Winter has almost approached. And people are warming up with the idea of romanticizing vacations. But, it’s not the same for ones concerned with the winter heating bills which will rise by 50 to 70 percent this winter over last for families across the country — an average of $350 more for natural gas users and $378 more for fuel oil users. The Energy Department predicts this. As a result, sales of wood, corn, wood pellet stoves and fireplace inserts are booming. Many central Illinois stove shops are thus, experiencing 30 to 40 percent increases in sales of the units this year.
Till now, the most popular are corn stoves that burn corn kernels instead of wood, Tracy Sutherland, owner of Hearth & Patio in Peoria said. “We got 20 in and they sold right away. They’re easy to use, clean burning and they help out our local farmers.” There’s a back order of a few months for the corn stoves, she said. Wood pellet stoves, which use small wood pellets sold in 40-pound bags for a few dollars each, and traditional wood stoves also are selling at a steady pace, Sutherland added.