Nov 1, 2011
Can all pellet stoves on the market burn corn?
If you like the idea of heating with corn, then you may be wondering if any pellet stove will burn corn.
No, but many companies are trying to convert wood pellet stoves to burn corn or a corn, wood pellet mix. We sell the Magnum Countryside pellet stove which was the first nationally certified Flex-fuel burning stove on the market.
The Countryside, Baby Countryside, Winchester, and Country Flame Harvester and Crossfire pellet stoves can ALL burn corn, wood pellets or a combination of corn and wood pellets along with wheat and some other types of pellets such as cherry pits or olive pits.
If you want to read some stories about owners of these pellet stoves, check out, “A Heart Warming Story: Buying Corn from a Neighbor” about the Winchester pellet stove and “A Heart Warming Story: We Cut Our Fuel Oil Usage” about the Magnum Countryside pellet stove mentioned above.
Do you have a question we can answer? Leave it in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
Mar 1, 2011
Electricity is measured in kilowatts (kw) and a kilowatt is 1,000 watts and usually costs between six and tens cents per hour. In some areas like California the rates will be higher and in areas with hydroelectric power the rates can be lower, but the average is eight cents per hour per kw in the corn belt.
Electrical Usage for Magnum & Country Flame Pellet Stoves
The igniter for a MagnuM Baby Countryside stove uses 175 watts and it normally takes three to five minutes to light wood pellets in a stove (it may take longer in some cases) and the igniter runs for ten minutes. The igniter takes .175kw x .08 = 1.4 cents. If the igniter is on for ten minutes it would take only ten out of sixty minutes in an hour so 1/6 x 1.4 cents = .233 cents per lighting cycle. The use of the igniter on a Magnum Pellet stove will vary with individual usage, but if it went through a relight cycle twenty times in a day it would take .233 cents x 20 = 4.66 cents or less than a nickel a day (with wet or poor fuel it may take 2-3 cycles for the unit to light properly).
The fan motors, auger motor and stirrer motor (if standard) take approximately 2.5 amps to 3.0 amps to operate. Voltage x amps = watts, so 110v x 2.75 amps = 303 watts of usage per hour. With the average price of a kilowatt at $0.08, the average electrical cost to run a stove would be .303kw x .08 = 2.42 cents per hour. If a stove ran for 24 hours in a day it would use approximately 58 cents per day (2.42 cents x 24 hours =58.176 cents). Many times a stove is not needed or used 24 per day, so the actual cost would be based on the actual hours a stove is used by a homeowner—if it was used 12 hours per day the electrical cost would be about 29 cents per day.
It should be noted that the fan for the heater exchanger on a Magnum stove does a good job of pushing the heat into the room and helps to circulate heat in a house—especially in a lower level or a basement where hot air rises throughout a structure. Magnum Pellet stoves also give off radiant heat (like the hot heat of the sun) in addition to convection heat. Compared to wood stoves or heating appliances without a blower, you get better heat circulation with a corn stove (in many cases higher thermal efficiencies with a corn stove). A forced air furnace and some other forms of heating also need a blower to move the hot air around a structure and will take as much or more electricity than a corn stove. Although electric baseboard heat does not need a blower, the average electrical usage will be much higher than a corn stove to heat a comparable area.
Note: These calculations do not include meter fees and other charges from an electric company. Voltage will vary from 110 volts to 120 volts and at start up there is a slightly higher electrical draw. For more information on electrical usage for appliances you can visit or “Google” various websites or contact your electric company.
Feb 23, 2010
You can’t turn on a television, read a newspaper, or surf the Internet without running into buzz words like LEED and GREEN. While “green” has already worked its way into our daily lives and conversations, some people are left puzzled by the term “LEED.”
What does LEED mean for the alternative heat industry?
The question of LEED certification is popping up in our industry too. According to the US Green Building Council, “LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project is environmentally responsible, profitable and a healthy place to live and work.”
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Depending on the manufacturers models, corn burning appliances can and do qualify for LEED certified buildings. The National Hearth Products Association, HPBA.org is very busy moving codes forward to include renewable energy appliances into GREEN homes.
Feb 16, 2010
Help! My stove is blowing up in my face, what causes that?
Signed, Singed and Smoking
With the design of the combustion system in a MagnuM stove, it is nearly impossible for the appliance to puff back, flare up and out the door, or “blow up in your face”. If you are experiencing this with your stove, here is some information that will be sure to help.
