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Just purchased a corn furnace. From everything I've read, they are suppose to be efficient, clean, and safe. It should be here some time next week. I went through my heating bill, and figured that from November through March, I would need about 2.5 tons of corn to heat my house. 175.00 for a ton, so it should be cheap. I'll keep this section updated as to how the machine is working.
___I am very interested in your eventual results. Would you mind taking some pics and adding a few links of the setup as well as how you tied it into your existing HVAC if you did? Do you really need to burn corn at $175/ton or can you burn the stalks at a much lower price? Disadvantages vs. advantages of doing so? Ash collection, stalks have far less carbon content, to large a quantity needed to feed a furnace, etc? I havenít a clue as to how one works but I am interested none-the-less.
yes, please keep us posted. in the winter we end up with paying about $100 a month in heating bills. we live in the middle of farm country, and corn would be very accessible. heck, we could even plant our own. feed some to the horses, some to the ducks, chickens and geese, and feed the rest to the furnace........
I'll definitely keep everyone posted. I don't think you can burn the stalks. It can only burn the corn shell. I've never burned corn. I've burned wood, and my mom uses a pellet stove. She loves the pellet stove and burns about 3 tons a year to keep her home in Wisconsin warm. I'll definitely post pics, and keep a running tally of fuel usage.
Q: Do you live in a city / subdivision?
A: I live in a subdivision about 12 miles south of Washington DC. The lots are big for DC suburbs, 1-3 acres each.
Q: What kind of container do you store 2.5 tons of corn in?
A: You only containerize the bags you open. The machine holds 115 pounds of fuel, and feeds it as necessary. The rest stays on pallets. In my case, they will stay in the storage area of my basement. Each bag is 50 pounds, and it comes by the ton. I'll have the pallets loaded on a trailer, and drag them home behind my truck.
Q: How do you keep rodents from eating your fuel?
A: This has been one of my biggest concerns. I've been very lucky that many dealers have customers that are willing to talk about there corn furnaces all over the country. Rodents don't seem to be a problem, as long as you keep the corn in a warm dry spot that rodents aren't already inhabiting and access is very limited. I have heard bad stories about people keeping corn in there garage, and the stories are ugly.
If you're interested, this is the link to the company that manufacturers the stove I'm purchasing:
Alraight, the corn furnace is here. It is missing the part that will plug it into my central line to heat the whole house, but that is easy to do later. I have already taken it apart, and cleaned it. This thing has 12 heat manifolds, and a heat scavenger in the exhuast line. I'm lovin' it!
I'm all for the american farmer, and I don't think many of of think about the american farmer. When it comes to corn, prices for corn haven't changed much in 30 years. $2.00 buys you the same amount of corn now, as it did then. $20,000 certainly won't buy the same amount of tractor now as then. I also can't help but look at E85 and how long that has taken to start catching on. Wouldn't it be a good thing if farmers could grow, and refine there fuel locally? I would like to see the price for 50 pounds of corn go from the $2.00 or so dollars to between $3.00-$5.00. Make farmland valuable again for farming, not just developers. Farmers can use that money to buy new equipment that is more economical. I certainly think this is an issue to get behind.
Not to be a nay sayer, but don't farmers get government subsidise(sp?)?
At any rate I am all for any technology that lets people take advantage of whats going on in their region. I hear we destroy so much grain every year because it goes unused. It will be nice when we get sanity back in the country as people start to think about things like renewable resources.
There are government subsidies for farming, but it's proportional to the amount of land, so for the family farms it hardly makes a difference, it mostly goes to the huge corporate farms that don't deserve a dime.
Farmers are getting squeezed out of food production more and more by the transnationals, it's at the point where a $0.95 loaf of bread yields a farmer $0.05 for the wheat, but it costs them $0.06 to grow it. Banks come in and take away their land when they can't pay the mortgage. It's a well engineered science.
Anyone have an idea of how I post pictures here? I'm starting my install today, and should have the unit up and running early this morning.
The farmer subsudies are a load of bull. Most everything that you and I eat comes from industrial farming, not the small farmer. America is such an efficient farming machine, we could easily put the entire world's farming industry out of business on our crops alone. Most farmers are paid not to produce crops. Just like Schwa said, the profit margins are nill. Any way to support our local farmer, I'm all for it.
I have several neighbors interested in my, 3 grand experiment. If the furnace works well, and we get 10 or so people to purchase them for next year, I'm going to talk to a farmer about co-oping. If we net 40,000 lbs of shelled corn the first year and show an increasing demand, I bet we can get corn delivered by the farmer to each user. If we can increase that purchase base to 100,000 lbs I'm certain we can get delivery.
I'll post pictures to show how it is installed, and how I light it up. I don't have the adapter to run this into my cetral heating system yet, but I'll post those pics as I start that project.