New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Tater1977 On: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:12 pm

I have been wanting to make the switch from electric base board heat to anthracite coal for about 5 years. I finaly bit the bullet and have a brand new Keystoker koker A160 with direct vent and hot water coil sitting in basement waiting for me to install. I will be using the radiant feature of the furnace to heat my basement, and the blower and thermostat combo to heat my first and second floor. In early fall and late spring with the electric, we typicaly see a $ 220.00 electric bill , Dec, Jan , Feb, it will be $350 to $500. this is with most the house at 67 degrees and the bedrooms and baths at closer to 72. Needless to say i hope to save lots of money with the koker in the long run while keeping my house at closer to 75 degrees. By home is a 2400 sq ft colonial with a full walk out basement that is unfinished with poured walls. The house is pretty well insulated with 2x6 exterior walls insulated with R23 and tyvek wrap, while the ceiling has blown in R38. The floor joist for the first floor are insulated with R19, giving the basement an insulated ceiling.

When we built the house in 2005, I had 14x7 Ducts installed from the basement to the attic while the house was being framed. I currently have no ducts in the basement or the attic, just runs up through the guts of the house. I will be adding ducts in the basement first that branch off to registers I will be installing on the first floor. Next I will install ducts in the attic to heat my second floor with ceiling vents, and finaly I will finish by utilizing my hot water coil to help heat my 80 gallon electric hot water tank.

Now for the first of many questions to come.......

I am guessing 2 to 3 tons of coal per winter to heat, does this seem accurate ?

Next, for the Duct work, I was going to come off of the stove to the basement ceiling with metal duct, then from the metal use a 14 inch round insulated flex duct for my main feed duct off of my koker. This run will be about 40ft. I am thinking I will be using fittings to branch off of the main 14 inch duct with 4 and or 5 inch runs to supply the registers I will be installing on my first floor. Is this use of the insulated flex duct ok, or is there any major safety issue or disadvantage to doing it this way ?

Cold Air Return. I was thinking about using one of my 14x7 duct lines which is close to centraly located in my home, running from the basement to the attic. I would install a vent in the second floor near the hallway, and on the first floor in the main living area to supply cold return air to the koker. Any issue using one cold air return per floor ?

Can I safely run the furnace with no cold air return hooked up for a month or two, just taking in open basement air instead of ducted cold air ? What are the major disadvantages and or safety concerns with doing this ?

Any suggestions / advice would be greatly appreciated/
Tater1977
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker A160 W/ HW coil

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:39 pm

welcome to the forum tater..

youre gonna love burning coal- especially with electric heat! :D
...plan on 3 tons minimum (IMO)
You simply get more even heat distribution with properly sized and located cold air returns.
...you wont ' hurt ' anything in the meantime without them....but make sure ya put them in !
...and this goes without saying...and your house is plenty new enough...but make sure u have smoke/CO detector.
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:44 pm

...tell us some info on ur koker-
how many cfm is the blower?
size of hot air throat?
cold air outlet size?
....where are you located?
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: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Lightning On: Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:15 pm

Wow.. Electric heat :shock: Dude you are gonna love coal!! I switched from pro-pain. My total energy bill used to be $2400 for a winter.. Now, with water coils to preheat DHW and keep my hot tub warm, my net energy bill for a winter is around $600 :lol:

Tater1977 wrote:I am guessing 2 to 3 tons of coal per winter to heat, does this seem accurate ?
That seems a little lite. I'm heating the same space, older house, probably not as well insulated as yours and I burned 5 tons last year in a hand fed furnace. Even if you burn 5 tons to keep yer house 76 degrees all winter you will save a boatload of money!

Tater1977 wrote:Is this use of the insulated flex duct ok,
I used insulated flex duct. It seems ok to me. I think best case is the rigid metal duct but its no fun to work with. Insulated flex will get around anything easy. Its flexible hahaha..

Tater1977 wrote:Any issue using one cold air return per floor ? Can I safely run the furnace with no cold air return hooked up for a month or two, just taking in open basement air instead of ducted cold air ? What are the major disadvantages and or safety concerns with doing this ?
One cold air return per floor is good. I only have one cold air return for the whole house. If you are gonna run your furnace for a little while without a cold air return, you need to have a basement door (basement door in the house) kept open slightly so your house air can get back to the furnace. In a heating system, the air needs to make a loop - Furnace > To the house > Then back to the furnace otherwise efficiency is compromised big time..

Watch this, your furnace will raise the temperature of the incoming (cold air return) air a definitive amount. For me, its about 35-40 degrees. Air goes in at 70 and comes out the registers in the house at around 110 degress.. That's a 40 degree raise. SO, lets take that same 40 degree raise and add it to 50 degree air that your furnace is pulling off the basement floor (without a proper cold air return).. Now you have only 90 degrees exiting the registers in the house instead of 110..