Happening When You Light the Stove?
If this is happening when you light the stove then it is the starter fluid that you are using. Do not use gas, charcoal lighter or any other highly flammable liquid to start your stove. Only use approved starter for your appliance. This can be purchased at any good retail specialty shop.
If the fire is already lit do not add any fire starter. This is sure to give you a surprise. Fire starter gel is not intended to add to the fire once it is lit and burning.
Happening When You Open the Door?
If the appliance puffs out the door when opened or the fire flares up when you open the door then the appliance is either installed incorrectly, you have negative pressure in the home, or the unit is plugged and needs servicing. In all of these cases it is important that you follow the manufacturer’s recommended daily, weekly and monthly maintenance guidelines and consult with a trained service tech to get your stove back in perfect operating condition.
You can contact Techcenter1 at email@example.com or call 320-227-2902 with technical questions.
To access the manual for your heating appliance, you can visit our Technical Documents and Owner’s Manual section of our website.
Feb 3, 2010
Many people who own corn stoves or who are considering buying a corn stove ask this question:
Can I buy corn directly, in bulk, from a farmer?
Farming is the backbone of America, and many people view buying corn directly from farmers as a way to support the industry, spend money locally, and save money by buying fuel in bulk.
The answer is yes, you can buy corn directly from farmers to fuel your corn stove. Farmers are a great source for getting corn directly. Many farmers have turned this opportunity into a business and sell corn and appliances.
I have not met a farmer yet who does not like to have someone stop by for a visit. Be prepared though for about two hours of great stories, hot cider, and oh yes, taller stories.
Dec 14, 2009
You’ve heard the stories from centenarians of living through the depression and other tough economies. Many of those stories revolve around saving money on food and getting by on cheap fuel to heat their homes. So many people tell stories about chopping wood and throwing corn cobs in their stoves to keep warm. With corn fields plentiful and corn cobs considered useless, why don’t flex fuel stoves burn corn cobs?
If you spend a little time on the Internet looking for information about this subject and search for articles about burning corn, you’ll no doubt find a common question about burning corn cobs. Why is it recommended you burn shelled corn (or other approved fuels) in your flex fuel stove, and why wouldn’t you burn corn cobs?
Here’s the Answer
Corn/flex-fuel appliances today are designed to burn shelled corn instead of corn cobs. Farmers are harvesting their corn now with combines, shelling the corn right away, and chopping up the cobs to be returned to the earth. This is factored into the design. I know this, because I designed and built the first certified corn burning appliance in the industry.
Corn cobs carry a high level of starch in them which does not convert easily over to BTU’s. The shelled corn carries a level of starch and sugar which converts easier into usable heat units. The technology for using corn cobs is so much different from using shelled corn, that appliances can not easily adapt between the two.
Video Help on Choosing Your Corn and Other Flex Fuels
Dec 11, 2009
American Energy Systems has a rich history of providing superior corn stoves and flex-fuel heating appliances; including fireplaces and furnaces. We are pleased to offer a blog community to people passionate about using alternative energy to heat their homes and offices.
If you want to shop online and skip directly to our extensive Magnum and Country Flame product lines, please jump over to our Main Website at Magnum Heat. To go directly to our Magnum E-com Store click here.
Cme2heatitup on Ebay, one of American Energy System’s Resellers, sells overstock, scratch and dent, and special promotion units for wholesale prices. These are one of a kind items and deals, as Cme2heatitup is the ONLY authorized AES online Reseller that can sell DEMO units for full factory warranty.
If a show room is more your style, and you’d love to see a corn or pellet stove in action, you can find a dealer near you! Just use our Magnum and Country Flame locator!
For a fun, new community of people passionate about heating their homes with alternative energy, you can join our Fan Page on Facebook. Be sure to leave us a comment so we can say “hi”!
We are active on Twitter now too, so follow us at Twitter.com/alternativeheat Be sure to @ reply so we can follow you back! We love the discussions on Twitter going on about green living, saving money, burning corn, and alternative energy for heat. Weigh in!
We are working hard to offer countless videos featuring all our our Magnum and Country Flame products. Dozens of easy to understand and helpful demonstrational videos are posted on Magnum Heat channel of YouTube. From trouble shooting and venting, to choosing your corn or wood pellets to buy, we’re here to help.