With the price of natural gas going up I'm wondering how efficient it would
be to supplement my forced air furnace with one of these pellet stoves. I
would guess that the price of pellets or corn will go up too with gas prices
going up delivery has to follow suit. Does anyone have one of these or any
other helpful information would be welcomed. I live 30 miles south west of
Chicago for my general area of the country.
Thanks for any information.
I have a regular epa approved Jotul wood stove as a heating supplement to my
rather weak central gas system, and I love the stove. My friends who have
pellet stoves cannot run them in an emergency, as they take electric power
to feed the pellets to the fire. They also make an annoying grinding sound
all the time. A real wood stove is both silent, romantic, and works when
electricity is down. I suspect pellet types are also more expensive to run
than a wood stove. All you have to do is compare cost and btu yield from
pellets vs wood, per hour of burning. A good resource for your question,
with lots of good advice, is newsgroup alt.energy.homepower.
My friend's grandfather is quite happy with his new $7500 corn stove.
He bought some moldy corn for $1.50 per bushel (vs about $2 for good
corn), and says it's equivalent to 4 gallons of oil. The stove has
been burning non-stop for the last 3 weeks making hot water for showers,
etc. It has an automatic feed and needs ashes removed about once a week.
Some pellet stoves have concentric chimneys with air-air heat exchangers
and an efficient low flue temp and don't need conventional chimneys.
Corn seems more convenient than pellets, if delivered in bulk, but it's
hard to believe it's so much cheaper than oil. Maybe that has something
to do with ag subsidies. And a corn plant seems like a very large and
inefficient way to produce an ear or two of corn, with lots of water and
herbicides and cultivation and fertilizer. Maybe we should burn soybeans
instead. They are round and might bridge less in a hopper.
Hmm. right now I wouldn't mind knowing where I could sell good corn for
$2. It's around $1.50 for #2, with heavy discounts for pretty much
I'm not sure what you are implying here, but if it's what I think I
take some offense to that comment.
How else do you propose to get an ear of corn? :) And FWIW, $1.65 is
about break even cost for most farmers(not considering capital
amortization) for input costs. At least in my area. The two biggest
variables that will vary from region to region being expected yield and
land rent(generally directly related). Given the skyrocketing cost of
fuel(and consequently Nitrogen) that number is probably going to be
$1.80 next year.
Haven't tried it, but I have heard burning soybeans is less
recommended. Due to the higher oil content, there will be higher
soot/creosote stuff in the flue. So I have heard. I haven't done it
so don't know for sure.
On 20 Sep 2005 05:09:51 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
Wow. I had no idea corn stoves cost that much! A high end pellet stove is
under $3,000. Why are the corn ones so much higher? The mechanisms must
be very similar.
Actually, most pellet stoves are this way now. I don't think you'll find
one without a heat exchanger. You can exhaust them through a wall and vent
them 6" from the building without needing a chimney stack at all. The
close tolerances are allowed because of the very efficient burn and
significantly lower flue temps. They do require a slight rise from the
stove to allow for natural convection to exhaust smoke in the event of a
I was thinking the opposite, but upon further reflection, pellets/corn
should all be the same with regards to convenience. It's about the same
size and in bags.
I must say that wood pellets are much cheaper than oil and gas in my area.
It's costing me 40% less to heat my home (and keep the thermostat a little
higher to boot).
I agree. Perhaps this accounts for the cost difference. Wood pellets are
produced from waste sawdust and are formed under high pressure. No
Local economies are different from global ones. If you live on a street
where they throw away a lot of cardboard boxes, that could be your cheap
fuel, but it won't work for everyone. North America has vast regions of
rapidly-growing aspen poplar that can and are being compressed into fuel for
pellet stoves. Farms produce a lot of excess plant matter that is either
left to rot or is plowed back into the soil. Pellets are the easiest form
of biofuel to produce, but they still load the atmosphere with carbon.
Yes, of course we have, but some folks have learning disabilities
or just can't believe in the concept that biofuels are carbon
Then again, I suppose they could be trolling. Nothing's going to
incite a reply more than posting a blatant non-truth.
We've had this argument before, and it's a specious one. Switching to
biofuels does not significantly reduce the amount of carbon being loaded
into the atmosphere, nor does it trigger the earth to assimilate carbon
faster. The dramatic rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1800 has been a result
of burning carbon-based fuels faster than the earth can assimilate it. It
makes no difference which carbon-based fuel is being burned, rapid
atmospheric CO2 loading will still occur. The only way to reverse the trend
is to reduce the burning of carbon-based fuels to a point where the
assimilation rate exceeds our emission rate. The bigger the difference, the
faster the CO2 levels in our atmosphere will decline.
It's only specious in your eyes, and it's surely no argument. It's a
fact. Burning fossil fuels releases new CO2 into the air, adding to
concentrations, burning biofuels releases co2 removed in the previous
growing season, not adding to concentrations. That's all there is to it.
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
You're either terribly set in your ways or very uninformed. Either way, you
just aren't getting it. When you put carbon into the air faster than the
earth can remove it, the levels rise. The carbon won't dissipate from the
atmosphere any faster just because you are burning biofuels. Growing more
plants for biofuel won't scrub the atmosphere any faster either. All the
cropland is already covered with vegetation.
It doesn't matter if you call it carbon-neutral or not, the CO2 will
continue to rise if you continue to burn carbon-based fuels at the current
rate. The atmosphere doesn't know you switched to your "carbon-neutral
fuel." It continues to take the carbon out of the atmosphere at the same
slow rate that lags behind the rate we put it in. This is what caused the
rise. Growing more biofuel crops doesn't automatically lower the atmospheric
CO2, because there are already plants growing on nearly all the arable land.
You keep saying "carbon-neutral" as if it were a fact that it would reduce
atmospheric carbon in some way. Prove it to us.
I'm sorry you are having problems reading. I never said it would reduce
atmospheric carbon, I said there would be no net gain. Neutral does not
mean subtraction or addition. Burning fossil fuels is addition.
Dir., Green Trust, http://www.green-trust.org
I see where you are having difficulty. I am saying that as long as
emissions exceed assimilation, atmospheric CO2 will continue to rise. If
you are saying that if we start growing a lot of crops for biofuels, that
trend will stop, I have to respectfully disagree. The globe is already
covered with vegetation, and the oceans are full of blue-green algae, so
anything we can do by way of increasing crop growth will not be enough to
halt, or even slow significantly the rise of CO2 in our atmosphere.
If you are willing to debate me on this point, I'm quite willing to listen.
So how is the air levels after 14 hurricanes, water scrubbed it.
Must be the reason we didn't have any fish kills in low oxygen water areas.
That NO hurricane just aerated the "fire out of" the water.
If that be the case, your air can absorb alot more stuff this year.
Even by your logic.......
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