Anyone using a boiler for forced hot air heating?

Anyone using a boiler for forced hot air heating?

PostBy: Complete Heat On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:28 pm

Hi All,

Is anyone out there using a boiler for forced hot air heating? I am currently using an Alaska Model 140 auger unit, and it is working great. It is also doing all of my hot water. It is killing me to think that I will have to start paying for propane again come spring time when I shut down the coal unit. The idea of 200 gallons an hour of hot water year round, done cheap is very tantalizing.

I am thinking of either a KA-6 or a KAA-2 boiler from Keystoker. My house is 3,200 sq. ft. and well insulated. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Mike
Complete Heat
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:44 pm

Hello Mike yes several of us are using a boiler with a water-to-air heat exchanger in the hot air ducts for heat.

From a practical standpoint, I'm not sure you would ever pay for the conversion to a boiler with heat exchanger just to keep from burning propane for domestic hot water during the summer.

What does your propane hot water heater use during summer months?? Then you have to subtract the cost of burning coal to keep the water hot, and a big boiler is not a real effecient way to heat a small amount of domestic hot water.

You will be keeping a whole boiler full of water hot, all day and night because you can't let the coal fire go out every few hours.

If you use a lot of domestic hotwater, such as for lots of children and clothes washing, it may pay off, but I'd consider looking into solar heating a tempering tank and or an on-demand propane water heater.

I've looked into keeping my boiler running all year, but the propane is only about $60/month for domestic water, cooking and clothes dryer, and the all important barbeque. [it's hooked to the house system].

I have all the items for a solar system, I'll get around to hooking it up one day, I just don't want the solar collector on or near the house. I will get over the looks of the collector when the fuel bill drops enough. :) :? :lol:

Greg L

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Last edited by LsFarm on Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:03 pm

Unless you are using an Axeman-Anderson, EFM or AHS boiler you can forget about using coal for domestic hot water during the summer. It would not be a good idea.
coaledsweat
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

PostBy: Complete Heat On: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:04 pm

Greg,

Thanks for the response. I spend about $75 a month for the hot water heater when it is running. I am redoing the master bath, and am putting in a big tub and shower system that will chew up the hot water. Currently I am using a 50 gallon tank, and it will not keep up under marathon shower conditions. Where as a Keystoker boiler will never run out of hot water. So my desire to do this swap is not only motivated by saving money on gas, but also from a performance stand point.

Mike
Complete Heat
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Axeman-Anderson
Stove/Furnace Model: AA-130/FHA

PostBy: LsFarm On: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:31 pm

HI Mike, I'd consider installing a tempering tank and warm it with solar. This way the water going into your 50 gal. heater will be much warmer than the well or city water, and the heater will be able to keep up.

If you have a stoker heating domestic hot water, it will be idling along, and have to 'ramp up' to keep up with the hot water demand, which will take time, then once you are done with the 'marathon shower' the boiler will often over shoot and get too hot.

Richard, the site administrator has a VanWert boiler running year round, and he has this over-shoot problem occasionally.

If you used a lot of hot water every few hours, it would be a good system, but if only every 12 or 24 hours, there will be a lot of coal burnt for nothing more than to keep a fire going.

Greg L

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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

PostBy: keyman512us On: Thu Feb 08, 2007 5:43 am

Hey all...
Complete Heat & LSFarm....I couldn't help but notice your thoughts on domestic hot water. Check out my post under "specific to boilers" about the heat storage tank from HSTarm(although they designed this for wood fired apps, you might find the concept quite interesting).

"Complete Heat"...Do you have an oil fired boiler in tandem with the coal?
If you can make "boiler water" you might want to look into a "super-stor"(generic term for indirect water heater) for your domestic hot water.
"Super stor" makes a nice indirect, so does AMTROL (Boilermate W something something) Last I knew, Home depot on the DW highway sells them and from what I remember they have a "Cut-away Display" on the shelf. They used to sell for $650...last I checked they went up to the $850 range. Kinda pricey to heat hot water, but well worth it if you use a lot of hot water.

...In case you want to find out more:
http://www.amtrol.com/boilermate.htm
keyman512us
 

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:40 am

coaledsweat wrote:Unless you are using an Axeman-Anderson, EFM or AHS boiler you can forget about using coal for domestic hot water during the summer. It would not be a good idea.


Not sure about the specific models he mentioned are the same ones but Keystoker makes similar furnaces to the ones you mentioned. Insulated etc, the whole nine yards. My brother has one and runs it year round. Personally I wouldn't let a unit like that sit idle for more than few days, even if you are breaking even with the water bill you are still saving money. If they aren't run continuously gaskets eventually start leaking, internal parts rust and corrode... it's not like a stove where you can take it apart and get to every nook and cranny to clean it out for the summer season. You'll add years if not a decade or more to the life of the unit and that's besides all the maintenance bills you'll not have to pay in the menatime. We only go through about a ton in 3 months so it's well worth it for the hot water.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Visit Lehigh Anthracite