Mar 12, 2013
We want to share one of our customer’s stories with you. Their story addresses their decision to burn wood pellets versus corn at the current rate (2012-13) per bushel, and they are willing to share their experience with you. This family is in the Upper Midwest and owns a Magnum Countryside 3500P.
Last summer when he watched the severe drought sweep across the country, Steve’s mind naturally wandered to our nation’s farmers and their crops. When the rain just didn’t materialize, crops failed and the price of corn steadily rose. By fall it was clear that the price of corn was going to be considerably higher than last year at the same time, so Steve started discussing his best fuel options with his wife.
Four years ago they purchased a Magnum Countryside, and immediately started burning corn. They fell in love with the hot, consistent heat that corn provides. No matter how cold or stormy the harsh Northern winter got outside, corn was able to keep their two-story home on a hill very comfortable. Yet, they bought the stove to save money and they needed to make sensible decisions.
After consulting a farmer, their local supplier of corn, the decided they should switch to wood pellets for the winter. Burning wood pellets would save them a little money, although they really debated whether or not they should just buy corn at the $7.50/bushel price. In the end, they opted to buy a good quality wood pellet with low ash content and give it a try. “He actually told us he wasn’t planning to burn corn in his own stove, so we thought we should strongly consider wood pellets,” says Steve.
The first thing they noticed was less ash in the pan, which was nice. However, wood pellets seemed to create more smoke and ash in the burning area (that just didn’t make it to the ash pan), and they continually fought to keep the glass clean. Eventually, they gave up trying to keep the glass clear and realized burning wood pellets would be a different experience than corn.
While the heat output was sufficient, it wasn’t near as hot as corn. When they usually burned corn in the stove on a level 1 for mild winter days and a level 2 for colder winter days, they had to burn wood pellets in the stove on a minimum of a level 3 to reach the same level of comfort. Higher levels burn through fuel faster, and while they knew they were saving much more than burning propane, they started to doubt wood pellets were actually saving them money from corn.
They report that their biggest struggle with burning wood pellets was an inconsistent flame and pellet build up that just didn’t happen with corn. They had to continually adjust air flow, shut down to clean up all the excess ash, etc. In hindsight, they wished they would have at least mixed wood pellets with shelled corn for a steadier and hotter flame.
It was a good experience burning wood pellets for an entire season, but Steve and his wife now appreciate the benefits of burning clean, dry shelled corn. Furthermore, they are thankful they decided on a flex-fuel appliance that will always give them options; leaving them in control of what they burn.
Do you have a story you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us today!
May 3, 2012
Saving money is critical to most Americans and the rising price of oil is very concerning. Where will oil prices go in 2012? What will we be looking at for heating costs in only a few short months? Even though Spring is here and warm temps have us breathing a sigh of relief, we know that another winter will be here before we know it and planning is imperative.
So how much can you save on fuel for a pellet stove?
What is the least expensive fuel to use?
Your fuel costs are often determined by where you live, rather than the fuel itself. Sometimes corn will be less expensive than wood pellets and then the opposite may be the case. For those who grow renewable fuel or have it readily available, it can mean even more cost savings. It is best to determine first what the most reliable fuel source is and then negotiate the best price. Corn is usually the best overall bargain (it burns hotter) and is usually available anywhere in the country. Wood pellets are normally the most convenient, but a variety of renewable fuel centers are springing up around the country making all fuels convenient and available. It is nice to know that companies like American Energy Systems make Stoves that will burn a variety of fuels instead of just Wood Pellets.
You can compare fuel and find out the national averages of each fuel cost. Finding out the best fuel source is a step toward determining the best heating appliance for your home too; get your free guide today.
Feb 15, 2011
Do you have questions about your auger? You have some very good online resources for answering all your questions about your Countryside auger. First, you can refer to your Operations Manual and download a copy if you need another. You can also contact Techcenter1 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 320-227-2902
Second, we have dozens of helpful videos posted to YouTube featuring all aspects of our Magnum line of products. The following video pertains to troubleshooting your auger. If you need close captioning, or would like to read the video transcript to take some notes, be sure to click on the video to watch it on YouTube where you will see the CC icon below the video.
Jan 14, 2011
The quality of fuel you put in your heating appliance is important. Making sure your corn is clean, dry, and pure is critical to efficient heat and proper maintenance of your appliance. Even if you are very careful and monitor your fuel supply closely, you still need to watch for accidental foreign objects so that they do not make it into your hopper and auger system. We’ve heard reports of sand, pebbles, sticks, and even screws found. Make sure you talk to your source to make sure your fuel is as dry and clean as possible, and free from foreign objects. If you haven’t watched our video on choosing quality fuel for your appliance, please take a couple minutes. If you have a story to share, leave it in the comments section.