Michelle Mahikoa was not on board when her husband brought up the idea of replacing their woodstove with a pellet boiler, but now, in the midst of their second winter with pellet heat, she says, “It’s the best decision we ever made!”
Michelle and her family of five live in a two-story, 180-year-old farmhouse in East Corinth, Vermont. Their house boasts plenty of charming countryside beauty, but like any older home, it also requires a lot of work.
The Mahikoas were not complete strangers to heating with wood pellets before having a new boiler from Lyme Green Heat installed last year. Several years ago, they’d had a pellet stove installed. However, the stove did not prove to be up to the task of keeping the house warm. “We couldn’t get the temperature over 57 degrees!” Michelle says. They gave up on pellets and replaced their pellet stove with a woodstove. It kept their house warmer, but was a lot of work.
A few years later, they were remodeling their home and again facing decisions about how to heat it. Michelle’s husband, Tyrel, was leaning towards a wood-burning furnace that lived outside, but Michelle was dismayed at the thought of going out in freezing weather to feed the furnace with wood. “He’s a long-distance truck driver, so I’m here alone a lot.”
Michelle was also concerned about using this system as they grew older. Now they’re young and even have teenage sons to share in the heavy lifting, but if the Mahikoas want to stay in the same home as they grow older, they’ll need a more sustainable type of heating system that requires far less physical labor on their part.
Friends of theirs had recently made the switch to a pellet furnace and raved about how well it worked. After talking with their friends and with Morton Bailey at Lyme Green Heat, the Mahikoas decided to give a pellet heating system a try.
They now have a pellet boiler and a 7-ton storage unit in their basement. “It’s fantastic,” Michelle says. “It heats the house very evenly, and there’s no work involved.”
The one thing Michelle insisted on was a generator, so if the power goes out, which it does frequently in the country, the pellet boiler won’t be affected. “I’m just thrilled that we took this step,” says Michelle.
One of the main factors that contributed to their decision to go with pellet heat was the long-term financial savings. “We used to go through a load and a half of logs and still spent about $1,000 on propane every winter. The pellet boiler, we had it filled just once last year.”
Another major relief is the lack of physical labor that they now have to accomplish in order to heat their house. “It’s a nice, even heat, and we don’t have to do anything to get it!” says Michelle.
Modern pellet heat—making life warmer and easier, one home at a time.