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More Homeowners Turning to Cheaper Heating Sources

Updated: Thursday, January 30 2014, 10:41 PM CST

The
explosion of propane gas prices--a low supply combined with this
winter's brutally cold temperatures--is causing high demand. And many
across central Illinois that use propane to keep nice and toasty are
looking for an alternative heating source.

Propane gas users in sticker shock are clamoring in droves for an alternative and cheaper heating source.

"I've
had more calls in the last week than I've probably had in the past two
years for wood stoves," said Russ Mendenhall, Vice President of
Mendenhall Construction, Inc.

In the midst of what's being called
a propane disaster, homeowners are turning to the old-fashioned method
of burning firewood to heat their homes.

"With fuel costs being
$5 average propane cost per gallon, a lot of people are looking to go
towards the wood burning because they can control their cost. And if
you've got the wood supply, and it's accessible, then it's kind of a
no-brainer," Mendenhall said.

But just like propane, supplies locally for firewood are low too.

"I don't have any wood for sale. We've sold out," said Earl Throop, Foreman at Throop & Son Tree Service.

That's something people are hearing a lot.

"We've been real busy. We've had a lot of calls for it and unfortunately we just can't keep up with demand," Throop said.

Even
with the skyrocketing price of propane, employees at Marx Fireplace and
Lighting say gas fireplaces are still their number one seller. But this
year, more customers are in the market for something fuel efficient.

"Most
of your existing fireplaces they've put in in the past years, the
regular wood burning fireplaces, are about 10, 15, 20 percent efficient,
tops. Or could be a negative and they can put these gas inserts in and
can turn it into over 80 percent high efficiency," said Frank Kruger,
Sales Manager at Marx Fireplace & Lighting.

Stung by winter's
fury and high heating prices for propane and firewood, a lot of people
are stocking up now just in case next winter is a brutal as this one.

"A
couple of our clients that we've sold to have said that next year I
think I'll get two instead of just one because I'm out," said Throop.

For
an average home, an outdoor wood burning furnace costs about $8,000 or
$10,000. But experts say, with propane prices so high, you'll see a one
to two year return on your investment.

Throop and Son Tree
Service is warning people to beware of people selling firewood from out
of state. It's all about the quality of the wood, and they recommend
asking for references before buying wood from them.




More Homeowners Turning to Cheaper Heating Sources


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