Apr 11, 2012
Do you know what a clinker is? If you own a corn stove, you do! A clinker is a condition of fuel bonding together during the burning process. If your firepot is filling up quickly and you have overflowing clinkers, it’s likely that one of a few things is happening.
First, the most common reason for excessive clinkering would be the quality of the fuel, installation errors or maintenance. If the firepot is overflowing check your venting system, make sure that you have fresh air hooked to the appliance, check your home for negative pressure and clean your firepot out more frequently.
Then, if the firepot continues to overflow after just a couple hours it probably is fuel quality related. Check your fuel and if it is bad, replace with a quality fuel source. If the fuel is good, then check the firepot for proper fit, make sure the venting is clean and there are no problems with the draft blower system. Check all cleanout ports to make sure that the heat exchangers are not plugged.
There are complete maintenance, installation guidelines, and troubleshooting in your operations manual.
Can’t find your manual? Check our online manuals.
Jan 3, 2011
Article by Confessions of a Mom: You’ve heard it said “to be part of the solution, not part of the problem” right? Well, I strive to keep a positive attitude and always be part of the solution. That’s why I want to share my story with you.
Since purchasing our corn stove a couple months ago, we have fallen in love with it.
The other day, I noticed it was making an unusual noise. Up until this point, it has been silent. Curious as to what was causing the noise, I let my common sense kick in. I knew something wasn’t right. Since I’ve only owned the stove a short time and haven’t had any problems, I knew my problem-solving skills were limited. Or were they? I decided to shut it off.
“What in the world,” I pondered. Since they key moving part is the auger, I had a hunch the noise I was hearing had to do with that. Then I remembered the online forum. I went to my computer, pulled up the site, and typed “squeak and auger” into the search bar. And that’s where the magic happened…
In front of me were multiple conversation threads discussing similar issues and solutions. From what I read, I was fairly certain something was caught in my auger, such as a pebble. I was glad that I did my part by shutting down the appliance and not causing any further damage. The best part? The forum is absolutely free.
I was able to contact technical support with intelligent, specific questions and receive help in getting everything running smoothly again. I was willing to pay for help if that’s what it took. Thanks to the forum I knew my problem had nothing to do with the appliance or the manufacturer. It really wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t anybody’s fault.
It’s part of life. Then I wondered how many people are quick to call somebody, anybody and complain. Do people take the time to collect themselves, learn, and be respectful? I believe that to get frustrated or accusatory is not part of the solution. Instead, I learned from this experience.
So why did I write this article?
When I turn on the news, it’s filled with negative stories. I don’t have too go far on Twitter or Facebook to find somebody grumbling about something. There is no shortage of people willing to share their terrible experience with a product, service, brand, or company. I believe we have a duty as consumers to tell positive experiences. Thank you for your wonderful and patient customer service, American Energy Systems.
Nov 23, 2010
With the cold weather here, people are asking questions and seeking answers about pellet stoves, corn stoves, and other alternative heating methods. This post is meant to serve as a linked guide to more information about some of the most commonly asked questions we’ve answered over the years. If you have a question that is not mentioned here, please leave it in the comments section and we’ll do our best to provide you with help as quickly as possible.
- Heating a Big, Drafty Old Farm House article relates to this question, as does One Mom’s Journey: Our Corn Stove
Nov 11, 2010
I can’t believe I’ve only had my corn stove for a few weeks. It already seems like it’s been a part of our home for a long time. Gone are the days when I fretted over doing everything perfect or worrying I’d forget something. I have watched the maintenance and fuel videos on YouTube posted by American Energy Systems, and I’ve read most of the manual a couple times. Now, I’ve got my own little checklist that works for me, a busy mom. I thought I might share what I do, in hopes that it can help other busy,money-saving parents.
- I always take advantage of help when I can get it. If my husband or kids are interested in helping bring corn in, I take it. I also keep a nice, large decorative bin (pictured above) in the family room for extra corn. This way, I can add a scoop now and then to keep the hopper full. This saves me time and energy.
- Every time I shut down the appliance, I make sure I clean out the ash from inside, empty the fuel pot, and wipe down the glass so it looks nice. This only takes a few seconds, and gives me peace of mind.
