Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Heating with corn

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434

    Heating with corn

    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.

    QUALITY CONSTRUCTION
    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.
    __________________
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    29,215
    Steve, a few City Boy questions...

    Do you burn the cob with the corn, or is it just the kernels? Stored in a hopper or a crib? How do ou load the furnace?

    Does it smell like roasting corn? (I was behind an old Mercedes Diesel car the other day that, according to the bumber sticker, was burning vegetable oil...it smelled like french fries.)

    Do you also grow oats? (The idea of having a bushel of oats on hand is foreign to us city folk, although I do drive by a feed store every day on my way to work, so it's not that far-fetched.)

    I like the idea of growing your own BTUs.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,641
    That is great Steve, I can understand how it would feel warmer, as the Propane often introduces a lot of humidity.

    I do have to say, I find if of interest that you are using a foodstuff to heat your house, while there are places all over this world that would love to eat your BTUs

    Nothing negetive about what you are doing, just an observation is all.

    I would imagine you would burn the whole cob, there has to be lots of BTUs in the cobs.

    ..............What..................... no pics?

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Northville, MI
    Posts
    507
    So does burning corn mean you have to buy a hopper first? Got a pic of this system?
    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    guys, the add steve posted says "shelled" corn......no cobs......i`ve yet to see a combine that`ll harvest whole cobs. there are grinding attachments for harvesting silage but i don`t think that`s what steves burning....tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Steve, a few City Boy questions...

    Do you burn the cob with the corn, or is it just the kernels? Stored in a hopper or a crib? How do ou load the furnace?

    Does it smell like roasting corn? (I was behind an old Mercedes Diesel car the other day that, according to the bumber sticker, was burning vegetable oil...it smelled like french fries.)

    Do you also grow oats? (The idea of having a bushel of oats on hand is foreign to us city folk, although I do drive by a feed store every day on my way to work, so it's not that far-fetched.)

    I like the idea of growing your own BTUs.
    Vaughn, This unit burns just the kernels of corn...not the cob. It also can burn wood pellets, cherry pits and a variety of other stuff, but since I have corn growing in my field that is my fuel.

    When the corn is harvested it goest to the local elevator, there I have several options. I can sell it immediately, I can store it with hopes of the price rising, however I need to pay for storage costs or I can put it in a "feed bank". I chose to sell off all but what I had figured would be needed to heat my home. I sold the rest (paid my taxes) and put the balance in the "feed bank" that I pay a storage fee on. As I need the corn I take my pickup to the elevator and bring home my corn in 100 lb. bags.

    For now I carry the 100 pound bags to the furnace and dump the corn in the hopper (picture attached of stove and hopper) In the future I will be buying a gravity wagon to load my corn into from the elevator to bring back to the furnace. It will also serve as the holding bin for the time being.

    When I go outside I can smell the burned corn which kinda smells like popcorn only a little burn smell to it.

    I don't grow oats, but my cousin has horses so I can get a bushel of oats from him or they also sell it at the elevator.

    Pictures of harvesting my corn and the corn furnace.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_2717.jpg   100_2721.jpg   corn_furnace.jpg  
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    3,367
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ash View Post
    I sold the rest (paid my taxes) and put the balance in the "feed bank" that I pay a storage fee on. As I need the corn I take my pickup to the elevator and bring home my corn in 100 lb. bags.
    Sooo, just how many 100lb bags do you reckon you'll need for the year? I'm curious just how large a storage shed you'd need to just hold onto all of it yourself. If the storage fee is cheep enough, then there is no point.

    Friend of mine put in an outdoor wood burning furnace this fall (furnace heats water which goes into a heat exchanger in the conventional already-installed forced air furnace, and uses the blower + ducting of that to distribute the heat through the house) so I find all of this alternative stuff interesting.

    I also just had to throw a new furnace in my house so it is timely. Of course I live in the city, so my choices were limited.
    ...art

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434
    It is anticipated that given my house size and insulation that has been done I will need 250 bushel to heat the house this winter. Corn is 56 lbs to the bushel.....roughly 240- 100 lb bags (ran it in my head..don't know the exact figure)

    I guess the point of having my own gravity wagon storage is that I can buy a wagon for $300.00 and never have to ever pay a storage fee to the elevator.

    A gravity bin which is permanent can also be bought used for a couple hundred dollars, but I'm not sure I want my home to look like a feedlot with a bin in the yard next to my house.....with a wagon, I fill the hopper then put the wagon back out in the barn...out of site.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,702
    That's interesting. Have you calculated in the cost of seed, growing, harvesting, etc. instead of just comparing to the bushel price? I'm sure it may be the way to go for many. As Stu noted, America is a highly productive agricultural country. We can grow more than we can use or sell.
    So, why are we importing? Nebber mind....that would take us off and running on a way-way off topic rant.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Elgin, IL
    Posts
    442
    Steve,

    Interesting concept. Did this replace your entire old furnace? What about the blower?

    Randy

Similar Threads

  1. neat shop heating trick
    By Ryan Mooney in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-09-2012, 12:32 AM
  2. Shop heating anyone
    By Rob Keeble in forum New Tools
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-21-2011, 05:29 AM
  3. Heating for the Shop Suggestions
    By Cynthia White in forum Carpentry and Construction
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 10-23-2010, 06:16 AM
  4. Temporary Shop Heating
    By Brent Dowell in forum Off Topic Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-24-2008, 08:20 PM
  5. Solar Heating?
    By Travis Johnson in forum Carpentry and Construction
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 08-24-2007, 07:33 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •