When Ned Beecher and his wife had a highly efficient wood pellet furnace installed in their house in the village of Tamworth, New Hampshire, they were thrilled to find a heating solution that was beneficial to the environment and helped support the local economy.
image credit: Mark Goebel, CC by 2.0
The main reason the Beecher family decided to replace their oil-burning furnace with the highest-efficiency OkoFEN hot air furnace on the market last fall is because of the environment. “We wanted to be less reliant on fossil fuels,” says Ned.
This wasn’t the first step on the family’s path to energy independence. They installed photovoltaic panels and a solar hot water heater in 2010. In the past, they have also made due with one car for the whole family, and now that they have two cars, one of them is a hybrid car.
Choosing biomass, a renewal energy, for heat was the next logical step.
The Beecher family’s old system was an oil-burning furnace that they’d had installed in their house not long after they bought it 30 years ago. They were burning about 400 gallons of oil a year. When they realized they needed to replace their furnace, wood pellets immediately came to mind.
Wood pellets are renewable. They’re grown and processed here in northern forests, which means less fuel is consumed getting them to your home. Plus, replacement trees are hard at work absorbing carbon from the atmosphere even as wood pellets are releasing carbon upon burning.
The Beechers were also interested in supporting the local economy as much as possible. By hiring Lyme Green Heat, they’re not just supporting one local business—they’re also supporting a company in Maine called MESys, which distributes the appliances we sell.
Heating with locally sourced wood pellets also helps this renewable energy industry thrive in northern New England. The biomass industry complements sustainable forestry and contributes to the maintenance and growth of healthy forests, one of our most beautiful and valuable assets. Every dollar spent on wood pellets stays in the northern New England and creates jobs in logging, forestry, pellet manufacturing, and trucking.
The Beechers have a two-bedroom, two-bath bungalow style house with Dutch gable ends and three large dormers than can prove difficult to heat, but they’ve had no trouble staying warm this winter. While many people decide to buy a generator to ensure they’ll have heat if the power goes out, Ned decided against it.
“We have a wood stove in the living room that we can use,” he says. “And our power rarely goes out anyway.”
The Beechers made use of New Hampshire’s rebate program to save money on their installation. They were able to use much of the existing duct work from their old oil-burning furnace, which made the installation easy. The one tricky aspect of the installation was fitting the hopper into the basement. “It’s a fairly small space,” says Ned. “It was good that we could work with Morty to fit it in—he had useful ideas.”
Two things the Beechers have noticed since installing their wood pellet furnace are the sound and the smell “Sometimes, our wood pellet furnace sounds like a big rain stick,” says Ned. “And we love the smell of pine coming from the basement—no dust, just a sweet scent. We’re delighted with it.”
While it’s always wonderful to know that our customers are happy, it’s especially reassuring when we get words of commendation from an expert.
When the Fire Chief in Tamworth, Chief Richard Colcord, did his routine inspection of the Beecher’s system, he remarked on the quality of the installation. “You can tell a lot about how reputable a company is by their work. I was very impressed with the install. Very neat and clean. The installer, Rene Ferland, was very helpful and informative. You have one hell of a good technician. He made my job very easy. I can't say enough good about the man and the install. Very good job.”