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Power To Save: Heating With Corn

UNION TOWNSHIP — A farmer in Schuylkill County has the Power To Save by using feed corn to heat his home.

Ron Fetterman is a farmer who lives near Ringtown.  He loads his furnace with dried corn, corn which he grows. The corn is slowly pulled up a tube into the combustion chamber. Air is heated and is pumped into Fetterman’s home.

“I wouldn’t go back to anything else as long as I could raise the corn and take care of it, I’d keep using it,” Fetterman said.

As an added benefit, he uses the ash for fertilizing his fields.

Fetterman believes he saves thousands of dollars a year by using corn. He estimates he’ll spend $700 this year to heat his home, even through the winter has been harsh.

“I burned probably a ton or two ton more than I do normally.”

Upstairs the temperatures are comfortable. That’s because even when the furnace is not blowing warm air into the rooms, the furnace itself gives off heat which naturally rises from the basement.

“It’s an even heat. When it’s heating our house there is never a cold period between, it’s just an even heat,” said Sandra Fetterman.

Burning corn for fuel is a family affair for the Fettermans. Ron tells me that his son also burns corn to heat his house.


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