It's been 3 weeks now that we have had the corn furnace heating our home.
I grow enough corn to sell and to heat our house, we had been paying 2200.00-2400.00 dollars per year in propane to heat our 2,000 sq. ft. home. I built this house new in '97 and insulated it pretty well I thought. Last year I got up in the attic and decided that the insulation had settled far enough to warrant blowing in another 8".
I believe that even with the higher cost of corn this year that it is still a savings. The figures I had researched said that I should be able to heat my home for 250 bushels of corn....even at 3.25 it is far below what I had been paying in propane....plus the cost of propane has risen this year to make my decision an even better one.
What I have found out so far....the heat is a warmer heat than propane, and the whole house is warm, floors included. When it is warmer outside like we have had this past week,a bushel of oats mixed in the corn hopper seems to make the furnace work better. If the draft control fan isn't turning more air into the corn doesn't burn quite so well, but add some oats and it appears to help keep the fire going when the draft air fan isn't being used as a result of warmer temps and the demand isn't needed to produce heat as often.
So far I couldn't be happier, it took a bit of fussing but once I have gotten the feed rate dialed in I am not wasting corn and the consumption seems low. I filled it yesterday morning and after 18 hours it appears to have consumed a little less than a bushel.
This is the information I have regarding the corn furnace I bought...taken from their website.
A-MAIZE-ING HEATŪ CORN FURNACE/STOVE AND BOILER
MANUFACTURED BY LDJ MFG INC
INTRODUCING A TRULY EFFICIENT FURNACE AND BOILER
In these times of high energy costs, it makes sense to use a heat source that utilizes a resource that is readily available and cost effective. The A-Maize-Ing HeatŪ furnace and boiler burn shelled corn, a renewable local commodity. Corn costs less per BTU than other heat sources, plus benefits the local economy by generating business for farmers. The low cost of shelled corn, together with the efficient burning process of this furnace or boiler, produces an ecologically safe home heating system.
BURNS CLEAN - NO MORE CREOSOTE
The A-Maize-Ing HeatŪ furnace and boiler feed the corn into the bottom of the combustion chamber, therefore providing the most efficient fuel consumption. The residual ashes are then spilled over the top of the combustion ring into the ash pan. This process, in effect, self cleans the combustion chamber.
THE FIRST UL LISTED
The A-Maize-Ing HeatŪ furnace and boiler are the first shelled corn fired central furnace and residential boiler to be listed by Underwriters Laboratories. Using a dual auger drive system to meter the fuel allows for the precise and safe control of combustion. The UL listing assures you of a safe and quality product.
SAFE, COMFORTABLE HEAT
Your home's thermostat electronically controls the fuel feed system and blower to provide a constant temperature. The furnace or boiler will remain lit as long as the bin contains corn, and will shut down automatically if the fuel supply is depleted. The low stack temperature and absence of creosote buildup eliminates the possibility of chimney fires.
A BETTER ALTERNATIVE
The A-Maize-Ing HeatŪ corn burning furnace and boiler have many advantages over wood heat. There is no daily maintenance. With 100,000 BTU or 165,000 BTU output you could easily heat an entire house. The large storage bin holds up to 10 days supply of fuel, which is automatically fed, into the combustion chamber as needed. There's no need to load the furnace several times a day. The use of corn also eliminates the bark mess, insects, splinters, and storage & handling problems connected with wood fuel. No chainsaws, wood splitters, or trailers to buy and maintain.
BURN OTHER BIOMASS FUEL
An LDJ A-Maize-Ing HeatŪ system can also burn other biomass fuels including wood pellets, wheat, grain, sorghum, soybeans, fruit pits, pelletized waste or other pelletized combustable materials that can be fed through the 2" augers.
The A-Maize-Ing HeatŪ furnace and boiler feature quality construction for long-lasting performance. 14-gauge steel is used on the heat exchanger, and a large heavy cast iron fire pot ensures long life. A one year warranty is included on electrical parts, and a five year limited warranty on the burner and heat exchanger. LDJ Mfg Inc of Pella, Iowa builds their products with pride.