Local pellet retailers feel the pinch of cold weather, supply woes

CHENANGO COUNTY – The past five years have a seen substantial increase in the number of county households that utilize biomass pellet stoves as a primary source of home heating, but a local shortage in pellet supply have some customers feeling a little chilly.

Pellet stoves are generally small, and the bags of pellets used to fuel them are about the size of a mulch bag, making them easy to store.

Because the fire is contained in a heat box inside the unit, there is a minimum of smoke, which lessens the smell in your home and prevents the outside of the unit from heating up. Pellets create considerably less ash than firewood, giving off less creosote, a flammable byproduct of combustion that can build up and cause chimney fires.

But while pellet stoves are flying off the shelves locally, the demand for pellets is higher than ever and some retailers are having trouble keeping up.

“Because of manufacturing delays, our distributors are not sending enough to keep up with the increased demand from new customers,” said Judy Boyce, an employee at Country Max in Norwich.

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