pros and cons for both
|Friends of mine just switched their to a pellet stove. They seem to love it. They said it puts out heat a lot better.|
|We bought a corn/pellet stove this past fall, and we love it. We primarily burn corn, but it burns wood pellets also. (We have a grain bin full of corn, so it is handy!)
We had a small pot belly wood stove in the same spot for several years, and decided we wanted to try a corn stove. Todd was getting tired of splitting and carrying in wood.
The stoves come 2 ways - as a small seperate stove (like we have) or a larger unit that is a add on to your existing furnace and uses the duct work like the regular furnace.
Ours sits in a central location, and easily heats our kitchen/dining and livingroom area. Our thermostat is on the opposite end of the house in our bedroom, so that works well. We were able to set our thermostat at 60-62 degrees all winter, and have the main living area be 70+ degrees. Our bedroom on the main floor, and the upstairs bedrooms stayed cool. The stove has an adjustable blower, so less heat goes out -more is actually used heating the rooms.
I like having a heat source seperate from the gas in the regular furnace - so if we have no gas for some reason, we still have heat!
|Gas fireplaces put out little to no heat. That is why they are so common here in California, basically just for show.
So if you are looking for heat I would recommend the pellet stove.
When we lived in Mission Viejo, California we converted the gas fireplace to a wood burning fireplace so we could get some heat from it too.
|Ummm, how do you burn the corn? Are they just cobs or the whole ear? Is it shucked? Is it just the kernel?
I'm officially intrigued.
|It is shelled corn (individual kernels). We have it in our grain bin.
The back part of the stove is a hopper, it holds 2 - 5 gallon pails of corn. At the bottom of the hopper is an auger. It augers a measured amount (depending on the setting) out into the burner. This is in the front of the stove, and is the fire you can see burning thru the glass in the door.
You light it with lighter gel squirted onto the corn in the fire box. It has a stirrer in the fire box to keep things going. If you burn wood pellets, you don't need to use the stirrer, because the wood pellets burn hotter. The ash falls thru into a drawer in the bottom. It burns clear. We have ours vented into an existing unused chimney, but they are designed to vent out a side wall with insulated pipe. From the outside it looks like a dryer vent.
|How much does a ton of corn cost and a ton of pellets? How much heat energy is in a ton of corn compared to a ton of pellets?
(I'm assuming a ton is the buying unit. If not, straighten me out!)
...and I HAVE to ask; I'm sure everyone does.... how many pops do you get?
|Friend in Taos has radient floor heat until the pipes started leaking so had to heat her 3,000 sf home with pellet stoves. She has 3. Since her's are in near constant use from October to May, she really tests the various mechanical parts, the hopper/stirrer, etc. So get a well know brand with parts readily available.......each year she has to replace one...
Availabilty of pellets has been a real problem. Not so much this year, but last year was real panic city. Then there's a problem of where to store the pellets, how to get them from the storage to the stove and emptied into the hopper. Fine if you are strong, but she is older and recovering from a severe dog bite to the hand.
But all said and done, she does comment how they can really kick out the heat. Even with the thermostat the heat isn't real controllable and then there's the problem of the stove going out over nite............
But when compared to gas..............go with pellet just for the heat!
|Up until last year, corn was way cheaper than wood pellets. Last fall the price of corn took a big jump (yay for the farmers, boo for me!)
Now the cost of corn and wood pellets is quite similar. At least around here. Corn is sold by the bushel, and pellets by weight , so I'm not that great at the exact comparison.
And NO - there are not any pops!
|Here is an answer.
http://www.ruralenergyproducts.com/Alte ... fuels.aspx
Alhough it might be dated, it lays out all of the variables and formulas, so you can do the cost comparison.
The bottom line is that corn and pellets produce the same amount of heat pound-for-pound.
Note: I use all electric resistance heating. Also note that my price for electricity per KWh is $0.15, twice as much as in the chart. I need a wood stove!
Here is a great online calculator -- unfortunately it doesn't include corn:
...and some formulas for the slide rulers out there (part of an interesting article):
http://www.savingadvice.com/forums/phon ... -fuel.html
|well we got the gas stove. As of now pellet stoves cost more to run than gas here. If the power goes out we still have heat. Also pellet stoves have a high rate of break downs, repairs, and lots off cleaning.
thanks for all your input.
also if we had used corn it leaves soot all over and the price of corn is way more now.
they will be here Thursday.
Hope we did the right thing
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