2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #15[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Best Buy" Corn-Burning Hot Water Furnace
Foster uses the hot water furnace to heat his house and garage, using regular field corn and discarded seed corn that he gets from local seed companies. The furnace and 14-bu. metal hopper are housed in a mud room that he built onto his house. A pair of flexible steel augers deliver corn to the furnace. Each auger is powered by a small electric motor.
"It's a flexible system that's clean, trouble-free, and about as convenient as you can get," says Foster. "I bought it last January after selling my wood-fired furnace. I made the switch to corn because I got tired of cutting wood. Corn is a lot easier to handle and it isn't worth much on the market anyway.
"The corn is moved by electricity. All I have to do is load it into the tank. The augers and the circulation pump inside the furnace are turned on or off by an ćaquastat' that measures the water temperature inside the furnace. I store corn in a gravity wagon and use 5-gal. buckets to load the furnace hopper. I didn't put up a bin next to my house because I didn't want the house to look like I was raising hogs in it.
"I haven't used the system long enough to know how much money I'm saving, but last winter I was able to heat my home on corn even on the coldest days, using only about 14 bu. per week. One bushel of corn is equal to about five gallons of propane.
"I've found that naturally dried corn works the best. Elevator-dried corn has too many fines in it. If you're going to burn elevator-dried corn I think you should run it through a cleaner first."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Roger Foster, Rt. 1, Box 108, Tower Hill, Ill. 62571 (ph 217 567-3417) or Big M Mfg. Co. (A-Maize-Ing Heat), 928 E. 1090 N. Rd., Taylorville, Ill. 62568 (ph 217 824-9372).
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