There has been a gigantic and frustrating outage of wood pellets on Long Island. From what I hear, New York is not the only place that has suffered an outage.
The issue lies in the fact that more people than ever before have
decided to save on fuel costs by installing a pellet stove in their
homes. A demand that manufacturers of wood pellets had not seen coming.
Sadly, for those like me, we were left to hunt for weeks and weeks on
end, with the same result. No pellets. Try again next week!
I then began to think about the stove I purchased. I spent $4,000 on
an Envrio M55, and aside from it burning just wood pellets, I knew it
could burn other sources as well.
However, I needed to really research it before I took the plunge. As
much as outsiders believe this is a farm county, coming across low
priced whole corn kernels was not a simple task. In fact most feed
stores were quoting me at $13-$17 a 50 pound bag, which is hideous in
price when the fact is that I could normally buy a 40 pound bag of wood
pellets at Home Depot for $4.18.
With no other option though, I was left with calling every feed stand
on the island in search of a decent priced 50 pound sack of corn.
I picked up some 50 pound sacks for $10 a bag. Still this is high, and
I wish more places carried corn kernels used strictly for pellet
stoves, at prices that won't break the bank.
However, after burning my first bag of corn, I have to say that it
burns so much longer, so much hotter, and my house heated up so much
Now here is what you can expect when burning corn in your M55.
A hotter home, on a much lower setting.
A dirtier ash pan and interior. Make sure you clean out your M55
almost everyday when burning corn. There is less ash from what I can
tell, but a greater buildup due to the oils in corn. Clean it daily or
every other day.
A much hotter surface of your stove. Keep kids away from it, because
it will feel a lot hotter to the touch, and yes it can give you a minor
burn. This was odd to me because the stove is supposed to have some sort
of cool touch technology. This is true when burning pellets, not corn.
A higher price per bag depending on where you live.
Also do not fear the tiny pop sounds going on inside. It's not making
popcorn, but once in a while a kernel will pop. No need to concern
yourself over this.
A scent. When burning corn, I found that it lets out a sweeter smell
inside of my home, where wood pellets gave off no scent. The scent is
not bad at all, in fact it's a nice scent. The outside pipe also lets
off a different scent in the air. It actually smells pretty good.
All in all burning corn on Long Island is not the cheapest method of
fuel for your pellet stove, however when there is no other choice,
having a multi-fuel pellet stove gives you a choice where having a non
multi-fuel pellet stove does not.
When the outage of wood pellets hits the hometown, and there is no
other option in supply, count yourself lucky that you have the option to
burn other forms of fuel.