Business Profile

Warm Up to Hearth Savings, Efficiency and Charm

The staff at Mountain West Sales gathers for a photo in front of a gas fireplace insert display inside the company’s showroom. “Right now, there’s a lot of interest in fireplace inserts,” says owner Jim Lyle (third from the right).
Nora Hickey, November 2017
Posted

For Jim Lyle, taking care of each customer runs in the family. Ever since his father, John, started Mountain West Sales in 1989, the playbook for the company has always focused on the adage that the customer is king. “I know you hear it a lot, but for us, customer service is the most important thing,” explains Lyle from his office at the company’s warehouse and showroom.

In the background, the ringing of phones and chatter of employees creates a pleasant hum. It’s easy to see that Lyle isn’t exaggerating when he says, “Unlike a lot of businesses these days, we actually pick up the phone on the first or second ring and you don’t have to go through a directory. It’s part of our focus on the customer.”

Along with impeccable customer service, for 28 years Mountain West Sales has provided multiple options for clients looking to add warmth, efficiency and aesthetic value to their home or office through quality fireplace, stove and hearth products. These include many types of fireplaces, fireplace inserts (installed in existing fireplaces to improve heat output and efficiency) and stoves, all of which are available in pellet, wood or gas. “We listen to the customer, provide options and don’t push them toward products that they don’t need or want,” says Lyle. “But we want them to make an informed decision and don’t try to rush them in and out of the store.”

With a climate that can reach freezing temperatures for part of the year, New Mexico can be an ideal place to invest in new heating. Lyle notes that many customers might not realize how replacing an old fireplace can do a lot of good for the warmth and efficiency of any home or business.

“Fireplaces can become inefficient and drafty, and many aren’t being used because of that. A great option in this case is a fireplace insert, which you can put in your existing fireplace to heat a home with and cut down on energy lost from the old one,” says Lyle. “Even better, there are many ways to re-invent a worn out, broken down hearth.”

Mountain West Sales carries gas, wood, pellet and electric inserts in a variety of styles to spruce up any space. The experts at the company are also happy to install new fireplaces, of any shape and style.

For a minimalist who enjoys a contemporary appearance, the sleek and elegant see-through and wall-hung fireplaces might be just what they’re looking for. And who wouldn’t be happy with a handsome outdoor fireplace glowing at night?

Mountain West Sales staff members are ready to answer any questions and use their knowledge to help customers make an informed decision. “We like to show them a lot of options, such as gas, wood or pellet, and really try to help them determine the best choice,” explains Lyle.

For zoned heating needs, a stove can provide a sufficient amount of heat from a smaller source, says Lyle. Stoves, like inserts and fireplaces, are available in pellet and wood burning as well as gas. “Any type of stove will add heat to a part of the house that can’t keep warm with a furnace or central heating,” he adds. “And you can still have a thermostat-controlled heating source with a stove. The pairing of a stove with a thermostat allows for even more efficiency in heating.”

All the hearth products at Mountain West Sales are eco-friendly and reduce pollutants inside and outside the home, says Lyle. “Our gas fireplaces are all direct vents, which means they don’t use any air from the room for combustion,” he explains. “The wood and pellet models are EPA Phase 2-certified, so they can be used on ‘no-burn nights’ because the exhaust is really clean. Burn restrictions occur because of higher pollutant levels. With a green hearth from Mountain West Sales, customers can enjoy warmth worry free.”

Every purchase at Mountain West Sales comes with expert advice and service from the company’s professional team, notes Lyle. “Unlike larger corporations, we don’t want customers to try and figure out everything themselves,” he says. “When someone enters our showroom, we explain to them how to operate a new hearth, safely.”

Lyle and his staff recommend that customers not play with fire, but instead let experts guide them through the process. If any issues arise after an installation, Mountain West Sales services all the products they sell. It’s a worry-

free purchase from start to completion, notes Lyle.

Mountain West Sales’ dozen employees have more than 180 years’ combined experience in the hearth industry. This is important to know when considering which company to hire to install fire-using products, suggests Lyle. Each of the company’s technicians is a licensed journeyman gas fitter, which requires two years of on-the-job training as an apprentice.

Further, Mountain West Sales employees receive frequent training on all the products they sell. “We have a regular education component offered through one of our manufacturers, and so our staff is constantly taking online courses,” explains Lyle. “There’s a list of classes that they need to take when available. The goal is to make sure we are up to date in what we’re doing. We take our customers’ safety very seriously.”

Along with hearths, Mountain West Sales also sells fire pits, skylights, specialty barbecue grills, like the Kamado Joe charcoal grills and Traeger pellet grills and smokers; and Heartland kitchen appliances. The company carries products from brands Jotul, Quadra-Fire, Harman (Harman pellet stoves were recently rated No. 1 by Consumer Reports magazine, notes Lyle), Morso, Heat & Glo, Heatilator and Pacific Energy. “With the enormous selection we have, there is a stove or insert for everyone,” he says. “For example, Morso has been making cast iron wood stoves in Denmark since 1853, and Jotul has been making stoves in Norway also since 1853. These are rock-solid products that have stood the test of time. All of our wood stoves and inserts are non-catalytic, which reduces the amount of interaction you have to have with the stove and cuts down on maintenance complexity and cost.”

Interested customers are encouraged to come and browse the company’s 3,000-square-foot showroom, one of the largest of its kind in New Mexico. “We want people to come and check it out, and know they won’t get overbearing salespeople trying to sell them something they don’t want,” says Lyle. “But we don’t want them to be uninformed, so we will always try to help and take good care of them.

“We have a lot of customers who were referred to us and we have customers who have been buying from us since 1989,” adds Lyle. “We service everyone, from the do-it-yourself customer all the way up to the multi-million-dollar homeowner. That’s one of the things that I like about our business. We don’t distinguish between them.”

For more information about Mountain West Sales, give them a call at 888-4464 or visit them online at www.mountainwestsales.net. The company’s showroom is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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