thininkg about buying a coal furance

thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: ad356 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:41 am

i currently have a harman P63 pellet stove. while it puts out ALLOT of heat for a pellet stove (63,000 btu) it does not heat the house EVENLY. the living room will be 80 degrees but the kitchen will be high 50's. also on the coldest of nights you will burn ALLOT of pellets. pellets arent exactly cheap when you are burning 6+ tons a winter to heat the entire 1,500 sq foot 110 year old farm house. i would say that the P63 and P68 are probably the 2 best pellet stoves in the industry when it comes to heat output.

so as much as i like the P63 my complaints are:
-cost of pellets and overall heating costs; $1,200+ per season. pellets are $220 per ton
- not even heat, not even close. 20 degree difference between rooms is allot
- very cold floor, since the stove is on the 1st floor, the basement is not heated; the floors are very cold.

so i was thinking about coal:
-what are the pros and cons
-what is the expected bill to heat my home for a winter. 1,500 sq foot old home with SOME insulation and new windows.

so i was considering a couple of options:
-keystoker coker light 120,000 max btu or hotblast furnace

the hotblast would burn cord wood OR coal and the coker light is coal only

how good are the hotblast units. i know they are manual fed. what is the expected burn time on a firebox full of coal? what about a coker light, what is it's expected burn time? how do you hook these units up? what id the differnce in costs of the fuel overall when you cosnider coat costs more
ad356
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: P61 pellet thinking about coal

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:54 am

Welcome to the forum.

A coal stove will not solve your heat distribution problems. A furnace in the basement with proper duct work will heat the house much more evenly. Does your house have central heat installed? e.g. Oil furnace? This is a good case of you can have it good, cheap, or fast....pick two.

$1200 per season is pretty cheap compared to many homes. Do you have coal readily available in your area (what is your location?)?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: Rigar On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 7:56 am

ad356
...you will find a wealth of knowledge here... welcome aboard!

...desribe your current central heating (forced air...hot water...electric)..is there something in place besides the pellet stove?
coal may be a few more bucks a ton cpmpared to pellets...but youll get more heat content.
i can only speakfor keystoker furnaces...as that is what i own... the other manufacturers offer excellent products however.
a furnace in ur basement seems ideal but alittle more info on your setup would help.
chimney avaiable?
ductwork?...
layout...etc
budget restraints (huge factor) etc
Rigar
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: blrman07 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:02 am

Welcome ad356. You will find a wealth of information on this board. It's designed for coal but we do help out all people with their heating needs. Let us know the answers to the questions already asked along with what part of the country your in. We can get a better idea of what you have and where you are before recommending anything.

Rev. Larry
blrman07
 
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Bucket a Day
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Econo 1 stove
Coal Size/Type: Rice in the LL and anything that will fit in the Bucket a Day. It's not fussy.

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: titleist1 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:07 am

Welcome to the forum.... Including your location, your budget and your current hvac setup will help answer a lot of your questions.

As mentioned, heat distribution from any heating appliance that is NOT tied into central distribution will have the same problem of different rooms at different temps. If you can tie in a stoker to existing ductwork or a hw baseboard/radiators that would be ideal for heat distribution. Putting it in the basement would allow its residual heat to warm that space and also your floors which is a nice feeling in the winter! To do that you need to be able to get your fuel down there somehow.

Around here coal at $185 / ton is cheaper than pellets at $215/ton and that doesn't even consider the btu/lb advantage that coal has. Your area may be different, depends on how far from nepa you are.

There is a wealth of knowledge here, and the best part is that people are not stingy or condescending in sharing it.
titleist1
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman Mag Stoker (old style) one in basement, one in workshop
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman Mark III on standby for long power outages
Coal Size/Type: Rice/Anthracite; Nut/Anthracite

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: GoodProphets On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:08 am

There is a little bar at the top of this site.

"Fuel Comparison Calculator""

If you enter the price of 220 in for wood pellets and the price of coal (my local price is 220)
It will calculate cost for you.
It is nice to see that for each ton, coal outputs 50% more btu.

As Rob mentioned, more btu wont fix your problem.
You will still have that warm/cold.

Overall, you do have a cheap heating bill.
Imagine someone with a $6000 season lol, that was oil for my home, switching to coal dropped me 50% for bagged.
Coal bin to buy bulk now, $2600 over 50% savings for 12 ton.
Took an investment that will take 4 seasons to pay....my stoker should last a lifetime.
YMMV

The decision came down to choice.
Luckily I had hot water distribution through radiators....best heat.
If ya got em, use em.
If you dont, you will need duct work, which is pretty much a good second.
If you dont have either, then a simple duct work set up is possibly if you study to know where you need it.

Answer the repliers questions, and we will do our best to help you get happy with coal (or what works best for your setup)
GoodProphets
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Anthra Rice
Other Heating: 3 Fireplaces

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:49 am

Welcome aboard partner! I have an older model hot blast called a Clayton. Took some tinkering but I managed to get a good burn with it. It would be plenty for your square footage. Speaking of which, 6 tons for you size house is a lot. I used 5 ton last winter for double the space. My advise would be to tighten that house up and add insulation, then invest in a new or used heating appliance, unless you can do both right now.

