Click HERE for answers to
Frequently Asked Question about heating with a corn burner.
Click HERE to view a PowerPoint presentation of how our cornburner works -- click "slide show tab then > from beginning".
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We heat with corn (shelled corn) that we get from the local grain elevator. This is a boiler type furnace and is very efficient and clean burning. The cost varies from year to year, but averages about the same cost as wood.
Over to the left is a hopper that holds 500 lbs. of corn and auto feeds to the bottom of the furnace.
Need a Corn Burner? Go to MichiganCornburner.com to find one.
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We installed our corn burner in 1995 and here are some things we have learned from experience.
Frequently Asked Questions about heating with Corn Burners:
One more lesson we learned: We left corn in our hopper (the container
next to the burner shown in the picture above) all summer and we found
tiny, little corn bugs had hatched and were crawling around our
basement. We won't make that mistake again! We clean it all out every
7. What quality of
corn do you use?
The corn we use comes from our local grain elevator and is the same
field corn that is fed to horses, and other farm animals--shelled corn.
The elevator dries the corn to 14%, which is just fine for our
9. Are the clinkers that build
up a problem?
Yes, clinkers can build up and turn rock hard then block the corn
feeding into the bottom of the fire pot. The remedy is simple. Run a
clinker tool (ours came with the furnace) around the inside of the fire
pot and break them up regularly. The hotter the fire, the more the
clinkers build up. I just do it once a day, but every few days is just
10. How often does the hopper
have to be filled up?
Again, that depends on how cold the weather is--the colder it is, the
more fuel will be used. We have gone away for a week at a time in March
and in April and there was no problem. Try doing that with a wood
11. What is the worst part about
having a corn burner?
It took a long time for us to get the hang of keeping the fire going.
The draft has to be right and with a boiler like we have, we needed to
have an aquastat installed which helped to prevent cool water from
constantly circulating around the fire and sapping off too much heat.
But we learned, and today there are so many professionals around to help
it really isn't as much of a problem as it used to be. But like a wood
stove, corn burners take some adjustment. Once you get it figured out
it will burn all winter just fine.
12. What is the best part about
having a corn burner?
It is so clean! Nothing can be seen coming out the chimney. It is a
clean, renewable source of fuel which costs about the same as buying
firewood. It is great helping our farmers too!!