I'm coming in a few years too late on this forum, but was sincerely hoping to glean some useful information from someone with experience with the Riteway model R37.
My wife and I have a rather large family (us 2 plus 7 offspring), and purchased an old farm house back in 2003, which was constructed in 1882. When we purchased the house, it had no heat source at all. Over the years, we have experimented with various forms of heat, usually ending up "living" in 2 downstairs rooms, while closing off the remainder of the house.
During late summer 2009, someone very graciously blessed us with a free Riteway R37, which has been a true lifesaver in terms of heating our home. Winter before last was our first season using it, and we were literally overwhelmed at the amount of heat that this unit puts out. (As you will learn later on in this plea, while the unit may have been "free" when initially given to us, we have more than paid for its' retail value more than once just in coal prices alone.)
I guess that at this point, it would be best to let y'all know straightaway that we strictly use coal - no wood whatsoever. (The nomenclature on the side of the unit states very plainly "Wood/Coal", so we assumed that it would be alright to burn strictly coal.) We've had some dangerously hot fires in this unit, and at present, the grates are warped/falling out. I've located some replacement parts online, and will be ordering new insides for the unit as soon as I can clamor together the funds. (We'll have the parts within the month of March - toward the latter part.)
This winter season has been especially harsh for us, and for some reason that we can't figure out why, we've gone through a very unusually high amount of coal this season - approaching our 7th ton! At $110/ton, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this isn't the most economical way to heat our home. Also, for some odd reason, the performance of this unit has drastically decreased since last winter season, and again, we can't figure out what we're doing differently this season as opposed to last season. We haven't frozen to death, but nor have we been comfortably warm unless we were to go to one of the upstairs rooms, which is a physical impossibility for me, given the fact that I'm missing my left leg at the mid-thigh level.
What I'd like to know, if at all possible with the scant information provided, what am I doing wrong? I am a self-admitted novice when it comes to heating with coal, and honestly have just been "winging it" until I could have the chance to speak with someone who has a vast wealth of knowledge when it comes to burning strictly with coal as the heat source.
If this is an issue that you feel would better be addressed over the phone, then I have no problem at all in providing you with my Verizon mobile number. Whomever you are, we desperately need to talk to you, we need for you to teach us whatever you can in order to help us drastically reduce the overall cost of heating our large home during the bitterly cold winter months. (Maybe it's just because this winter has been the harshest on record for the previous 45-55 years.) We did begin heating almost 6 weeks earlier than we have in years past, but even during a "normal" winter, we still use, on average, 4.5 tons of coal, which I personally think is still a tad on the high side.
I do thank you for your patience and time in reading my desperate plea here, and I sincerely trust, hope, and pray that someone out there will be able to come to our assistance before we end up bankrupting ourselves while attempting to remain warm. (Okay, that was just a little exaggerated, we aren't going to bankrupt, but sometimes, we've honestly felt like this unit is doing exactly that to us!)
Advanced heartfelt gratitude for any help that you may be able to offer.
Jon "Scotty" Rogers
Washburn, Tennessee 37888