Green Heat

Posted November 12th, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

These days, everyone is encouraging you to go green. And by going green, we don’t mean rooting for Michigan State or Baylor University football. We mean, of course, choosing technologies which leave less of a carbon footprint on the environment. The good news is that there are actually some green home heating technologies which could save you money on your heating bill over the winter. One in particular-heating with corn-will cost you a little extra in your homeowners insurance, but the cost is more than outweighed by the amount you will save in natural gas or propane.

Corn burning stoves and furnaces are readily available at home improvement stores as well as specialty stores which only deal in pellet stoves and corn burners. They provide a very pleasant heat while saving you a great deal of money on your utility bills.

We have a couple of friends who installed corn burners. They both claim that they can shut their furnaces off for most of the winter and heat their homes entirely with corn. One of them even claims that the house gets so warm, he has to open up windows. And the cost is a fraction of what they would pay to heat their homes with natural gas.

Perhaps the best part of heating your home with corn, however, is that it is an entirely renewable resource. Consider this:

  • When you burn natural gas, you use up a resource that is not replenishable.
  • When you burn wood, you are cutting down trees which take 20 years or more to grow,
  • When you burn corn, you are burning a product which can be grown again and again, year after year, in the same field. If the demand for corn grows, farmers would have little trouble increasing output to meet the demand. Not only is this good for the environment, but it can also be good for the agricultural community.

While burning corn will save you a good deal of money, as well as giving you a very warm house, there are a couple words of caution we should mention:

  • The smoke from a corn burner smells like popcorn. If this smell bothers you, and you don’t want to deal with it outside in your yard, a corn burner is not for you.
  • Corn burners require a certain amount of upkeep and maintenance. If you aren’t someone who is willing to deal with any inconvenience, they probably aren’t for you.
  • Many cities won’t allow you to use a corn burner as the only heat source in your home. In such cases, you will also need to have a traditional furnace in your home.
  • In many cases, your homeowners insurance will be slightly more expensive with a corn burner, much like it would be if you used a wood burning stove.
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