I was hooked on burning coal the moment my uncle-in-law showed me his coal burning furnace in the basement of his 110 year old farmhouse in Candor, NY. I always loved how warm his house was when we were up there for Thanksgiving or xmas. I live in Annapolis MD and have electric heat (from and HVAC), which by the way sucks!! It sucks $300 a month from my wallet in the winter months and only heats my split foyer to about 68 degrees if I’m lucky, and it runs 24/7 during the coldest months of winter.
I always thought about getting a coal stove but never thought it was practical. Then I found this site. I want to thank you all for the great conversation and advice gathered from the various threads. After doing some reading, I settled on a Coal Chubby. I found one on the Philadelphia craigslist for $400. It was in great shape, or so I thought. During my first coal fire, the chubby turned completely white and stunk the house up with a terrible plastic smell. Turns out the previous owner did not use stove paint and merely painted over all the rust. The paint turned white because it turned to ash. So, I sanded down the entire stove with a wire drill bit attachment and re-painted with high temp black paint. Now she looks great!!!
Since I re-painted, the second burn went much better, the smell was pretty much gone. And the next few nights I continued to have nice hot fires. As mention earlier, my house is a split-foyer, about 1800 sq. feet. Downstairs the Chubby heats it into the 80’s and upstairs it gets to 74 degrees with temps in the 20’s at night!!! So it’s really performing the way I want it to temp-wise.
However, I still could not get the temp below 500 degrees, no matter how much I closed the air vents and I couldn’t get an overnight burn. So, I replaced the loading and ash door gaskets with ½ inch gasket rope. I did not replace the top gasket.
So, that’s where I am now with the stove. With the loading/ash door gaskets replaced, I now can get an overnight burn but the fire is too weak to add more coal in the morning, it will just smother it. The stove does have the newer firepot.
Also, even with the new seals I still can’t seem to get the temperature to drop much less than 500 degrees. I love the coal stove concept, but don’t want to have to tend to it every six hours to keep it going, especially in the mornings. I don’t have time to rebuild a fire before work. Ideally, I’d like to keep enough fire overnight that I can simply add more coal in the morning to keep it going. According to the Chubby website, you are supposed to go 12 hrs between re-loading. I’m getting maybe 8 hrs on a full load (which is why the fire is going out at night).
So basically this is where I’m at right now. Any suggestions/advice for this coal newbie?
Again, thanks in advance for all your assistance. BTW – the wife and kids LOVE the heat!!