FAIRBANKS— Like a lot of those in attendance at the Go Winter! Expo in the Carlson Center on Saturday, Gary Currington was interested in finding ways to cut his energy expenses.
Or as he put it, “I’m looking at adjuncts to my existing heating system without a huge capital expenditure.”
Currington was among a large crowd that turned out Saturday for the expo, a two-day affair that continues today at the Carlson Center. The expo features more than 120 vendors selling everything from popcorn to jewelry to hot tubs to solar panels to wood stoves.
The theme of this year’s expo was energy savings. There were several free seminars Saturday that offered suggestions on ways to save money on fuel costs.
“Everybody is into energy saving now,” said Angela Ketzler, who was handing out applications at Interior Weatherization. “You have to be with the cost of fuel and the cost of electricity.”
Currington, 60, was checking out pellet stoves.
“I have an interest in biomass use for heating,” he said. “I’m already using wood, and I’m also burning pellets.
“I’m looking for a simple, efficient, low-cost pellet stove with a possible sidearm coil that I can incorporate into my existing heating system,” he said.
But Currington didn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it.
“I like that pellet boiler over there but it’s $6,000, so the cost scares me,” he said, pointing to a shiny, red Heatilator pellet boiler displayed in The Stove Shop booth. “If we get natural gas in here in the next couple of years all this biomass usage is going to be impacted.”
Jim Gappert had a different reason for checking out a new wood stove at Saturday’s expo.
“These are supposed to be more efficient and burn half the wood,” he said, looking over a new wood stove. “I’m getting older and it’s getting harder to cut wood.”
Ross Beal was more interested in looks than efficiency as he checked out glass-fronted wood and pellet stoves.
“I’ve already got an outdoor pellet stove, but my wife wants a window to look at the fire,” Beal said with a grin.
If you go:
The Go Winter! Expo continues from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Carlson Center. Admission is $4 and kids 12 and younger get in free, as do military personnel with a military ID. For a full list of vendors and today’s schedule, go to www.fairbanksevents.com.
Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.