With home heating costs soaring, more homeowners are looking at installing wood-burning stoves. But saving money isn’t the only reason to consider this time-honored method of heating your home. There is also an intangible quality of having a wood-burning stove as the center of your home. What could be more welcoming on a cold winter day than the warmth and glow of a crackling fire?
The benefits of heating with wood are many: It is environmentally responsible because you are using a renewable resource instead of fossil fuels; it supports the local economy; it lowers your heating bills; and it puts you in control. Wood stoves have come a long way in the past decade. They are more attractive, with styles to fit just about every décor. They are more efficient and cleaner burning than old models. They’re also easier to operate and safer.
Aside from the charm and crackling fire, there is no similarity between wood-burning stoves today and those found in homes 20 years ago, says Thomas Morrissey of Woodstock Soapstone Company of West Lebanon, N.H. “Today’s stoves are clean burning and efficient – most of what goes up the chimney is just carbon dioxide and water vapor. There virtually no smoke or odor,” he notes.
All Woodstock stoves have internal catalytic combustors. The average catalytic stove is 30 percent cleaner burning and 15 percent more efficient than a non-catalytic stove. “Any combustible gases or particles not burned in the firebox are forced through the catalytic combustor and incinerated there,” explains Morrissey. The extra heat created by the catalyst is captured by the stove and radiated into your home. That means when you put a pound of wood into the stove, you extract just about every btu from that energy.
The company manufactures wood burning stoves from soapstone. “It’s nature’s perfect stove material,” says Laura Scott, Woodstock’s customer service manager. It holds twice as much heat per pound as iron or steel, and it radiates that heat steadily, even hours after the fire has died down. Plus the warm grain and color of soapstone make these woodstoves attractive pieces of furniture that you can enjoy year-round.
Each stove is built with skill, patience and attention to detail by an individual craftsman. Like fine wood, each piece of soapstone has unique grain and coloration. With an eye for natural harmony, the stovemaker selects panels of stone with complementary grain and color for each stove. The cast iron trim on each stove is available in black, blue, gray or brown to coordinate with your interior.
The stoves and the customer service provided by the company have impressed customers across the country. “We don’t really have repeat customers, since our stoves last so long, but much of our business comes from family, friends and neighbors of current customers via word of mouth,” says Ms. Scott.
Woodstock Soapstone Company sells its stoves directly to consumers. For more information, visit www.woodstove.com or call (800) 866-4344.
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