It’s that time of year again when Elf looks at the blank bit of wall where our fireplace was going to go, and thinks deep thoughts about heating. For some weeks she has planned an outing to a mythical place called Pellet Fires Tasmania, and we finally went there on Saturday.
They actually sell all sorts of heatware (I just made that up, like it?), and we started looking at a portable gas heater. It was running off a little gas bottle, but the salesman said you could get a fixture in the wall and plumb it to a large gas bottle outside. We tossed back and forth a few things - after a while he said "So, you want to take one of these home today?" Elf, (who wears the heat pants), asked if we could look at the next size up.
After we moved on to a large wall-mounted gas heater, our salesman in mentioning its advantages said "and as it has a flue, unlike the portable, emissions aren't a problem". So - um - emissions ARE a problem with the portable you just heartily tried to sell us? "Oh yes, you wouldn't run one indoors for long without a window open. In fact they’re now illegal in all other states". Marcus said in a stage whisper "Can we get anything else but that, please".
We excused ourselves and went to look at the eponymous pellet fires on the other side of the shop. They are pretty ingenious. You pour sawdust pellets into a hopper on top, and it lowers them into the fiery flames by means of a rotating auger (or helical blade, if you will). The pellets are made from waste that has few other uses, and often goes into landfill. So now we are doing a bit of background study on who makes the pellets, and if they will keep making the pellets if we buy one.
We mentioned our lucky escape from the illegal gas heater to the salesman on the pellet fire side of the shop. He said he had read through all the documentation that came with it, and he could only think of three people that it would be possible to sell one to.