- Shop sales! I recently came across a great sale on fuel starter gel. The bottles were large and almost 50% off! I stocked up at that price, and stored them in a safe place away from kids. This way, I won’t pay full price later when demand is high.
- What is gentle enough for a baby’s bottom and works great to collect any excess corn dust or ash on the tile around the corn stove? A baby wipe! And I have plenty of those around. I just grab one and tidy up.
- If you encounter any hard-to-clean soot on the glass, don’t use harsh chemicals or waste money. I found a soft, damp rag with a light dusting of baking soda takes off everything with only one wipe!
- Did I mention shop sales? While you probably can’t find bagged corn at your local grocery store or clip a coupon in the Sunday Paper, I was recently at a Ladies Event at Running’s where they offered 40% off my purchase. Who says you can’t buy corn at a Ladies Event?
With a little practice, using and maintaining a corn stove is easy. If you have a tip you’d like to share, this mom would love to hear it!
About the Author: Beth Gasser of Confessions of a Mom shared this article with American Energy Systems. Beth blogs about being a mom, parenting, saving money, frugal living, and more. Beth blogged about her corn stove buying experience, which you can read here. You can contact her there or if you have specific questions of American Energy Systems, please leave a comment here.
May 25, 2010
Warm days are quickly approaching, but like every summer, the season is over way too fast. With cool days extending into May and starting again by September, we are often left with just a few short months of warm weather.
Why is summer a great time to buy a wood fireplace, a corn stove, or a flex-fuel furnace?
We’ll all work our way through a list of “to do” items that beg our attention. If you’ve made the decision to save money next fall by heating your home with alternative fuel, then now is the perfect time to add the purchase and installation of an alternative energy appliance to your list of summer projects.
There is no better time to install a corn stove or switch out an inefficient gas fireplace than during the hot days of summer; the days are long, offering more free time to get things done. Round up friends or family to help get your projects done! The weather is great for garage sales to sell your old fireplace unit. The weather is also perfect for working inside and out to vent your new stove or fireplace, and other tasks that keep you busy.
Right now if you buy online, shipping is free; What a Hot Deal! With rising fuel prices and projected high heating costs for 2010/2011, alternative heating MagnuM appliances are HOT! Shop now, save on shipping, and enjoy later when others are scrambling to find and install products when the cold weather hits.
May 12, 2010
Do you have a question about your corn stove or wood burning fireplace? Maybe you’d like to talk to an expert technician on a specific topic. If you own a Magnum or Country Flame brand heat source, there’s a collection of articles on our main website and on our blog. Both have “search features”. Simply type the keywords to find readily available information and visit our YouTube channel for additional video help.
Here’s a break-down of topics you’ll find:
- Saving money and increasing heat efficiency
- Customer stories
- Product information
- Maintenance and installation tips
- Selecting fuel
- Finding the best appliance for your needs
- Getting the most out of your pellet stove, fireplace, or wood burning appliance
- Burning corn and other renewable fuels
- Options and accessories
Never hesitate to contact us. We want you to get the most out of your alternative heating choices!
Mar 28, 2010
In the past, purchasing a solid fuel appliance for your home meant increased insurance costs, possible no-burn days and problems on where to store the fuel. Today’s high-tech clean burning appliances have eliminated the need for expensive chimneys that cause most fires and have brought a smile to most insurance companies faces with the reduction in claims.
Alerting Your Insurance Company You’re Buying a Pellet Stove
American Energy Systems (your flex-fuel, corn, and wood stove experts) has been instrumental in providing seminars to insurance companies around the nation to prove that modern day appliances are safe and do not have the problems that the old fireplaces and stoves once had.
Some insurance companies do not charge extra for adding in a Flex-fuel stove, fireplace insert or furnace, while some will charge a small yearly fee. If you are having trouble with your insurance company you can find another insurance company that will write you a policy. There are plenty who would love to work with you and your choice for alternative heating.
It is usually required to contact your insurance company before purchasing a solid fuel appliance. Being proactive will ensure proper coverage of your home and eliminate problems should a problem occur. Your insurance agent will be able to answer your questions and ensure proper coverage.
