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issue: November 2006 APPLIANCE Magazine

43rd Annual Report on HVAC
Alternate Energy


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by Erin Biesen, Associate Editor

In September of this year, Quadra-Fire® introduced its next generation of pellet appliances. These pellet burners are designed to be efficient, environmentally friendly heating appliances that are capable of using a variety of fuels such as wood pellets, corn and wheat. The Mt. Vernon Advanced Energy Insert and the Mt. Vernon Stove monitor the temperature of the room and adjust their heat output to keep occupants comfortable.
The appliances are not new, but the company has updated the pellet burning technology to broaden the market appeal of the appliance by making them easier to use and maintain. “Just like a wood-burning appliance, it produces ash, and the ash has to be cleaned out,” says Steve Tate, Quadra-Fire brand manager for Hearth & Home Technologies. “They also have fans that blow heat into the room and force the exhaust out of the appliance, and those tend to be noisy.”
Quadra-Fire addressed some of these issues with its new products. “We made it much smarter and gave it more computer power and we made it much quieter,” says Tate. “We actually went outside our industry and created new blowers that are more powerful and much quieter. In general, the appliance is much more acceptable to homeowners that are looking at this fuel category.”
The company also made the product self-cleaning to reduce the amount of maintenance required by the homeowner. These appliances are said to be a good alternative for consumers dealing with rising energy costs.
The Mt. Vernon models are designed to be energy efficient and automated so the consumer does not have to be there to light the fire. “The pellet appliance will turn itself on whenever the thermostat calls for heat,” notes Tate. “Pellet appliances burn at a very steady rate and once the house is warm the appliance will turn completely off and then wait until the consumer needs more heat.”
Pellet appliances have been growing steadily in the European market for about 5 years. Hearth & Home Technologies expects to see the market in the U.S. grow from $20 million about 4 years ago to more than $300 million over the next few years.
“Just in the first half of this year the industry has practically grown by 100 percent,” Tate says.

Suppliers mentioned in this article:
Hearth and Home Technologies
 

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