The Hardy is atmospheric. We don't know yet if it can be welded (tig welded because it is stainless), we have to wait for nicer weather to check it out. Our stove currently is sixteen years old. We used to be able to cut the firewood for free, but now we have to buy it by the tri-axle, and that can become costly and of course it is a lot of hard work. Right now we are just weighing our options, but thought that putting one of the harman wood/coal boilers in the basement might be the way to go. It is something my wife could manage on weekends when I am out snowmobiling, unlike the outside stove, which takes larger pieces. We understand that coal is less expensive, but would like the option of burning wood if needed (lack of coal, etc). Do you have any idea how long a Harman boiler lasts? Also can it be used as a pressurized unit or an open unit? Is Harman the way to go? We are trying to look at the long hual, we are not getting any younger
We were asking the same questions 1 year ago. Although firewood for us is still free (I'm just cutting the blow-overs on our property) I know it won't last forever. We thought about a combo unit that would burn both coal and wood, but I was not satisfied with anything currently on the market.
Then I was considering a coal insert, that I would install in the upper level of our house, where the wood-burning FireplaceXtrordinaire resides now.
It was my wife who said we should keep the FireplaceXtrordinaire, and just put a coal stove in the lower level of the house. That way, both levels of the house would be heated. Great Idea! After searching this website and all the dealer's websites, we finally bought a DVC-500 Direct vent Harman Coal stoker. It does not need a chimney, just a direct vent thru an outside wall.
We love it, and given the chance to do it all over, I'd still pick the DVC-500. Now I can burn my free firewood upstairs, and burn coal to keep the lower level warm. We have about 1500SF on both levels of house, total of 3000SF.
The oil burner we have is still connected, but we keep the thermostat set to 50 "Just in case". I burned 20 gallons of oil for the entire 2008 year.