And it gets worse if air from the house is totally cut off from the getting back to the furnace. In this situation, you pressurize the house and make it difficult to get warm air into the now closed off living space. ANd now the furnace is gulping even colder air since the air its getting is from infiltration from the outside. Its not a good situation.. If you can't get cold air returns put in yet, at least have a way for the air to make a complete loop back to the furnace, even if it means keeping a basement door open (between the basement and living space) a few inches.

Member "Rigar" is good with helping size your air ducts :D
Last edited by Lightning on Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Richard S. On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:05 am

Tater1977 wrote:
I am guessing 2 to 3 tons of coal per winter to heat, does this seem accurate ?


Typically a 2000 sq. ft home is going to use about 5 ton however you have a newer home that is well insulated. 2*6 walls too? That makes a huge difference.

If you're using $500 of electric and let's say $400 of that is for heat and you're paying 10 cents a kWh....

400/.10 =4000 kWh

A kWh is 3142 BTU

4000 * 3142 = 12.5 million BTU's

Coal has about 24 million BTU per ton but it's also less efficient so roughly speaking you'll need a little less than 3/4 ton to replace that heat during those months. You're going to lose some heat to the basement and you want to keep it warmer so now you're up to maybe 1 ton for the colder months and another ton or two for the warmer months....

You'll need at least 4, more likely 5 and possibly 6.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 5:28 am

lightning makes some great points about your cold air return and why they are important...
...but if you simply duct heat upstairs you can create negative pressure in the basement...possibly affecting your draft . ( at the baro)
like he said....at the very least...keep a door open
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Lightning On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:01 am

Rigar wrote:but if you simply duct heat upstairs you can create negative pressure in the basement...possibly affecting your draft

I'm glad you brought that up. In a well sealed basement the furnace blowers could suck flue gases backwards right down the chimney and into your house. Be careful with no cold air return. And as mentioned, Carbon Monoxide detectors are mandatory... :)
Lightning
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1537G
Coal Size/Type: Nut/Stove Size Mix

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:16 am

ok...coffees startin to kick in....lol
after rereading original post...as you are direct vented...you wont need a baro
...but i would still allow plenty of house air in the meantime
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:23 am

how many 7 x 14" vertical trunks do you have available from the basement to the attic?
i would recommend building a plenum at the top of the koker to begin warm air distribution.
I would also shy away from the flex duct where possible...especially as a main 'trunk'..
is the koker fairly central in the basement?
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:36 am

Rigar wrote:ok...coffees startin to kick in....lol
after rereading original post...as you are direct vented...you wont need a baro
...but i would still allow plenty of house air in the meantime


...DISREGARD...!! this post...as i was thinking of POWERED vent
...if you are direct venting ...Y
you WILL NEED A BARO
...My bad :|
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: CoaLen On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:13 am

I finaly bit the bullet and have a brand new Keystoker koker A160 with direct vent and hot water coil sitting in basement


You must not install a barometric damper on a direct vent pipe. The pipe is pressurized by exhaust gases between the furnace and the exterior outlet. It must be sealed along it's length inside your basement.
CoaLen
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Keystoker Koker
Coal Size/Type: rice

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:31 am

thank you coalen....my bad :(
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Tater1977 On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:43 am

I am located in Chardon Ohio, the heart of the Ohio lake effect snow belt. I am in the middle of the woods, no real wind exposure. My koker is advertised to have 160,000 btu. It also has a 1550 cfm.blower. The koker will not be centraly located in the basement. There is a cover on top of the stove that can be cut to accomadate any number of size pr shape ducts. I was considering a manifold vs a round duct off top of furnace so that I could install a filter in the duct system easily. One concern with the flex duct is whether it will greatly inhibit airflow due to the corrugated liner vs smooth metal ducts.

That is a very good point about c0 in a tight basement with insufficient cold air return. Thank you for the advice so far, please keep it coming.
Tater1977
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker A160 W/ HW coil

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Rigar On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:01 am

a plenum would act as a 'manifold' basically.
from the plenum i would recommend a main trunk ...decreasing by size as you get farther from the stove (as take offs distribute heat to each room-or area)
14 inch round duct isnt large enough by itself to accommodate 1550 cfm ( without very high lfm)
...flex duct only makes it worse...
...if possible-put the filter on the cold air side to reduce dust build up on the blower and the stove.
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

Re: New to coal, Just bought new keystoker koker

PostBy: Tater1977 On: Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:31 pm

Any recomendations on the size trunk line required off of the furnace to handle 1550 cfm ?
Tater1977
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker
Stove/Furnace Model: Koker A160 W/ HW coil

Visit Lehigh Anthracite