Pellet and corn stoves are extremely efficient at keeping spaces in your home warm. In fact, if you have open concept spacing from your living room to your kitchen, a pellet stove or corn stove can heat those areas all by itself. Yet, which should you choose? Which is more economical? Which type of fuel is easier to acquire? The following article will answer your questions.
Corn stoves are made almost the same way as pellet stoves. Corn stoves, however, burn corn, and not pellets. The corn itself is dried corn, much like the feed given to livestock. The corn tends to burn up a little faster than pellets in a pellet stove.
Some benefits of a corn stove are:
- Dried corn is very easy to get. You can buy the corn from any feed mill or farm supply store.
- Corn is relatively cheap and typically cheaper than pellets.
- Feed corn and stove corn do not create popcorn, so no, you will not have exploding corn in your stove, as some people suppose. (It is actually the seed kernels that produce popcorn and not harvested corn that is dried that produces the feed/stove corn.)
- Corn is entirely organic, so when it burns it will not harm the environment.
- Corn burning as fuel has a relatively pleasant odor.
The drawbacks of corn stoves are:
- Poor corn crops can result in higher prices for stove corn.
- If you do not live near a farm supply store or a feed mill, it will be very difficult to get the corn fuel you need for your stove. It will also be difficult to get enough corn to fuel your stove.
- You do have to scoop out corn ash, which is not pleasant.
Corn stoves are efficient in that they burn up most of their fuel. Pellet stoves do not.
Pellet stoves burn a special fuel in pellet form. The fuel is a compressed biomass wood pellet. The pellets are small and are fed into the stove via a hopper. As the pellets burn, the hopper feeds in a few more. The pellets expand slightly as they burn, creating a greater surface area for burning and providing more fuel than you thought possible. Their output in terms of heat, therefore, is greater than that of a corn stove. The corn does not expand when burning, nor does it provide any more fuel per kernel than the pellets provide per pellet. Pellets are also much easier to acquire than corn, and pellets do not increase in price when there are crop harvesting issues because the pellets are independent of crops.