ad356 wrote:i could perhaps install a hotblast, is it possible to get a decent coal burn on them.
THat one you are looking at for $1099 is the small one... It has 1 grate and 1 blower can hold 50 pounds of coal I think.. I have the next size bigger, with 2 grates and 2 blowers (used to be Clayton before US Stove bought them out)..
You can get a decent coal burn on these units.. I'm living proof of it hahaha.. I had to do some tinkering to make it more an appliance for coal, instead of wood, but I am very happy with its coal burning ability. It does have its handicaps, if ya wanna call it that..
1 - The grate has a square nub that the shaker handle adapts to. Its a weak point. Shake too vigorously and it will snap. Get a coal jam and force it, it will snap. I've broke 2 of them, I know their limitations better now lol..
2- The grate itself is easily installed upside down which promotes coal jams and ash blockage, so ya gotta make sure that's right. I burned for 6 months with the grates upside down
3- There are places where combustion air can bypass the coal bed that need to be blocked. I used fiberglass insulation. Made a HUGE difference in efficiency and running a low fire.
4- Ash tends to build up on the sloped firebrick and shrink the available space for fresh heat producing coal. This is remedied by forcing the ash down the slope towards the grate with a tool I made.
5- After shake and re load, I run a tool along the bottom of the grate thru the ash pan door I call "the slicer" which makes for better passage of combustion air up thru the coal bed.
Ok, so you can get the drift of where I'm going with all of this.. This appliance has its own traits that need to be dealt with that other appliances may not. I paid $650 for it used.. It paid for itself as well as cut my heating bill both in the first year. Its not exactly a user friendly furnace for coal, but that doesn't bother me any..
This furnace has been an excellent teacher.. I've developed a routine that works.. and it works good for me.. Many will put these appliances down, that's fine, I'm well aware there are much better ones and I'll probably have a different one someday. But for now, its keeping me warm