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January 29, 2014

Smell of a wood stove makes N.H. special

Granite Staters embrace the benefits of wood heat

People say the smell of wood stoves on crisp winter mornings is one of “603 Reasons” New Hampshire is special.

It’s a smell folks are getting used to this frigid winter.

“That’s a very good smell,” said Rose Noetzel, who grew up in a home with a wood stove and has had one in her Derry house for 15 years.

John Morin is the manager at Hearthworks Fireplace Center in Kingston, which keeps the wood burning in some models for the benefit of shoppers.

“You step outside in the parking lot here and you can smell them burning,” he said. “It’s nice.”

Wood stoves are as much a part of New Hampshire as, well, trees in the woods. That’s why it’s among “603 Reasons” readers said the smell from them is special.

But it’s not just the smell that makes people devotees.

Independence, is what Morin thinks of when he thinks of wood stoves.

“You can get your own wood and you can chop your own wood,” Morin said. “I call it a labor of love.”

Al Guibord, owner of The Stove Shoppe in Windham, said that’s where the wood stove has other types of home heating sources beat.

“You can be self-sustainable,” Guibord said.

But a wood stove owner must work at it.

“You are more involved than going over and turning a thermostat,” Guibord said.

Those who get involved remark on the savings.

“I probably save $500 to $1,000 a year,” said Doug Cole of Kingston.

Noetzel couldn’t guess at her family’s savings, but knows they are ahead — especially with relatives providing them free, split wood.

Even if it puts a little more dust in the house, “it’s worth the tradeoff,” she said.

Wood stoves can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $2,000. A cord of wood can cost between $250 and $350, depending on whether it’s green or dry, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

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