Mar 22, 2010
The traditional smoke on the face of the fireplace brick or stone and the “nice” woodsy smell, bring smiles of familiarity to some and tears to those of us suffering with allergies. So the question that begs for an answer is:
What about burning with corn and other flex fuels, will my allergies suffer?
The answer comes not in the fuel itself but in the technology. The typical Corn/Wood Pellet/Flex-fuel appliance today is designed with closed combustion, a negative draft system (which means that it pulls the fire and smoke through the appliance), a sealed venting system and a direct connect to outside fresh combustion air. These design features separate the smell and corresponding allergy dusts from the interior of the home.
What normally will bring dust and pollens into the home when burning with today’s technology is the handling of the fuel. When you use clean, dry fuel, handle it properly and perform the maintenance features of the appliance, you can enjoy relief from your allergies. Many customers suffering from allergies have stated that when they have installed their MagnuM or Country Flame Flex-fuel appliance that their allergies that flared up from even their old style furnace were reduced by the heat produced from their new unit.
The key to eliminating the effects of solid fuel combustion on the interior environment of your home is proper selection of the right appliance, correct placement and installation of the appliance, proper balancing of the home for fresh air, providing fresh air for combustion to the appliance, clean and dry fuel and proper maintenance of the appliance.
Now you can enjoy the warmth of your new appliance without looking through swollen eyes and a Kleenex.
Jan 11, 2010
Frugal living at our home?
We live frugally at our house, or at least, we try to. I love finding a good deal, shopping the sales rack, saving money, and having a coupon when I go out to eat. It is very, very seldom that I pay full price for anything.
We have a sun-room addition on our home that is our “family room” and pretty much the hub of our house. We added a Magnum Baby Countryside stove to the corner a few years and just love it. It helps to extremely reduce our heating bill.
How a Corn Stove Figures in to Our Frugal Mix
We purchase corn in the fall from a local farmer that is dried to the optimum level for our stove. He pulls the gravity box into our driveway late each fall, and we use a 5 gallon bucket, wheelbarrow and lots of arm power to put the corn into a hand made wooden box in our garage. This year we briefly used wood pellets in our stove, until our corn arrived. That is the beauty of a flex-fuel stove!
Last year, we spent about $400.00 to purchase enough corn to last us all winter. It even got us through October and November this past year (2009).
We pretty much run our corn stove day and night, shutting it down every other day to clean it out briefly. Maybe once a week we shut it down for a more thorough clean.
Heat Distribution Through-Out Our Home
We have ceiling fans in the sun-room, adjoining kitchen, and then above our stairway which rotates the warm air and keeps the main level of our home warm. On a really windy, cold day, our furnace might kick-in a tiny bit, otherwise, our corn stove keeps us toasty warm.
Guest Post: The author of this post is Cindy Haugland, a frugal Minnesota Mom who is known by her friends as a tightwad. She started her own business, aptly called TidyTightwads, to help other people save money and live with less clutter and stress. She recommends a Magnum corn stove to those who want to save money on heating costs, as highlighted in this story of another mom’s journey to saving money with a corn stove.
Jan 9, 2010
Are you sold on alternative heating and ready to throw your furnace out the window?
Even though heating with renewable energy such as corn or wood pellets is a cost effective and fantastic method of heating your home, you don’t want to throw your furnace out the window just yet.
Do I need to keep my furnace if I install a Magnum stove?
The answer is yes you do. There are code compliance issues that require a primary heating system to be installed in your home. Today, there are no insurance or building codes that will allow a solid fuel device to be considered as primary.
This does not mean, however, that your corn/flex-fuel appliance will not heat your entire home.
The best advice is to let your renewable energy appliance do the bulk of the heating, and when you go away on vacation, etc. allow your primary furnace to take over.
There are plenty of design solutions; your corn burning appliance can complement your entire system so that you can stay toasty warm.
Many corn/flex-fuel customers report that their primary furnace runs very little, if at all, even on the coldest of days. So while we do not recommend you throw your furnace out the window, we are excited for you to experience the wonderful heat and savings associated with corn and pellet stoves!
One of our raving fans share how well their corn stove heats their entire home in this video: