Alpine County Wood Stove Replacement Program

wood stovesSierra Hearth & Home provides services for wood stove replacement program

By Lisa Isaacs

As published in Ledger Dispatch 12/3/2015

An established Jackson business recently contracted with Alpine County to provide its residents with new heating systems at significant cost savings. Sierra Hearth & Home on Highway 49 is now offering customer services for Alpine County’s Woodstove Replacement Program, available through next summer.

Program funding is limited to a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis. Anyone in Alpine County who would like to replace a wood-burning system (stove or fireplace) with a new, EPA-compliant wood, pellet or gas system is advised to immediately contact a participating business. In addition to Sierra Hearth & Home in Jackson, South Y Fireplace in South Lake Tahoe has also contracted with Alpine County to provide program services.

Available funds were provided through a recent agreement between the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District. As part of the agreement, the allotted funds must be spent on air pollution prevention projects throughout the Air District.

With several hundred thousand dollars between them, District board members from Alpine County, Mono County and the Town of Mammoth Lakes chose to spend their “Environmental Public Benefit Funds” on replacing wood-burning systems with new, much cleaner and more efficient heating systems.

To be eligible for replacement costs, an existing wood-burning system (stove or fireplace) must be located in Alpine County and it must be a building’s main heat source – residential or commercial. Specifically, pre-1990 wood-burning stoves and fireplaces may qualify for $1,500 toward the cost of a new EPA-compliant wood-burning stove or fireplace; or alternatively, $2,000 toward a new pellet or gas system. For wood-burning stoves or fireplaces manufactured and installed after 1990, $2,000 may be available toward the cost of a new and much cleaner-burning pellet or gas heating system.

Subsidized amounts are paid by Alpine County to participating retailers upon install completion, and not to individuals or property owners. Shared costs will be required, with amounts dependent on product selections and specific job needs. All replaced stoves must also be relinquished and new installations permitted by the Alpine County Building Department, including smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.

For more information, including product selections and installation services, visit Sierra Hearth & Home on Highway 49 in Jackson. Call Shirley Hampton at (209) 223-4007; or South Y Fireplace at the Y in South Lake Tahoe. Call Laray Taylor at (530) 541-6833.

While there are more businesses surrounding Alpine County providing heating supplies and services, Sierra Hearth & Home in Jackson and South Y Fireplace are the only contracted service providers. All other qualified retailers in the region opted out, citing remote location challenges and “enough existing business.”

For more information, contact Alpine County’s Woodstove Replacement Program Administrator at (760) 914-0388.

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tax creditsIf you bought a wood or pellet stove in 2015, or purchase one this year, you are eligible for a $300 FEDERAL TAX CREDIT.

Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association successfully lobbied for an extension of the 25C tax credit.  Any stove that is 75% or higher efficiency (LHV OR HHV) qualifies for the $300 Federal Tax Credit.

Previously this tax credit had expired at the end of 2014.  This is retroactive to January 1 of 2015 and goes through all of 2016.

Any customers that purchased a wood stove from us in 2015 are eligible for this $300 tax credit.

And if you’re looking to purchase a new stove, this is a big extra incentive to do it in 2016.

Please view the following page: www.hpba.

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Environmentally Friendly Hearths?

There are so many choices when selecting your hearth, but did you know you could also help clean the air, inside AND out?

wood-fireplace-whyToday’s new wood stoves and fireplace inserts cut emissions by more than 70% compared to older, uncertified stoves. Strict U.S. EPA standards have reduced emissions, and improved indoor air quality as well. Air inside the home can be as much as 72% cleaner using new EPA-certified wood stoves than older wood stoves manufactured before 1992. Here’s a great article from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HBPA) that will help you understand the new efficiencies of hearth products.

What’s the best unit for your home?

Before making a decision, there are a lot of things to consider. Do you want a traditional fireplace, an insert, or a freestanding stove? Do you choose wood, gas, or pellet.? And where will your hearth go? With today’s factory built units, you can have a fireplace almost anywhere in your home, such as a bedroom, kitchen, office or bathroom. Here’s an article that might help you make your choice.


