A Winter Heating Alternative

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Once outside the mainstream, the corn stove is making its way in.

"Our personal business is up 300 to 400 percent," says Teresa Wood, of Wood & Sons Corn Bin, a vendor in Williamston.

Homeowners frustrated with high heating costs are increasingly considering the alternative way to heat their homes.

"It's good for my country, good for my area, the money stays in my area, and I'm saving money. I see no loss associated with it," explains Jim Wussel, a new owner of a corn stove that cost him about $4,000 once installed. It will heat his 2,500 square foot ranch all winter on about $400 to $500 dollars of corn.

"In 3 years, I'll have paid off everything," Wussel says, of his savings.

The comparison per year is an easy one for most. It's anywhere from a $1,000 to $2,000 savings each winter. The cost comes upfront with a stove, a furnace if you choose, duct work, and installation. Most city's also require permits, and an inspection before you are ready to roast.

Corn stove manufacturers boast about their cleanliness and efficiency, but understand they do require some work. You'll need a place to store dry corn, and you'll need to fuel the fire every few days.

"The manufactuters understand it's not for everybody at this point," says Bruce Noel, treasurer of the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan.

For more information, go to micorn.org.

It's an alternative fuel thats an alternative, grown right here in Michigan, for anyone with a kernel of interest in something new.