Every house has a main source of heat, most commonly a furnace, heat pump, or boiler. So why do you need another source of heat? COST, CONVENIENCE, and COMFORT! Either of these systems will hike up your electric bill or cost a fortune in rates and delivery cost. Not to mention the unpredictable fluctuation in prices of fossil fuel and the inefficiency of these methods of heating. There are more efficient and cost effective ways to heat your home.

Watch this short video for more information!

DO I Need a Supplemental Heat Source?

So, why buy a supplemental heating source? Simply to SAVE money. In general, a fireplace or stove could pay for itself in a year or two. A good majority of customers we've installed for claim they are able to heat their WHOLE home with a single appliance. This all depends on the location/type of the unit, the efficiency of your home (how well it holds heat), the natural flow of air in the home, and other factors, like demand and the weather itself. But, there's no question that you will experience a welcoming change after switching to an alternative heating source. Lets get into the different fuel options and types of appliances that we offer.

First lets discuss fuel type: 
Measure the heat energy!

Wood Fuel

Solid wood fuel appliances are very common, as they have been around for a long time. Experience wood burners split wood in a storage space of some kind (shed, garage, ect.) for a duration of time. Out of the fuel options, in terms know that, to get the best heat out of a log, it needs to be well seasoned dry wood. Seasoning wood is a process of stacking
of storage space, this will take up the most. It's an investment in itself as you have to cut, split, and stack your fuel which can save you money, unless you purchase a few cords elsewhere and have it delivered. It can take a full year for some wood to season properly, and many people will have a few years supply stacked in advance, this is best practice as "green wood" freshly cut, will still hold moisture and burn much less efficient that well seasoned dry fuel. We recommend to everyone with split wood to purchase a moisture meter (shown to the right), this will help you determine how dry the wood is. Recommended percentage of moisture in seasoned firewood is 20% or less.

Hardwood or Softwood? In regards to split wood, you will achieve longer burn times (best for over night fires) from a good supply of hardwood, but will take longer to season, longer to light, and may cost more than softwood. Softwoods, though easier to light and burn very hot, will leave little to no coals and much more ash.

Pellet Fuel

In regards to pellets, lighting fires isn't as big a concern, as newer pellet appliances are equipped auto ignition systems. Most customers will also say that the softwood burns cleaner in a pellet appliance; making maintenance easier. But, the differences between hard and softwoods in a pellet appliance aren't as significant. 

Wood Pellets from Hammer

With the introduction of renewable fuel source, Pellets have grow in popularity for many reasons. Pellets are a byproduct of wood, compressed saw dust. The waste from wood mills (though not the only source) gets turned into a reusable fuel source that's more efficient and easier to handle than cords of wood. You'll still need space to store your pellets as they CANNOT be left outside. A pallet of pellets (shown below) takes up much less space than a cord of wood, conveniently packaged in 40lb bags, and provide a more consistent and efficient heat compared to split wood. When purchasing a brand, we always recommend a product with a PFI Label. (shown right)

We have Pallets of Wood Pellet!
Typical pallet (4-5 cubic feet @2000lbs)

Split Wood Pellets
Gas(100lb LP tank shown)

Next let us consider the different appliances:

What's best for your specific project: gas, wood, or pellet? The first thing we ask is, "Are you in an area prone to power outages?" The reason we ask this is because, a pellet burning units runs off of electricity, if the power goes out, so will a pellet fuel appliance. They can still run effectively off of a whole house generator, AND there are back-up battery options to allow a safe shutdown for some units in the event of an outage. But, what if you don't have a generator? It would be best to consider a system that doesn't rely on constant supply of household electricity. 

A Gas burning unit will generate their own necessary voltage to operate OR they will run for days off of standard batteries in a power outage. Gas units also provide an instant heat with the flick of a switch or press of a button. Within seconds you will have a flame, and minutes you will have heat radiating from the appliance. We offer both Natural Gas and Propane options to best suit the customer.

When considering a wood or pellet appliance, storage of fuel is necessary, which we already covered. You also must consider installation site. Wood units must have a chimney that terminates vertically above the roof line, which can limit where you can install a freestanding unit. Whereas, freestanding pellet and gas units can be terminated horizontally OR vertically, giving you more options for placement. Stop into our stores to learn more about what appliance is right for you!