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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 local businessman Patrick J. Curran, owner of Curran Renewable Energy, stepped up and 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 into the location 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 their West Orvis Street home following renovations from a fire.

One of (the furnaces) was not working at all. The heat exchanger was cracked,” he 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 church side, where the chamber plans to hold indoor concerts, was without heat.

The heating issue was resolved, but it cost the chamber between $500 and $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 himself and determined that a pellet furnace would work for the facility. That furnace was installed in the basement by Paul and Clint Roberson, Roberson Plumbing and Heating, Canton.

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

Now, he said, the chamber has one pellet furnace that heats their 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 them a considerable amount of money. He noted that even just heating one side of their building with natural gas they had an $800 bill for one month “and it wasn’t even warm.”

The chamber office still has gas capability as a back-up, in case something should happen to the pellet furnace. In the meantime, though, they’re thankful for the savings the furnace is providing them.

“It’s a win-win for us and it’s a win-win for keeping this building warm,” he said.

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