pellet stoves versus corn stoves?

dvetterOctober 10, 2005

My scenario is that I have a two-story cabin with no basement (slab), and I am looking for supplemental heat for an area approximately 1600 square feet. My main source of heat is radiant floor heat from a oil burning furnace...So I can heat my house now it is just expensive (and likely to get ridiculous this year). To complicate matters, I have 14 foot ceiling in the majority of the living space and that is also the part that is most difficult to keep heated. What I think I am going to do is put either a wood pellet stove or a corn pellet stove up in my loft and push the warm air back down to the main floor with the 3 ceiling fans I have. I am struggling with what type of stove to purchase and what model is best for my needs. Can anybody relate or offer any advice? Thanks

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I was reading about your situation in other forums. It appears that the cost of pellets are going up. I don't know about corn....I will research this a bit...I'm out today, Emily has a fever....see you tomorrow. there was alot of talk about pellet,corn stoves in the fireplace forum.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 7:32AM
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Corn is very cheap right now. Last year I paid 2.12/bu this year it is well below $2, I think around $1.65. You could get a corn furnace to run your radient heat. I saw one for around $6000. It would heat the water just as your existing system does only using corn instead of oil.

Hot air rises, you will not push warm air down with fans. You would be much better off putting the stove on the first florr and letting the warm air rise. You could use fans on the second floor to sloww the rising air, but thats about it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fuel Comparison

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 7:53AM
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I think that you can heat your area in your New Jersey location with a regular corn/grain-fired heating stove.

I am a bit concerned about your 14 foot ceiling situation, but 60,000 BTU units can heat up to around 2,000 sq. ft. in the Great Lakes area, colder than your area, I think, if the residence has good circulation and insulation.

There are a small number of companies in a cartel that run world grain, which make few reports, as most them are privately owned, not joint-stock companies like the oil companies, who have to publish much more of their information.

The grain cartel has proven for many years that they are effective in keeping prices paid to farmers for their grains low.

A number of users in this area find that they can heat using 150 - 200 bus. of corn per heating season.

Not too shabby a price.

But - you must operate it similarly to a wood stove, which needs managing oftener than once daily, so such a heater should be an alternative heat source - but you say that you have a furnace in place now, which can heat the place when you're away.

They run somewhere around $2,500. in price, I think.

Try (or maybe ending ".ca"): my friend builds a high qualtiy stove.

Good wishes as you seek an alternative heat source.

joyful guy

    Bookmark   October 11, 2005 at 4:33PM
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I have quit a bit of information about corn burning on a web site I put together. The url is and it is pretty much covers every step along the way, from the concept of buying a corn burner, to its installation and operation. I have quite a few pictures and also a forum where other corn and pellet burners can post questions. There is a lot of advice in the forum section about what stoves to buy and avoid and the advantages of corn over pellets (altho these new paper pellets that are out might make pellets cheaper again)

Stop by the site and take a look.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 25, 2005 at 11:17PM
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Why not get a stove that burns both pellets and corn?
You could then buy whichever is cheaper. There are several brands that burn both.
Do check out It's a gold mine of good info.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2005 at 1:16AM
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Would corn stoves be classified as a "wood stove" for home insurance purposes? Many insurers will not let you buy insurance if you have a wood stove, or their insurance is much, much more expensive.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 4:01PM
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I'm not sure of current circumstances, but a few yers ago the insurance comapnies who were aware of the corn/grain-fired systems loved them, as they are very safe.

The forced draft means that, with air being pushed through the fire continually, essential if one is going to make corn/grain burn, the fire burns cleanly and there is almost no residue in the pipes, including never any creosote, which is th cause of most stovepipe/chimney fires.

If the power goes out, the combustion fan stops - and the small fire in the little 5" x 5" firepot will be out in about three minutes.

I'll be surprised if one of them *ever* starts a house fire.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   February 21, 2006 at 4:25PM
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