1.) 1700 square foot ranch home built in 1980 in Harrisburg, PA
2.) 1/2 of the basement finished and is where we spend all of our time since it is fully exposed in the rear and very bright;
3.) The lower level has a nice masonry area/chimney port for a coal/wood burner and a built-in coal bin!
4.) Our oil boiler with hydronic baseboard heat has 3 zones (lower level/bedrooms/living area) and is 115,000 BTUs;
5.) I did a heat loss calc. 2 years ago when installing the new oil furnace and only need 60,000 BTU, but old one was 110,000BTUs with domestic hot water.
6.) We use only 2 tanks of oil per year (275 gallon tanks) as we keep it 60 degrees when we're not upstairs and 70 degrees full-time downstairs.
7.) We added two 15x15 additions facing south since then (making the 1700), so I'm estimating 20,000 more BTU's needed from when we did the heat loss calc. When it's 45 degrees and sunny, it gets to be 65-70 from the solar heat through the huge windowed area while the thermostat is set at 60 degrees.
8.) We still have domestic in the furnace in the winter, then switch over to an electric water heater for the summer.
9.) There are several vents in the ceiling throughout the lower level and a stairway to allow heat to radiate upstairs.
10.) My idea is to heat the lower level plus the living area (living/dining/kitchen). The vents do not exist for the bedrooms area where we'd heat with oil (which takes very, very little since it's off all day then warms up for the night).
11.) I have photos of the house here: http://www.ad26.com/fsbo.htm
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
...it's not for sale anymore.
12.) I considered a stoker boiler (a AHS Coalgun or Keystoker), but they are very expensive ($5000+) and I don't have room for tons of rice coal. We have 2 tons of nut in bags in a special storage area, so I'm shooting for nut. We'd probably have to get rid of the oil furnace for room (for a stoker boiler), but I don't want to, so I like the hand-fired stove idea).
13.) I don't work, so I have the time and energy to work with coal.