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What to think about when getting a pellet stove

WEST CHAZY - When walking outside in 20-something degree weather, people often begin to wonder the best way to heat their home.

With the new trend of turning to eco-friendly products on the rise, pellet stoves may be taken into consideration.

According to George Thew, owner of Heat Wave on Route 22, he first began the business five years ago with pellet stoves in mind.

"Basically I was always tinkering with different ways to heat my home," said Thew. "The pellet idea came up and I started using the products myself. There wasn't anybody in the area that knew anything about a pellet stove or anything like that and one thing led to another and we decided to open up a shop."

Thew has found people are switching to the pellet stove for many reasons.

"I guess when it comes to pellet products, people switch because it's a less expensive way to heat their home, versus oil," he said, adding pellets average about $200-250 per ton, with the majority of homes burning about four to six tons a season. "It's a renewable resource, so that's kind of nice. Depending on how the manufacturing process goes, for the most part it does burn much greener. You're not using the petroleum products to create the fuel with ethanol."

In comparison to wood stoves, the U.S. Department of Energy states popularity of heating with wood resurfaced in the 1970s as it was considered a renewable energy alternative during the energy crisis. However, their Web site states "Wood-burning appliances and fireplaces may emit large quantities of air pollutants. Wood smoke contains hundreds of chemical compounds including nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, organic gases, and particulate matter, many of which have adverse health effects. In many urban and rural areas, smoke from wood burning is a major contributor to air pollution."

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