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PELLET STOVE SALES HEATING UP FOR THE WINTER, ACCORDING TO PYRO INDUSTRIES

 PELLET STOVE SALES HEATING UP FOR THE WINTER,
 ACCORDING TO PYRO INDUSTRIES
 BURLINGTON, Wash., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- As the weather changes and winter peeks around the corner, many people will be purchasing and installing wood stoves to heat their homes. However, environmental and other concerns are prompting consumers nationwide to turn to a cleaner, more efficient alternative -- the wood pellet stove.
 The wood pellet stove is a forced-air stove that automatically burns compressed pellets at a controllable rate, warming the air in an entire room like a regular furnace. The stove itself resembles a wood stove on the outside and is produced either as a freestanding stove or a fireplace insert. It was invented by Jerry Whitfield of Pyro Industries Inc. in 1983.
 Since the introduction of the first Whitfield stove in 1984, pellet stove sales have soared. Industry officials estimate that there are 185,000 pellet stoves in use nationwide from more than 30 manufacturers. Nearly half of all residential pellet stoves sold are Whitfield stoves.
 And that's just a start. In what is expected to be a colder-than- normal winter, the pellet stove's popularity is predicted to catch fire.
 A recent survey completed by a national dealer magazine, Alternative Energy Retailer (AER) supports this fact. More than 80 percent of the dealers surveyed by AER expect a significant increase in pellet stoves sales this year. In comparison, nearly 47 percent of the dealers expect wood stove sales to decrease or remain the same. Pyro Industries, alone, expects a 30-percent increase over last year's sales.
 Whitfield attributes the pellet stove's success to its environmental and convenience advantages.
 "Pellet stoves offer the same aesthetic benefits of wood stoves, but they burn cleaner, heat more efficiently, and are more convenient and easier to use," Whitfield said.
 A typical pellet stove emits an average of one gram of particulate pollutants into the atmosphere per hour and has an 80-percent overall efficiency rating. By comparison, the average wood stove emits about five grams per hour and is less than 70-percent efficient, according to Whitfield.
 "Wood pellets are environmentally smart," he explained. "They are manufactured from waste materials, such as sawdust, and formed into compact, dry pellets without any additives," he said.
 Pellet stove prices range from $1,600 to $3,000, depending upon the desired features. Installation costs are relatively low, $125 to $300, because the stove requires a simpler, three-inch venting system, as compared to the conventional wood stove chimney. Many stoves can be vented horizontally, directly through an outside wall and terminated. The back of the stove can be installed as close as one inch to a wall and three inches on the sides. No special materials for the surrounding walls are required.
 In many parts of the country, wood pellet heat is cheaper than cord wood. For example, pellets cost from $120 to $200 per ton. An average home will use two and a half tons of pellets in a year. Wood stove users burn an average of three to four cords of wood per year at a cost of $125 to $200 per cord.
 The ignition of the pellet stove industry gave birth to a sister industry -- the residential pellet fuel industry. When the first Whitfield pellet stove was introduced in 1984, there were only two pellet mills in operation.
 "Today, there are more than 60 pellet fuel mills in the United States and Canada," he said. Whitfield expects this number to continue to increase as the demand of pellet stoves rises.
 /NOTE TO THE EDITORS: Other background materials and artwork available./
 -0- 10/22/92
 /CONTACT: David J. Jepsen or Debbie Caldwell of Kobasic Fine Hadley, 206-623-7725 for Pyro Industries; or Doug Jenks of Pyro Industries, 206-757-9728/ CO: Pyro Industries Inc. ST: Washington IN: HOU SU:


JH-LM -- SEFNS2 -- 3264 10/22/92 07:34 EDT
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Date:Oct 22, 1992
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