Wooden Range Gross sales Up as Folks Search for Different Heating Choices
As heating oil and gas prices rise, customers are looking to alternative heating options — like old-fashioned wood-burning stoves — according to Carol Turner, co-founder of the nearly five-decade-old Chimney Sweep Energy Store in Orange County, New York.
Sales of wood and pellet stoves are up year-on-year, with overall in-store sales up by at least a quarter, she told the Epoch Times Nov. 4.
Turner’s daughter and saleswoman Ruth Loria said the growth was related to recent world events, such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have severely disrupted the energy market.
According to the New York Home Heating Oil Monitoring Program, Heating oil is $6.18 per gallon on November 7 for residents of the lower Hudson Valley region, including Orange County.
The price is up almost 70 percent year-on-year and has more than doubled year-on-year.
Ruth Loria at the Chimney Sweep Energy showroom in Orange County, NY on November 5, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)
Loria said in an energy crisis like this, people — particularly those with conservative views — are looking for stability in unmanufactured fuels like wood.
Some rediscovered the value of a wood stove in an old home, others opted to install one in a new home — which could cost around $8,000, she told the Epoch Times.
Rich Staffer, a customer of the store, said he installed a pellet stove in addition to his propane heating system eight years ago when propane prices quadrupled due to a severe shortage.
The decision saved him money, he said. “Pellets [prices] go up and down, but not as much as propane.”
Wood pellets will be on display in the Chimney Sweep Energy showroom on November 5, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)
Due to significant supply chain disruptions, in-store orders have waiting times of between 2 and 29 weeks, depending on the product and model, Loria said.
In February, Loria ordered 11 ovens – eight of which had already been sold – but none of the ovens have yet arrived in the store; in August she ordered another 24 stoves, which will not arrive until March 2023.
This means that some customers won’t be able to use their purchased stoves until next winter.
Despite this, Loria encourages her to plan ahead.
“Last year customers left because of the wait. They come back this year and find the wait is even longer — they placed an order right away,” Loria said.
For furnace installation, quality service providers in the region face a wait of six to eight weeks, she said.
A burning gas stove on display in the Chimney Sweep Energy showroom on November 5, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)
How about gas stoves?
Gas stoves remain popular with customers who like the easy way to press a button to turn on the heat rather than adding wood or pellets, Loria said.
Freestanding gas stoves work well for zone heating, perfect for recreation area cabins owned by people in New York, she added.
The Chimney Sweep Energy Store was founded by Turner and her husband Jack Turner during the global fuel crisis caused by the Arab oil embargo in the 1970s.
They started with a stove in their basement and grew it into a full-service company that carried a variety of fireplace products and related services.