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Corn burning Boiler and an existing in floor radiant heat system

17 years ago

Hi Folks, Let me start of by stating that I'm 95% blind and work with a dog guide. Therefore I'm not up to much DIY stuff. I'm writing this as my xyl (wife) and I are attempting to purchase a brick 3 br ranch style home with a natural gas fired hot water in floor radiant heat system (piping installed in 1947 when the house was built). The house also has a gas log fireplace, and baseboard heat in some areas of the house.

I am a senior broadcasting major at Western Illinois University and as part of a newswriting class that I'm taking this fall I wrote a story about the projected rise in fuel costs this winter including the very real possibility of natural gas going up by as much as two thirds. This news literally scared the scat out of me. The xyl and I then decided to do some research on alternative fueled heating systems.

During our google search we came across a site for LDJ Manufacturing Inc. of Pella, IA. LDJ offers various corn burning heating options. 100k btu per hour stove, and water boiler and a variable 80k-165k btu per hour stove and water boiler both types 100k and the variable rate one have 14 bu hoppers that should hold enough fuel for ten days, more if the rate is turned down on the variable system. LDJ claims that their corn burning boilers are great for use with in floor radiant heat systems. I called a local (well, nearly local) dealer and asked for pricing. Talk about sticker shock the 80k-165k btu boiler runs $5,200.00 not including installation. Are there other companies out there that offer a similar quality product at a lower price, or should we just suck it up and plop down the valuta and hope we gain it back in lower fuel costs in two years or so?

With the availability of corn and corn prices being very low. How can we resist this fuel option. The price the local elevator was paying to farmers was $1.62 bu. yesterday. The elevator will sell me corn at $.10 over what market the price is. The only problem is going to be getting the bulk corn to the home and storage of said fuel. We don't own a pickup as we only need one vehicle and it has to be able to haul three humans and a K9. For obvious reasons the state of Illinois will NOT issue me a driver's license ...:-) I have come up with a solution though. Go to a farm auction or a used farm equipment dealer and see if I can buy a small used gravity box cheaply that I can have a pickup owning friend haul to the elevator to get the fuel, or price out how much it would cost to buy 200 bu from a feed company and have them truck the 200 bu in and auger it into the gravity box and then put a tarp over the top to keep out moisture, bird droppings and rodents. BTW: I should probably mention that I was raised on a dairy farm and for some reason still tend to approach problem solving the way a farmer would. ....:-)

Sincerely and Respectfully Yours,

Wayne es LD Riot

I have no financial interes in LDJ Mfg.

Here is a link that might be useful: LDJ Link

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