The Rush for Warmth

By: Mallory Brooke Email
By: Mallory Brooke Email

Temperatures will drop below 30 degrees in most areas Monday night, sparking a rush for heat.

Acme Stove Co. in Harrisonburg has seen a steady increase in sales since September and expects them to continue rising through the winter season. However, they say there's a been a noticeable 'panic' the past few weeks, which Larry Parlee, owner of Acme Stove Co., blames on simple procrastination.

Parlee says that when it's 70 degrees, residents don't want to think about winter. However, when the cold temperatures hit, residents realize they need to prepare.

Parlee says, "You see a panic after the first frost, the first freeze, the first snowfall, the first ice storm, anything like that that actually drives home the fact that it is winter, and you're cold."

Patrick and Ann Scoles moved to Toms Brook, Virginia during the early spring and didn't think about winter until now. After an unsuccessful trip to Lowes, the couple came to Harrisonburg and were able to purchase a wood stove at Acme Stove within minutes.

Both know that winters in the Valley are colder and usually more icy than what they're used to in Maryland. With excessive icing comes power outages, which the couple took into consideration before buying an additional heating source for their new home.

Ann says, "We bought the house last March. Of course it was starting to get warm then, but now it's starting to get cold and we're concerned 'cause it's an all electric house. If we lose current, how are we going to stay warm?"

Another reason for purchasing a wood stove was money.

"The house came with a place for a wood stove and at one point I was going to take it out. But then I talked to a neighbor and they said how much money they saved using a wood stove, and decided that was the way to go to heat the basement," says Ann.

Parlee has been noticing this trend since gas prices were up over $4 a gallon. Fuel prices may have gone down, but the demand for wood stoves is still high.

"The gas and the oil price fluctuate so much that I think people are tired of it. One month is up, one month is down. You can get a stove, a wood stove, and get your wood for the year and it doesn't matter what is going on with the economy," says Parlee.

The neighbor that recommended a wood stove to the Scoles said it only cost about $400 to heat their house for the during the 2007-2008 winter season.

While temperatures will moderate by mid-week, another blast of cold, Canadian air could affect the Valley Sunday. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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