Forced Air Setup; Boiler or Furnace.

Forced Air Setup; Boiler or Furnace.

PostBy: e.alleg On: Sat. Mar. 10, 2007 10:43 pm

I currently have a forced air furnace and I want to install a coal burner to save some $. It looks like installing a boiler and running a water-air heat exchanger in my ductwork above the current furnace would be the best method. The other cheaper and easier option is to put a keystoker koker type furnace in the place of the current furnace, but then I lose the propane backup if it's ever needed. I've heard some people say that a boiler will last 40 years or more while a furnace will be lucky to go 10 years before it's rusted junk. For the cost of replacing the furnace every 10 years I'd rather spend the extra up front for a boiler. :twisted:
Stove/Furnace Make: EFM
Stove/Furnace Model: 520

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Re: Forced Air Setup; Boiler or Furnace.

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 9:52 am

Plus you get your domestic hot water heated economically. That seems like a very good choice. Boilers are easier to control too.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260M
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Re: Forced Air Setup; Boiler or Furnace.

PostBy: LsFarm On: Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 10:29 am

There is a Koker furnace in the classifieds, has been there for the whole season, you may ge able to get a better than asking price on it in a month or two.

You can hook up a furnace in a primary/secondary layout, you just have to get creative with the ductwork.

A boiler is a better method as Coaledsweat mentions above. The initial cost may be higher, but worth it in the long run.

Domestic hot water uses about 25-35% of my propane year round, so when I'm running my boiler I'm saving not only house and shop heat, I'm saving on domestic hot water. It all adds up.

I dislike the propane monopoly so much that I'm thinking of figuring out a way to heat my clothes dryer and domestic hot water year-round. I will probably install solar for the domestic and install a low-tech clothesline for drying clothes. :lol: :) :lol:

I can just about visualize myself out hanging my socks and underwear on a clothesline.... maybe not.. :lol:

Did you take a look on eBay for the water-to-air exchangers?? I'd measure your duct above your current furnace and see if you can find a 'deal ' on an exchanger.

Do you have room for a second heating appliance in your basement next to the current furnace? With a boiler you can locate it just about anywhere, even in the garage, or a remote building, and pipe the hot water to the exchanger in your ductwork.

There are some pretty good deals on ebay for circulator pumps too. Just do your homework on retail pricing, then bid accordingly.

Take care, let us know how the project is shaping up.

Greg L.

Last edited by LsFarm on Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Forced Air Setup; Boiler or Furnace.

PostBy: Complete Heat On: Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 12:50 pm

I have been thinking about swapping out my Alaska 140 Auger for a Keystoker KA-6 boiler with a hot air coil. I could run that year round and save an additional $200 a year on propane by not firing the hot water heater. Like Greg, I too despise the propane (petroleum in general) companies.

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

Re: Forced Air Setup; Boiler or Furnace.

PostBy: Yanche On: Sun. Mar. 11, 2007 1:48 pm

Using a coal boiler also allows you to install it in the best location for the chimney flue. You just pipe the boiler water to the heat exchanger in your existing furnace duct work. What you need is known in the HVAC industry as a fan coil or booster coil. Very common in office and industrial buildings. There are many vendors. Take a look at the following link: ... 2-6biz.pdf

It's from McQuay. It will give you complete specifications and instructions on how to size them. I would suggest looking at the physical size first and determine what might fit in you existing furnace. Then see if the BTU rating will match your requirements.

Stoker Coal Boiler: Alternate Heating Systems S-130
Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Pea

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