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Finding Alternative Ways to Heat Your Home

EAST LONGMEADOW (WGGB) — With another blast of frigid temperatures on the way, you may be wondering how you can keep your rising heating bill under control.

Experts say there are plenty of ways to save money while heating your home.

The most popular alternative heating method is with wood pellets. They are small pieces of condensed wood that are stored in pellet stoves, and gradually fed into a fire.

The pellet stove provides a constant flame and requires little or no adjustments.

However, those pellets are becoming a little too popular. Many stores say they are running low on such alternative heating supplies.

“We’re finding that our lead times from our distributors need to be longer,” said A.W. Brown Pet & Garden manager Richard Paige. “We have to give them more notice, and even some of our suppliers were out for the year.”

Paige adds that his store usually carries 5 different brands of wood pellets, but are now limited to just 2 due to the demand.

For those who are using pellets, Paige says it’s important to stay safe and to use the highest quality pellets.

“We need to train the customer to make sure they’re buying a quality pellet that is either low ash, low moisture, and is considered a premium pellet,” Paige said. “There are pellets that are more bark, glue, and can really wreak havoc on your stove. The price may seem attractive at first, but higher quality is better.”

Those pellets also burn cleaner and are better for the environment. That includes so-called “Bio-Bricks.”

“They are a renewable source and are a lot easier and nicer to handle than traditional firewood.”

That means no creosote, dust, or bugs to clean up.

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