I am looking to buy a 1400 - 1900 sq ft ranch, 3 br, 2bath, 2 car garage w/ or w/out basement in Norwalk CT.
I've had gas all my life, so comparing the price of oil (I'd say 70% of homes have oil, 30% have gas in town.) w/ Hearth.com's fuel calculator was a shock when I saw the price of oil.
If I end up with an oil heated home, I want to use an alternative stove as my primary heat and use the oil as a supplement. My options are Stoker Coal, Pellet, or Wood (w/ eco bricks or something similar, I don't have a lot of time to hunt for wood). My preference is for coal based off cost and ~possibly~ ease of use.
Anyway, I've read and watched a ton on the internet. Here are my problems:
- I can't find a local coal stove dealer.
- The only coal dealer I've found who will deliver this far south into CT is http://btpellet.com
It makes me a little worried that this is the only coal dealer that can supply me if I go full in on this coal thing. I've called a lot of people on this list (http://www.fuelstart.com/06854-BiomassEnergyLog-prices-200-miles.aspx#
) without much luck.
- I've never ~seen~ a coal stove in person let alone a hand fed. With no coal stove dealers local, it'd be great if someone was willing to let a stranger in their home to check out their setup and hear how loud a stoker is and how much of a problem ash is. :p
- I need to decide if a radiant stoker stove in a decently central located living room would suit my needs or I'd need a the stoker in the basement with venting to the 1st flr. (I don't want to put a stove in the basement and then require me going up/down stairs (bad knees), and then I have to worry about connecting the stoker to my central air vents.)
- I also keep hearing conflicting stories about ash dust everywhere, and it scares me to put a stove in my living room cause the Fiancee will kill me if it's dirty, let alone if the noise is too much for the stoker....this also plays into the equation of putting the stove in the living room or the basement.
- I think I'm more of a stoker guy for the crappy work hours I have and the fiancee wanting as little maintenance to keep the stove going as possible.....but efficiency-wise is a stoker more efficient? Even with electricity being used to feed coal into the stove and possibly the electricity to power a power vent (if that suits my new home well)? (I'm not as worried about power outages)
Thanks very much for the info in advance as well as the things I've read here in the past. Happy burning!