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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:20 pm
Posts: 70

Gads, I thought summer in 2009 went fast. It really didn’t feel like we had summer at all this year. Someone told me long ago, “Up here we have two seasons—winter and the 4th of July.” This year it really seemed true. In just a few short weeks, we’ll get that first glimpse of what’s to come in the form of white stuff on the ground. Almost always by the third week of September, sometimes earlier, we’ve all smelled wood smoke already.

Many of you have already heard of the Economic Stimulus Tax Credit for high-efficiency biomass burning appliances. They include wood fireplaces, stoves and inserts, and pellet stoves and inserts that meet a 75% efficiency rate. Many of you have taken advantage of this tax credit already and some of you mean to. But time is running out. The credit officially ends Dec. 31, 2010.

Essentially, most wood burning and pellet burning products meet the 75% efficiency requirements so you can claim 30% of the cost of materials and labor up to $1500. That’s free money! In addition, manufacturers like Quadra Fire are having some special incentives for September such as a free ton of pellets with the purchase of a qualifying product.

There’s a mortal comfort you get from heating your home with wood that no other fuel can give you. It’s beautiful, mesmerizing, warm and available; our back yards are full of it. It’s a very green renewable fuel source. Wood fires burn without a power source and give us independence from the utility companies and foreign oil. You need to gather wood or call a wood supplier for delivery, and stock, carry and place wood in your fireplace or stove. You have to start the fire and tend to it.

Fortunately, most high-efficiency fireplaces, wood stoves and inserts give you hours of heat between loads. Then there is the cleaning up of ashes, woodchips, etc. Today’s stoves are far more efficient and cleaner burning than the old clunkers of even just a few years ago. They are easier to operate and usually have large glass windows. They are safer and take up less floor space, and they are attractive. And, yes, you can burn them in Denver and most counties in Colorado, contrary to popular belief.

You may prefer to heat your home with a renewable fuel, but don’t want the work of wood. Pellet fueled stoves may be the answer. They often look like wood burning stoves. They do burn wood, wood pellets that is, and other biomass products. The newer ones are automatic and light themselves. They run on thermostats and can also be programmable. The fuel is very available: grocery stores, hardware stores, hearth product dealers, and even the big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Wal-Mart carry fuel. They can be direct vented, eliminating costly chimney installation. The hoppers can store several days’ worth of fuel, which comes in a neat 40-pound plastic bag.
The downside is they require electricity to work, but on average the draw is only as much energy as a 150 watt light bulb. Some have battery back-up systems and all can be hooked up to generators. They produce about 1/4 cup of ash per 40-pound bag of pellets, so cleaning is usually a weekly event and only requires about 15 to 20 minutes. Most households using pellet appliances for their primary heat in the foothills will use 100 to 150 bags of fuel a season, $500 to $750 in fuel costs. Pellet stoves are machines with a flame in them and three to four moving parts, keeping future repair costs manageable. Most pellet stove owners can do the minor repairs themselves.

Of course, there’s always the ease and beauty of gas fireplaces and stoves. However, they don’t qualify for a tax credit. They are, however, very high efficiency and convenient.

Come in and check out the biomass possibilities at Inglenook and learn more about how to stay warm this winter.

Dorothy and Frank Matthews are the owners of Inglenook Energy Center in Conifer, which has been selling, installing and servicing high efficiency hearth products for 25 years throughout Colorado. It has over 150 wood, pellet and gas burning products displayed in its showroom at 26731 Main St. Call 303-838-3615. Dorothy and Inglenook are proud to be involved in community events and nonprofits.

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Inglenook Energy Center
Frank and Dorothy Matthews
26731 Main Street
Conifer, CO 80433
Fax: 303 838-3613

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 185
Frank & Dorothy, thank you for that great information, and keeping our community informed, which help us make better choices.

We value your knowledge and input in our community.

Live without pretending, Love without depending, Listen without defending, Speak without offending.

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