Mid-Michigan residents look for alternative heat sources - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan residents look for alternative heat sources

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(01/30/14) - It's a piece of mail most of us won't want to open this month.

Our deep freeze means it's costing us more to heat our homes - and that has some people looking for other ways to stay warm.

While temperatures outside drop, heating bills inevitably go up. With the cold winter we've been having, some people are wondering if there is anything they can do.

In hopes of cutting down their bills and dependence on propane or natural gas, some people are turning to wood-burning or biomass product heating systems to warm their homes. That has some local businesses busy.

"More and more, I'm getting desperate people 'cause they're afraid they're not going to be able to buy propane to heat their homes," said Art Meier, owner pf Pinetree Heating and Air Conditioning.

Switching to one of these alternative methods could run you a price tag upwards of $4,000, but in the long run could save you a lot as well

"They're limiting people to 200 gallons, and the price is $5 a gallon. People are burning 200 gallons a month. That's a $1,000 a month," Meier said.

The adjustments, don't always pay off - after the labor it takes to keep a wood-burning stove running, in some cases, it's best to stick with what you have.

"If you had to cut it and buy the gasoline to cut your wood, you're going to about break even from wood to natural gas," Meier said. "You have to be there to feed the fuel, you have to have good, dry fuel, you have to keep the chimneys clean. There's a lot of issues that people don't realize when they're burning these alternative fuels."

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