylish. Scan's product line, sold at stores throughout New Hampshire, features stoves of all different shapes and sizes. They're backed by an EPA certification, and many have earned the official Nordic seal, the Swan, a symbol that means the product is a clean-burning machine made with environmentally-friendly materials. Other manufacturers including Harman, Morso and Avalon have created similar stoves that boast labels ensuring that the product has gentle effects on the environment.
If a cleaner future isn't enough of an incentive, know that most of these new stoves are eligible for a hefty tax credit. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides a 30 percent consumer tax credit (up to $1,500) on the purchase and installation of a "qualified energy property" that meets IRS qualifications. To find out which pellet and wood-burning stoves meet the requirements, visit www.hpba.org.
To heat a wood stove for a winter, you'll probably spend around $1,000. If you use a pellet stove daily during the cold New Hampshire months, you will probably spend under $50 per month on hundreds of pounds of pellets, a comparably lower cost than the monthly cost of other heating systems. Al Guibord of Windham's Stove Shoppe said that the beauty of these stoves is that you don't have to spend money heating parts of your home that you're not using. And due to the unpredictable flux in oil prices, wood and pellet stoves offer great cost advantages, he adds.
Most stoves have price tags between $1,000 and $3,000. If you have an inefficient fireplace and aren't looking to replace it entirely, consider buying a pellet or wood stove insert that fits into your hearth but burns more effectively.
When the state freezes over and is covered in white, you'll be glad you took the green route to a warm home. NH
Top Stove Dealers in N.H.
The Stove Shoppe
Jackson Fireplace and Patio
Six locations throughout N.H.
Feel the Warmth
Sons Chimney Service & Stoves
50 Nashua St.
Nordic Stove Shoppe
75 Dover Point Rd.
The Stove Barn
249 Loudon Rd.
Woodstock Soapstone Company
66 Airpark Rd.
Fire Side Hearth and Leisure
5 Pine Ridge Rd.
This article appears in the February 2010 issue of New Hampshire Magazine