Corn Stoves

Today I was talking with a customer about wind power and the Clean Energy Partnership when she asked me if I knew about corn stoves. “Corn stoves? I’ve never heard of those.”

Corn stoves were apparently invented in 1969 by a woman named Carroll Buckner from North Carolina. Corn stoves have been popular in the South and Southwest, and even made an appearance at the Oval Office during President Jimmy Carters term.

To give you a general idea, from the information that I found on the web, corn stoves are a clean, renewable way to heat your home. Instead of burning wood or oil, dryed corn kernels are used in your indoor burning stoves. While wood and oil can heat a home efficiently, they also significantly contribute to environmental pollution. Corn, however, is seen as a renewable resource that is not only abundant and cost-efficient, but also gives off little to no pollution while being burned. It not only creates less smoke, but also is great news for farmers.

I think that this sounds like a great alternative to wood and oil burning stoves. Not only is it good for the environment, but it is also good for your health, as the two can be directly linked. I was told by the woman that I was speaking with that there is a small community in Takoma Park that uses the corn stoves. They have actually installed a corn silo for the users to access, which follows the countless others popping up all over the nation. Who knows, one could pop up in your neighborhood. Keep your eyes peeled.

8 Responses to “Corn Stoves”

  1. Steve Says:

    Jen,
    You should talk with Mike Tidwell over at CCAN & EarthBeat radio fame. He spearheaded the corn silo’s in Takoma Park and his home is a show place for the stoves and many other
    ‘green’ home inovations. Maybe if enough MOM’s customers installed corn stoves MOM’s could have small silo’s each location.

  2. Claire Says:

    Can you use corn in any ole’ stove? I’ve got a jotul stove that heats my house in which I use wood. Is there an apparatus/adapter that is needed? Method? I want to try corn but at this point, all I’d know to do is dump a pile of corn in my stove and throw a match on it…

  3. joe brokaw Says:

    I am about to start my 4th year on burning corn. I purchased my first corn stove and placed it on my main floor worked great only the basement was cold so the next year i got another one. i live in a small town in iowa and let tell you corn is everyware. yes it is clean renewable and does require a little work. i purchased a 100 bushel corn wagon for about 75 dollars at a farm auction. and with some help from my welder and sawlsall turned it into a 60 bushel with a toung to hook up to my pick-up. i built a 100 bushel corn crib in my basement under a window and now all i do is back up to the window and slide the corn in. thats not to hard. i can buy 60 bushel of 11% moisture corn for around 1.50 per bushel. so for 90.00$ i heat my house for about 2 mos. around here it costs the avrage home about 200 per month to heat. the hardest part of doing all of this is cleaning out the ashes. one of my stoves is real easy and i do this every day. my 9 year old son can do it. it leaves a hard ash called a clinker. about the size of a hocky puck .no big deal the other stove aditates the ash and it stays granular. this is harder i have to shut down the stove and let it cool and clean it with a shop vac. i do this stove every week. 90% of the ashes get grated down do a drawr. that i dump out every couple of days. other than that and a good pipe clean out once a month it is simple, clean, and cheap. you can dump your ashes on your garden and it wont hurt anything. as far as inital cost. Well the one upstairs is a self lighting unit on a thermostat. it cost aroun 2000 dollars and has paid for it self. the one down stairs requires more work you have to light it and control the air intake. it only cost 1200 bucks. but i am very happy with both of them. we keep the house at 76 degrees. with no worry of cost. A corn stove works by blowing air on the fire and burning the corn. so you cant just dump a pile of corn a fire it would only smolder and go out. it is a completely sealed unit (air tight) 95% efficient. they do make fire place inserts though. the nice thing about these is you need only 1 inch yes inch clearence form the wall. and needs only 12 inches of exaust sticking out past the house. in the winter time the kids come in from the cold and sit on it. it wont burn you at all. I don’t know why everybody dosent have one. .

  4. Jen Says:

    Thank you Joe for sharing your experience with corn stoves. They sound like a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

  5. joy Says:

    hopefully this won’t cause any problems for us corn lovers…

  6. Tony Says:

    Well into corn stoves, great article, hopefully you’ll get lots of interest

  7. GEORGE HENNESSEY Says:

    I HAVE A OLD DOVE TEK CORN STOVE. I USE HERE IN LONDON ONTARIO WHEN IT GETS DOWN TO -30 IT WORKS GREAT THAT’S THE WEIRD THING ABOUT THEM THE COLDER IT GETS THE BETTER IT WORKS.MMMMMM MUST BE BECAUSE CORN GETS SO HOT.IT JUST BURNS BETTER ANYWAY I LOVE IT….THANKS TO WHO EVER INVENTED .YOURS TRULY GEORGE HENNESSEY LONDON ONTARIO CANADA ..

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