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Switch to pellet furnace saves Massena chamber on heating costs

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MASSENA — The temperature inside 16 Church St. is cozy these days.

But it hasn’t always been that way for the home of the Greater Massena Chamber of Commerce — until Patrick J. Curran, owner of Curran Renewable Energy, offered to supply the chamber with a pellet furnace and a 10-ton supply of pellets at no cost.

“We thank him for the generous donation. It’s a great donation to the chamber. It’s a great company,” chamber Executive Director Michael J. Gleason said.

The former Adath Israel synagogue had two gas furnaces when the chamber moved in last fall, according to Mr. Gleason. The 4,600-square-foot building with 14-foot ceilings had been vacant for two to three years after Emmanuel Congregational United Church of Christ returned to its West Orvis Street home following renovations after a fire caused by a lightning strike in May 2007.

“One of (the furnaces) was not working at all. The heat exchanger was cracked,” Mr. Gleason said.

As a result, one side of the building, which was a kitchen area and now houses the chamber’s office, was heated. But the other side, where the chamber plans to hold indoor concerts, was without heat.

The heating issue was resolved, but it cost the chamber $500 to $600, Mr. Gleason said.

Then Mr. Curran came into the picture.

“I called Pat. He said he was interested in taking a look at the heating source” to see if installing a pellet furnace was feasible given the size of the building, Mr. Gleason said.

Mr. Curran toured the building and determined that a pellet furnace would work. That furnace was installed in the basement by Paul and Clint Roberson, Roberson Plumbing & Heating, Canton.

“They’re trained to do all installations,” Mr. Gleason said.

Now, he said, the chamber has one pellet furnace that heats the entire building. Two controls in the furnace room regulate the temperatures on either side of the building.

“Both sides are working now. Everything is functioning well,” he said.

Mr. Gleason said the pellet furnace will save the chamber a considerable amount of money. He said that even heating just one side of the building with natural gas produced an $800 bill for one month, “and it wasn’t even warm.”

The chamber office still has gas capability as a backup, in case something should happen to the pellet furnace.

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