GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- With rising energy costs, people are turning to alternative energy sources, including wood stoves. Sales of wood stoves are up, but one major manufacturer wants people to be aware of how to use and maintain them.
At the Jotul facility in Gorham, sales are up 80% from last year.
Bret Watson, President of Jotul N.A., remarked, "It is incredible. Our wood business is up over 300%. Our gas stove business is only down about 10%, but it is really the wood part of the business that has given us a huge boost this year and it is totally energy price driven."
That rise in woodstove sales has fueled a desire for the company to remind people how to safely operate wood stoves.
Watson commented, "One of the biggest concerns we have is that people are getting back in to wood burning after many years away from burning wood stoves, or they're new to burning and today's EPA approved appliance is an airtight stove that takes a little more expertise in operating."
The stove isn't the only thing that needs to be taken care of.
"You want an annual chimney cleaning. Even with today's clean burning appliances, an annual chimney cleaning is the best thing to do."
One thing Jotul wants to stress to people looking to burn wood this winter is to make sure the wood is seasoned and not green.
Other steps to make this season a safe one: Pay close attention to your draft, don't burn wood with the ash door open and always dispose of ashes properly.
This Saturday morning from 9 till 11, Jotul will be having a free course for people looking to maximize the efficiency of their wood stoves, plus other tips and techniques for novice and experienced wood burners. Jotul is located in the Gorham Industrial Park, at 55 Hutcherson Drive.
This story was originally posted September 18, 2008.