I used to have propane and electric. Spent $2500 per year before coal. Now my net cost is $600 due to the water coils I installed that preheat my water and keep my outdoor hot tub warm.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: McGiever On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:39 pm

Welcome!

Since both units you have mentioned are forced air units, you are definitely headed towards solving your heat distribution issues.

Choosing between the batch load hand fed or the automatic stoker will take some analyzing.
It's your choice, but opinions here are not favorable towards combination (wood/coal) units. They will work to some degree...just not work as well as a wood only or a coal only will. There may be an exception to this, but please do not hold all combos as equal to that exception.

The combination solid fuel concept was mostly contrived by the sales/marketing gurus...not based on what would work best in application. :roll:
McGiever
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AXEMAN-ANDERSON 130 "1959"
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: HARMAN MAGNUM
Hand Fed Coal Stove: RADIANT HOME AIR BLAST
Baseburners & Antiques: OUR GLENWOOD 111 BASEBURNER "1908"
Coal Size/Type: PEA / ANTHRACITE, NUT-STOVE / ANTHRACITE
Other Heating: Ground Source Heat Pump
Stove/Furnace Make: Hydro Heat /Mega Tek

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: ad356 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:01 pm

ok, i have a peice of junk oil furnace converted over to natural gas furance, its a POS. i do have forced air ducts arleady in the house, which is why i am considering using a coal or wood furnace. i tend to think that coal is going to be allot more convient. its in bags, you dont have to worry about bugs. is it better to buy it in bags or can you buy coal in bulk delivered by dump truck? the gas furance that exists in my basement is highly inefficient, burns allot of natural gas and barely puts out any heat. i really do not want another gas furnace, i am not really a fan of natural gas. i do not like getting bills in the mail after i already have used the product. i think the taxes and "delivery" charges are nuts. what gives them the right to charge a "delivery charge" last i checked i didnt see a national fuel truck pull up to my home and "deliver" product. i really hate utility companies and any time i can "stick it" too 'em makes me feel good. if it was more economical to put in a windmill or power generating solar panels i would do that too.

another question, if i put a furance in do i keep the harman in the house or do i move it into the garage? use the harman on mild days and turn it off when the colder days arrive or i am looking for a source of heat in my garage; would the harman p63 be enough to heat an uninsulated 900 sq foot barn?

as far as chimney, i have a masonary natural gas chimney but it wouls probably require a liner to work. so there is that option, what do liners cost? there is also a powerflow powered exhaust system i was told $600. there is also probably the option of using a class A chimney through the wall kit, again that would probably be $6-700??

the place that sells stoves told me i could run the exhaust in between joists and it would come out a couple feet above ground. is that safe? how do people usually exhaust these things out of a basement that is bellow ground
ad356
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: P61 pellet thinking about coal

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: Lightning On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 2:34 pm

Beware of someone trying to sell you a liner. Your chimney is most likely perfectly fine to use. Post some pictures, let the chimney gurus advise you. Don't let anyone muscle you into a liner.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut Size / White Ash

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: ad356 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:10 pm

here are the pics of my chimney. i think it was originally designed for an oil burning furnace, i dont know its full history and i just dont want to burn my home down. if i could safetly aviod buying an expensive chimney this project would be a no-brainer for me $1,000 is a fairly small investment. as long as i could ensure absolute safety i would have no problem using my existing chimney. it would make the most sense. problem is that if i had a "professional" check it first of course they are going to try to get a chimney liner job. other questions, would this chimney create a draft and how would i clean it as it does NOT have a cleanout. this chimney does extend into the basement where it is hooked up to existing furnace.
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ad356
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: P61 pellet thinking about coal

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:26 pm

As long as the chimney is structurally sound and the tiles aren't collapsing it should be fine for coal. Anthracite is very easy on a masonry chimney...steady temperatures, no creosote or chimney fires.

As long as the flue extends a foot or more below the thimble, the lack of clean out shouldn't matter. You can vacuum it out once per season.

What is your budget ?
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Coal Size/Type: Rice/buck
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: ad356 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:32 pm

budget is about $3,000 maxium i dont want to spend any more then that. the hotblast from tractor supply is $1,099 and its 119,000 btu. i dont know how well they work with coal.
ad356
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: P61 pellet thinking about coal

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: ad356 On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:40 pm

are the tiles inside the chimney, is this something that you have to look at from the roof or is a simple exterior inspection good enough? also how do you vacuum it out without having a cleanout?
ad356
 
Stove/Furnace Make: harman
Stove/Furnace Model: P61 pellet thinking about coal

Re: thininkg about buying a coal furance

PostBy: Rigar On: Sat Sep 21, 2013 4:42 pm

tiles are the clay tiles coming out of top of ur chimney
Rigar
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker A 150
Coal Size/Type: anthracite rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: A 150 warm air furnace

Visit Lehigh Anthracite