Lehman’s, an old-time general store founded by her father in northeast Ohio in 1955. “The Environmental Protection Agency rates multi-fuel stoves as the most energy-efficient stoves available,” says Lehman Ervin, who uses a Greenfire brand multi- fuel stove. “Multi-fuel stoves allow respon- sible homeowners to take care of the environment and their wallets at the same time,” says Lehman Ervin. Purchasing pellets, shelled
and dried corn, or hulled and dried wheat can be cheaper than buying wood and easier than chopping your own free wood. These alternative fuels are good for the environment because they are made of endlessly renewable materials that do not contribute to climate change the way fossil fuels do. “You need to have the storage space for wood, and it takes a year to properly season wood for your stove,” Lehman Ervin notes. Wood must also be stored proper- ly to ensure it is preserved and does not attract rodents or insects close to your home. Corn, wheat and pellets, however, require much less storage space and no special preparation or consideration by the homeowner. “Anyone who doesn’t have access to wood or who would pre- fer to avoid the chore of chopping it, or the risk of storing it in their home, would find a multi-fuel burning stove a versatile alterna- tive,” she says. Like any stove, the
Multi-fuel stoves can burn wood, dried wheat or corn.
HOT TIPS FOR HEARTH HEATING
For anyone who is thinking of cutting the winter chill with a couple of extra sweaters, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) of Arlington, Virginia, has good news. People can reduce monthly heating expenses by installing a hearth product, such as a freestanding stove or a fireplace insert, as a secondary heater for the high-use zones of a house. “With a hearth product, people can focus heat where they spend the most time, like family rooms or kitchens,” says Carter Keithley, president of the HPBA. “This concentrated heat requires less energy and helps save money on home heating bills.” The concept of zone heating with a hearth product has the greatest potential for cost savings when people add a wood or pellet- burning stove, or fireplace insert, because of the cost of the fuel. This past winter firewood was approximately 61 percent less expensive than electricity and around 20 percent less than oil and natural gas. The savings with pellet fuel was also significant. The addition of a gas stove or gas fireplace insert can also provide home heating relief because these state-of-the art hearth products operate with greater efficiency than many older gas furnaces in homes today and do not lose heat through inefficient ductwork. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association offers the following tips to help keep home heating costs in control this season:
• Determine the zones to heat: Taking an inventory of the rooms most used in a house to help determine where to concentrate heat for the most comfort.
• Update an existing fireplace: Most traditional fireplaces are a major source of energy loss. If the chosen zone has a fireplace, adding an energy-efficient fireplace insert can turn the fireplace into an effective heating source.
• Add a freestanding stove: Kitchens, living rooms and family rooms without fireplaces are good candidates for freestanding stoves. Most stoves are compact and can easily be installed in rooms with limited space requirements.
• Choose a fuel: Natural gas, propane, wood, and wood pellets can be burned in either a fireplace insert or a freestanding stove. (Courtesy of HPBA)