corn furnace questions : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'd like to know everyones thought on corn burning furnaces. We are planning on going that route for next years heating. WE used wood this winter and almost froze to death in this big 2 story farmhouse. The upstairs was completely unlivable for most of the winter. We only used one stove though.

Any thoughts appreciated. Good or bad.

-- Kelly Midkiff (, May 02, 2002



Well dried shelled corn delivers approximately 70% of the heat value derived from seasoned hardwoods, yet the cost per btu can be 20-30% of what you would spend on wood (at $2 per bushell for corn and $115 per cord). So they indeed look good on paper. The thing is, most corn furnaces need to able to handle pelleted material for proper operation. Specifically, a large hopper and an auger-feed system.

Also, you need to be sure you get low moisture product (less than 15% moisture content) otherwise the btu output will be severly lessened.

I've liked the notion of this type of production for quite a long time, and it seems like a pretty sound heat solution, that is, if'n it ain't me out there a'shuckin' the corn.

Good Luck

-- Chris in Mich (, May 02, 2002.

I thought about a corn stove a few years ago, but I figured that it would be much more expensive than wood, since our wood is free and we'd have to buy the corn. I also talked to a friend's dad that had a corn stove for supplemental heat. He had more than a few problems with the self-feeding auger. I can't remember the details, but I believe most of the problems were caused by corn that wasn't clean enough. The best thing about a corn stove is the dryer-vent type deal- a whole lot safer than a chimney!

Before you go with corn, check into the vent-free propane heaters for your house. I've heard nothing but good from the people that have them (in drafty old houses!). Or maybe even an outdoor wood furnace, if your wood is cheap enough.

-- shakeytails in KY (, May 02, 2002.

Hi Kelly..This was our first year in our new house. The prime heat source is our corn stove and the back up is electric. Our electrics never come on. We LOVE our corn stove. It is a Countryside stove. It is the one that has a stirrer...really helps the corn to burn better. We start the fire with a handful of wood pellets...the bag of woodpellets will probably last you a year or better!

Yes..wood is also takes time and depending on your age and health..well, it might not always be the best option. My brother has ALWAYS burned wood, cuts it himself. I was so very suprised when he announced that he too was going to install a corn burner in his new house. He said being in our house sold him on them. If you are close by..hey, come check it out!

I read alot of stuff on corn burners, on some of these forums..that well..just are untrue. Made us nervous when we were looking around last year. But neither my husband nor I are at all sorry that we got it. A pretty big piece of cob can still go through our will make a squeaky, grinding noise when it does it..but it gets it through and I have found that cleaning these corn stoves are MUCH easier and cleaner than cleaning the wood stoves. Yes I have done both. If you like wood will like corn heat.

If you have any questions...please email me!

-- Sher (, May 02, 2002.

Go to the category on Heat (Other) to find several extensive threads on corn burning heaters.

Firewood is only free is someone delivers and stacks it for you for free. Do-it-yourself includes at least gasoline/oil, wear & tear on the chainsaw and wear & tear on the vehicle used to haul it.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, May 02, 2002.

Ken, it may cost a little bit, but the best part is that almost every Sunday in the winter it gets my other half out of the house and out of my hair!! I guess that makes it almost better than free-lol.

Kelly, I forgot to mention that the guy I know loved the heat the stove put out, and the stove in question was probably one of the first that came out, so maybe the augers are improved since then.

-- shakeytails in KY (, May 02, 2002.

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