Just lit my first coal fire yesterday afternoon and have some quick questions for the experts
. I also have a thread over on the Stoker forum, but wasn't sure if maybe here was a better place to be for what I have. Wife and I bought our home in 2002. Has oil fired warm air heat, but also had a coal furnace already tied into the ductwork. Like the oil heat, but the cost of fuel oil is killing us
. That in mind, figures it's time to try the coal furnace. Kogen unit, built in PA. Not sure of it's vintage, seems to be well built though
. Have only a manual damper in the flue (no baro), as well as the bottom draft and a draft control in the loading door. Here are a few quick pics:
Here's where I'm at. Started the fire around 3 PM yesterday, using charcoal and 2X4 scraps. Had her burning good and hot on only the second attempt, but left the ash door and flue damper open until well established (as suggested by some). Once burning, I closed the bottom damper approximately 1/2 way and left the flue damper open fully. Around 6 PM, the stack temperature was up over 600F, so I closed the bottom damper and flue damper fully to bring the temp down (kinda panicked I guess
). Before bed (around 1 AM), the house temperature was over 80F, so I opened the flue damper fully. Not sure if this was the right move, as I am very new at this. Can't reduce the draft anymore though to bring the temp down, thought this may let more heat escape...
Stack temperature now ranges from 250-450F, depending on how recently coal was added. House started this morning @ 72F (when I shook and refilled), but was again up to nearly 80F when I left for the day. Down to 77F now, but still a bit warm for us (we're used to 68F with the oil furnace). I don't mind a little warmer, because I know coal tends to be warm. 72F feels good, but I cannot keep it there...
Not sure what to do. Some have suggested opening the loading door draft to pull some draft from above the fire. Some have suggested turning off the convection blower and letting the heat radiate. Thoughts?