Your traditional open hearth fireplace will lose about as much heat as it provides, but you can transform this energy waster into a beautiful, highly efficient heat source than can help cut energy costs…read more


Wood is the most sustainable fuel, and because we live in the foothills, it is usually readily available. To burn wood more efficiently and protect our environment, a modern wood stove may be a good choice…learn more

Here you will find a comparison of fireplaces and wood stoves.

fireplace-36st106784GAS HEARTHS

Don’t like the hassle of cutting or buying firewood, stacking it, and carrying it in the house when you want a fire? Maybe a gas fireplace or stove is a good choice for you. Here’s an article titled “Are Gas Fireplaces Expensive to Operate?” Learn which is more economical, gas or wood…and some other things to think about when making your choice.





avalon-pellet-stove106606Pellet stoves provide one of the highest heat outputs available. These extremely efficient, eco-friendly heating alternatives have been growing in popularity thanks to their innovative technology and modern conveniences. Get all of the benefits of a wood fueled fire with the clean-burning technology of a contemporary stove design….learn more

So you see, there are units available for any style and any room! Stop by our 3000 foot showroom with over 65 wood, gas, and pellet stoves, inserts and fireplaces on display. You can browse our wonderful selection of top rated hearth products from the best manufacturers in the industry, and speak to our National Fireplace Institute (NFI) Certified Specialists. We invite you to take the opportunity to sit in front of showcase vignettes, view the fire and imagine how it would feel in the comfort of your very own home.

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Beautiful Koi Pond

Check out this stunning Water Garden and Koi Pond by Sierra Hearth & Home! You can have a beautiful water feature in your yard, too! Give us a call or stop by our store to see our live demonstration pond and waterfalls.

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What’s the best firewood to burn?

jotul-wood-stoveThis article was written by Sierra Hearth & Home and published in The Amador Ledger Dispatch 11/24/15

Winter is on its way, and with a chill in the air, there’s nothing more inviting than a nice warm fire to keep us warm and save on utility bills. Many of us use our hearth to heat our home throughout the winter, and we’re always on the lookout for firewood. So what is the best firewood for your fireplace insert or wood-burning stove? The answer is ANY wood is fine, as long as it is DRY!

All wood is basically similar in chemical content, regardless of the species. Density and moisture content are what make different types of wood burn hotter or quicker. Hardwoods like oak and maple produce longer lasting fires and release more heat, while softer woods like pine and spruce burn faster and do not leave a long-lasting coal bed.

Won’t Pine cause creosote in my chimney?

Many people say you must burn hardwoods and you can’t burn pine or other less dense woods because they will leave creosote in the chimney. This is simply not the case. Whether you use soft woods or hard woods, and no matter how you burn your firewood, particulate matter and gasses are released into the air and through the chimney. There is no avoiding this, but that doesn’t mean you have to have a creosote build-up. Creosote is formed when wood is incompletely burned, and is an indication of a poor wood stove design, improper use, or poor installation. Here are some tips to keep your chimney creosote-free, regardless of which wood you burn.

yellow meterHow do I know if the wood is dry enough?

If the firewood has been aged one full season (April – November) it should be perfect for burning. If you’re uncertain, stop by Sierra Hearth & Home and pick up a moisture meter. You just stick the prong into the end of a log and if it measures below 20% it is dry enough to burn in your hearth.

What about burning wood from trees that have been killed by Pine Beetles?

If you have lost trees to the pine beetles, you must be careful to cure and handle your wood properly. Here is a good article from CalFire on controlling bark beetles in wood residue and firewood. It explains how to cut, stack, and tarp your wood so you can safely use the wood without spreading the infestation.

Cutting firewood:

Living in the foothills, there’s plenty of firewood available should you wish to cut your own. You may have trees on your own property or on the property of your friends. The devastating Butte Fire left acres of burned trees that can still be useful as firewood. All of the burned land is either private or BLM, so you must obtain permission of the property owners before cutting.

In the El Dorado National Forest (Amador County), and Stanislaus National Forest (Calaveras County), wood cutting is allowable by permit. Please check with the following National Forest Ranger Stations for proper permits and regulations:

El Dorado National Forest
26820 Silver Drive
Pioneer, CA 95666
Permits: $15/cord – 2 cord minimum

Stanislaus National Forest
5519 Highway 4
Hathaway Pines, CA
Permits: $10/cord – 2 ½ cord minimum, 10 cord maximum

Here’s a great article from Stihl USA on how to select, split, stack and store your firewood:

Buy it / Cut it where you burn it

Taking your firewood out of the region, or bringing firewood in from other areas can move invasive pests to new locations, and create new infestations. The USDA Forest Service recommits you use firewood from local sources. Read more here

Stop by Sierra Hearth & Home and talk to the experts! We love to share our knowledge with you!

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